7 Powerful Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

How You Can Build Your Confidence to Do What You Want

Neel Raman
5 min readJul 30, 2019

Reaching higher levels of success often comes down to having ways to overcome self-doubt and continually taking new actions.

Those who can deal with their self-doubt usually achieve things they haven’t previously, while gaining more confidence.

What is Self-Doubt?

Self-doubt is an internal struggle. It prevents us from pursuing something we want or taking an action to achieve a different result.

It’s our internal voice that tells us:

  • To be practical or realistic.
  • Now is not the right time to make a change.
  • We could fail.
  • We don’t know how to do something.
  • We are not good enough to achieve the thing we want.

The Costs of Not Having Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

If we succumb to our self-doubt, we won’t pursue or experience the things that matters most to us. The costs of not overcoming it can include:

  • Not following our dreams.
  • Lower self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Feeling unhappy.
  • Being very self-critical.
  • Not believing in possibilities or dreaming big dreams.

As we recognise and deal with self-doubt, it will help us do what we should, to get what we want.

ways to overcome self-doubt

Many years ago, I changed careers to become a speaker, coach and trainer. Not having experience and having to start all over again in a different industry created a lot of fear and doubt.

It was a big struggle initially. My fears caused me to stay comfortable and not do what I needed to gain the experience I wanted. Working with and learning from mentors helped me deal with the struggles I had.

I remember calling different Rotary Clubs, asking for an opportunity to speak at their meetings. Many were happy to give me a chance. Even though I was nervous every time, I did the best I could.

As I spoke more often, I got more comfortable being in front of an audience. That experience of speaking at different Rotary Clubs helped me get my start as a speaker. That led to other opportunities, including speaking at a TEDx event.

Overcoming self-doubt is an internal battle we have to win if we want to achieve what matters most.

7 Powerful Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

Here are seven powerful ways to overcome self-doubt so you can do what’s required to achieve what you want.

  1. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up. When we experience self-doubt, it helps to share what we’re going through with others. Having people who will listen without judgment can help reduce the stress or tension we may feel.
  2. Pay more attention to your self-talk. Having self-doubt means we’re engaged in negative self-talk. We have to question or challenge the things we believe or say to ourselves. Not everything we think or believe is accurate. Switching our self-talk to positive will help overcome our self-doubt.
  3. Keep a success or victory log and refer back to it often. A success or victory log is a record of our accomplishments in life. These can be big or small accomplishments. Whenever we remind ourselves of things we’ve accomplished, it will help boost our confidence. That will help us take the actions required to achieve the results we want.
  4. Embrace the possibility of failure. Not everything will work out as we want them to. The fear of failure often triggers self-doubt. We have to accept things may not go as planned, which can help take the pressure off us. As we embrace the possibility of failure, our comfort zone will also expand.
  5. Avoid comparing yourself to others. We can make ourselves believe others can do something we want to, but we can’t. Comparison is often a dream killer. There is no need to seek validation from others. We have to learn to accept that our journey to a result will be different to others.
  6. Practice self-compassion. We judge ourselves a lot, often unfairly. We have to forgive ourselves for times when we have let ourselves down. The key is to learn from our mistakes and use that as motivation to achieve a new result.
  7. Focus on new possibilities by asking better questions. We generate emotions of self-doubt when we ask ourselves disempowering questions. If we ask ourselves better questions, we’ll receive better answers, which will make it easier to take the required actions.


Everyone experiences self-doubt. We can let our self-doubt stop us from moving forward, or we can use it as a reason to improve. If we have ways to overcome self-doubt, we can refer to them whenever we experience it.

If we don’t have ways to overcome self-doubt, we risk giving up on our dreams or goals. If we want to achieve meaningful things, we must overcome our self-doubt.

Action Step: If you are experiencing self-doubt, apply the ideas suggested here to overcome it. Reach out to someone who will encourage and cheer you on to keep going for what you want.

Question: What are more powerful ways to overcome self-doubt?

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Neel Raman

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