Updated: April 6, 2023
It’s always there, lurking in the background.
Some days we are better at stuffing it down inside and ignoring it.
Am I good enough?
Will this work?
Can I actually do this?
Is this what I really want?
That is Self Doubt.
Yet self doubt is nothing more than your innate human capability to fear the unknown.
The fear of change.
The fear of risk.
The fear of failure.
The fear of achievement.
These were useful reactions when we were hunters and gatherers. But we are hunters and gatherers no more. It is time to move past our fears.
We must overcome our own self-doubt.
Most of the time I feel confident and competent.
I knew I was going to grow a multimillion-dollar business. And I did.
I know that I can be a good father and husband. And I am (or at least I try my best).
Knowing something is just the beginning.
You have to build systems, and habits, to support your dreams and desires.
I can’t say that I know I am going to be a great dad, but then never show up for my kids.
I have to show up day after day, even when I am thoroughly exhausted by their endless energy.
Building a business took years.
I always knew it was going to be something great, but it was a slow process.
You have to lay bricks one by one.
Some days are painful.
Some days are full of self-doubt, dips, and slow progress.
Start Small and Build Momentum
I make my bed EVERY day.
It gives me the easiest win possible to start my day.
That one little win propels me to always be my best. This small act of productivity gives me the momentum I need.
A few years ago, I added journaling/morning pages to my morning routine.
Yet again, another momentum builder. If nothing else, I can get all the bad juju out on the page.
Self-doubt, struggles, sadness, happiness, boringness, it all goes there on the page.
So you start small, and you get the wins you need to get things done.
Then You Do The Work
Finally, you have to do the work.
It is the only way to persist through self-doubt.
It is the only way to prove to yourself that yeah, you may fail, you may not be getting anywhere, but hell or high water I am at least going to do something about it.
You have to prove your self-doubt wrong.
Turn it on its head, but saying forget about your self-doubt, I will do this anyway.
The more you push through and do the work, the more you push past your self-doubt.
We All Have Self-doubt.
I overcome it every day by simply getting something done, building my momentum, and putting the fear and the self-doubt behind me.
Self-doubt is not actually real.
It is a fear-setting mechanism in our physiology – physiology that we have outgrown.
Don’t let self-doubt get in the way of any of your dreams. Ever.
Turning Self-doubt into Personal Growth
You’ve got this!
I know you do because all you need to do is make your bed!
Do the work.
When you begin to believe in yourself, literally nothing else will matter.
Now, go out there and crush your self-doubt!
Jordan Peterson and making the bed right? I don’t make my bed every day. The first thing I do is read the news and then write. If I can write a first draft of a post before the kids wake up, I feel really great for the rest of the day.
Morning routines really are key. More power to you for getting up early. I would benefit from that, but I also enjoy my 8 hours of sleep. I now journal when my kids get up for about 20-30 mins and that helps jump start my day.
For some reason, I don’t need or I can’t sleep 8 hours straight. I feel rested after 6 hours, but I do enjoy a nice nap after lunch to go with the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Go to sleep by midnight, wake up by 6am, do some work from 6:30am – 8:30am and then I focus on the family and fun activities. But in 2020, it was more like 4:30am – 8:30am given the drive to protect and provide kicked in!
My self doubt comes in the form of imposter syndrome. But you realize: nobody knows what the hell they’re doing. Some people are just better at faking it. Or, too oblivious to realize they don’t know what the hell they’re doing.
Oh yeah. Imposture syndrome is real. Even if you don’t feel that way 99% of the time there is still that 1% that seeps through. And anyone who doesn’t admit to self doubt or imposture syndrome is likely hiding it from themselves.
Just wanted you to know that your posts really help me, especially this one.
Sending only good vibes from Green Bay!
Thanks for letting me know Peter! I know that if I struggle with something, surely others are in the same boat. My goal is to help provide tools and inspiration for my readers to be happier and enjoy/build the life that you want. Heck, it is what I am trying to do every day as well.
Thanks for the good vibes, and right back at ya! Cheers!
I remember I used to have so much self doubt, even though I never admitted it to myself or to others. I think it stemmed from one article I read that talked about self blame. That people who blame others are bad. That made me think that I should always blame myself.
What I should have taken from that article was that I shouldn’t blame others or myself in the first place. Not to shift the blame from others to me.
Self doubt truly isn’t something that you should feel.
I think it’s normal to feel self doubt, or at least have momentary doubts. That was more my point. Self doubt is momentary, and it can be pushed past. It is nothing more than our biology responding to stimuli that it can’t understand.
I definitely agree that your not going to get anywhere blaming others. It is a sick cycle that isn’t productive. Things happen. Reality sucks sometimes. But there is no one to blame. Not even yourself. Accepting reality and accepting your flaws and mistakes are the only way through it. I definitely recommend “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie for anyone wanting to work through some of that: https://amzn.to/3yDVRr1
We all experience self doubt at some point but we rarely talk about it so we just assume that nobody else is dealing with it too. I’ve found lately that for me it helps to “have someone in my corner” that I can talk with. I recently told someone at work who I trust that I doubt myself at times. They were shocked. I told them that means I must be a pretty good actor 🙂
Aren’t we all good actors eh? I must be so good even my wife doubts that I have self doubt.