Self-doubt cripples the careers and lives of so many people.

My wife and I put together videos of our family life for each year since having children. We keep them all on discs and they are for our children to be able to see pictures and video clips of how their lives were when they were growing up. Last night, we happened to be looking through some old photographs and video clips and re-watched the moment our daughter took her first steps unaided, it was such an amazing time with all four of us being together for it.

It was very obvious that whether my daughter fell 10 times, 100 times or 1000 times, the thought “this is too difficult” or “I can’t” never entered her very young head a single time, quite the opposite it seemed – she just got up with vigiour and enthusiasm and kept at it.

At some stage in life though, as we grow older, that sense of invincibility leaves many of us, it declines for a variety of reasons.

Many of the individuals that I coach, people that I see in my hypnotherapy consulting rooms, students graduating from my courses about to embark on their new career or established hypnotherapists that I mentor to develop their businesses have a great deal in common – one thing in particular is that so many have self-doubt that prevents them from progressing in the direction that they truly desire.

Do you have big plans for the future? Maybe a change of career, wanting to reduce your weight and get healthy, or signing up for those French lessons you’ve been talking about for years? (I wrote that because since my holiday I am learning French again currently and am loving it!) What is stopping you from starting something new or accomplishing your goals? For many of you it is self-doubt, right? Many people simply write-off their chances of success before they decide to take some action towards a goal.
Self-doubt is a major obstacle to living the life you deserve. Self-doubt has a way of getting under your skin. Sometimes it involves having distorted thoughts whereby you take things too personally or question if you’re good enough, for example.

When you are in a state of self-doubt you may think – forget it. That is, you may quit or give up on something that you would love to do. Forget to make this project work, forget this relationship, forget running my own business, forget this, forget that…. And often the never-ending sense of mediocrity and dissatisfaction is a drawn out and cruel punishment for that self-doubt.
Trying to navigate through life, relationships and work without comparing yourself to others’ successes can be difficult, especially with the social media we are exposed to whereby everybody tends to give a slanted and unrealistic ideal of how their lives are. Many people end up with fantastical and idealised expectations and notions of how they believe their lives should be which results in unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves. You are not alone in this. Many have these thoughts and live this way.

To counteract this you need to trust yourself more, believe in yourself and know that you can influence the future greatly. Here are some great articles to help you advance your self-belief, they’ll give you a major lift:

a) How To Believe In You – 9 and a bit Ways To Advance Self-Belief.
b) Believe in Yourself!
c) Creating Your Superhero Alter-Ego Using Self-Hypnosis To Boost Confidence.

Research confirms that self-doubt can seriously impair your performance at work. However, with a shift in attitude, you can turn things around. It really is all a matter of perspective. One where you trust yourself and don’t give into the gremlins that discourage persistence, positivity, and faith in one’s self. Here are some wonderful articles about being really persistent too:

a) Persistence: 9 Ways to be More Persistent.
b) Be More Persistent: Using Self-Hypnosis To Increase Your Persistence.

It’s a choice one has to make: to either believe in yourself or allow yourself to be sucked into feelings of self-doubt and self-pity.
Muting the voices of self-doubt gremlins can be quite a feat. You need the energy to do so. Here are some things that can help you trust yourself again when feeling defeated and overwhelmed with doubts.

1. Be Present.
If you find yourself being pulled into negative thoughts stemming from past experiences or comments from others, staying present is key to being able to focus on the positive. Grounding yourself is also effective for when you question your future.
There are many ways to stay in the present. It can be as simple as getting out in nature, walking, being with pets or children, meditating.

2. Look after yourself.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by what you perceive as things not going well, rest. Take some time away from it all. Focus on something totally different. This can work wonders for you and those you work with. Many find by shifting their focus away from what they are stuck on, helps them to take a new perspective when we come back to it.

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of self-doubt and neglect to look after your own needs. So in addition to taking a break, it is important to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep and eat healthily.

3. Connect with others.
While it is important to strengthen your self-trust muscles, it is just as important to get the support you need from others. Whether this is from family, friends, or a professional coach, getting reassurance or help from others can make a big difference.

Here are some articles to help you go into some of the above two points in more depth:
a) The Importance of Quality Family Time.
b) 6 Reasons Why You Need A Life Coach.
c) 7 Ways Therapists Can Avoid Work-Related Stress and Burnout.

4. Drown out the negative.
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath.

If you find that self-doubt and criticism are way too loud, drown them out with self-praise.
It can be challenging to think of positive encouraging statements about yourself when you’re consumed by doubts, so write a list of at least 5 in advance. Read them when self-doubts creep in. Jot some down on a note book or notepad or on the Evernote app on your phone, for example. Then get them out and read them out loud when your inner voices come up. Keep adding to the list and review it often in order to fill your mind with encouraging and supportive material to boost your self-belief.

Ideally, you also want to learn to dispute and refute the self-doubt and negative self-criticism, a good therapist can help you with that, but learning to truly replace the negative with positive statements about yourself in an effective, meaningful manner will help greatly.

5. Gratitude.
When negativism seeps in you can easily lose sight of all the good you have in your life. Your judgement is usually clouded. Reminding yourself of things going well, things you’re pleased with and grateful for, can really make a difference.
Again, form a list of you have to be grateful for, and review it every day, add to it and remind yourself of everything you have in life to be grateful for.

6. Face your doubts head on.
Once you acknowledge your self-doubts, you can then conquer them. If you have relationship doubts -work through them, address and share them. Rather than constantly questioning yourself. If you are wondering whether you have the ability to do something or not – give it a go. It can be liberating when you face your doubts head on. As Vincent van Gogh said –
“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

Having conversations with others about self-doubt issues can help put the situation into perspective. In addition, others may offer support and guidance that will help motivate you and provide the confidence you need to get back on track!  Read this articles in order to help you work through the issues at hand:
a) Apply Problem Solving To Yourself and Solve Your Own Problems.
b) Learn To Enjoy Life’s Problems.

Then, by recognising and addressing self-doubt you will be much less susceptible to it’s influence. It will still surface from time to time, but following these above tips may bring greater awareness to you. So you will see it coming, and know how to neutralise or conquer it. By applying more of these things to your life, you’ll lower the amount of self-doubt occurring too, and it will zap less of your energy and you’ll be able to conquer it with more zest if and when it does occur.

If you’d like to learn more or if this has resonated with you in some way, then visit these pages:

1. Has self-doubt held you back and is it still doing so now?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or  Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason.
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others overcome self-doubt?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist for whom self-doubt is negatively effecting the success of your business?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.