Oftentimes, we find ourselves in a monologue about doubting and criticizing our ability for achieving a task and/or goal. To deal with such self-doubts we use multiple coping mechanisms but it becomes concerning when this continues for a longer period of time leading us to feel demotivated, procrastinating on the work, low performance, difficulty in making decisions, and increased stress.
But what leads to self-doubt? Research suggests that attachment styles developed during the early stages of life can result in self-doubt, such that it’s been reported that people who have insecure attachment styles have shown more thoughts of self-doubt as compared to others. Another reason could be our past experiences, as we find ourselves reminiscing memories from uncomfortable experiences leading to self-doubt in similar future situations. Furthermore, comparing yourself to others, especially the ones who are in a better position than you, leads to more self-doubt.
So, how to overcome self-doubt? A popular hack is to practice affirmations a couple of times in your day, an example of a few affirmations is as follows:
– My past experiences are all learnings, and my present and future experiences are also going to help me become a better person
– I see stressful situations as challenges and opportunities.
Another effective hack can be to replace the fear of criticism and comparison with others by identifying your inner values and remembering your past achievements. To do this:
- Ask yourself what few things are most important to you, those which bring meaningfulness in your life and make a list of those things.
- Think about a few past accomplishments of yourself that you are proud of and add them in your inner value list.
Then whenever you feel that you are doubting yourself, remind yourself that you are working for your inner values and not for any external reward. Also that you did your best in the past and that you will continue to do so. This approach is more effective because it shifts focus from external comparison to internal motivation.
Bonus tip: When you observe yourself going into stories or thoughts of blame, say “stop” to yourself out loud. This will allow you to turn your attention away from your blaming thoughts for a short while, giving you time to think about your past achievements and experiences for healthier coping.