Self-doubt is defined as a lack of confidence in one’s own ability. It’s a creativity killer, and it’s simply doubting oneself. If you intend to succeed in life, you mustn’t give self doubt a chance, what you must do is to completely get rid of it. Self doubt practically exits self confidence, creativity and even your imaginative prowess. A man that doubts himself will never get anything done.

The various causes of self doubt and how to eliminate it include the following:

1. Fear and Anxiety: Exhibiting fear and anxiety constantly because of a past experience or an unclear future is a major cause of self doubt. Whatever you concentrate on becomes magnified. If you show so much fear concerning an issue, your fear only blows the issue out of proportion. Fear is an enemy of faith, when fear sets in faith exits totally. Fear causes anxiety which then lead to worry and eventually blows things out of proportion. They choke off the creative flow of power and insight, we automatically become numb. Worry is a route which leads from somewhere to nowhere.

How to deal with this?

Make a deliberate effort to see every situation from the point of faith, have faith in the system, the universe will work things out for you. When you begin to fear, tell yourself that things will work well and visualize it.

2. Comparing yourself with others: Most times, we use the achievements of other people as a yard stick for measuring our own accomplishments, and when we find out that they’ve gone farther than us, we begin to feel differently about ourselves, we feel defeated and lose faith. Comparison is a major killer of self confidence, because we are unclear about what others did to achieve success, the sacrifices they made and so on, but the things that we see on the outside, bite us hard when we fail to accomplish what they have accomplished. We gauge success and failure by the paradigms set by other people and when we cannot meet up, we get plagued by self doubt.

How to deal with this? It’s chiefly obtainable,  it starts by first deciding not to compare yourself with other people. Understand that everyone has certain characteristics peculiar to them. What works for some might not work for others so set standards and norms for yourself and beat your own records. Do things your own way but don’t be over confident. Have self love.

3. Past Experiences: Dwelling on your experiences have a huge impact on your self confidence. Unpleasant experiences rattle our beliefs, quivering our self confidence. You may have had an experience in your childhood that was so devastating it made you lose confidence in yourself. Often times, the experiences we had in our childhood stick to us so much that they affect us and alter our thought pattern. For instance, a child who went to a school where children were heavily judged based on their grades will have a degrading perception about himself for the rest of his life. Perhaps you left a paid job to start working for yourself, and your first attempt at it was unpleasant, you then begin to doubt your self and ultimately accept that you are a failure. In these two examples, both of them had bad experiences, one during his childhood and the other in a not so distant past. Both have been dominated by their past which in turn influence their future. The more we look backward, the less we are able to look forward.

How to deal with this?

Understand that the past cannot be altered. Be forward-focused and not past- possessed, learn to profit from the past and invest in the future.

4. Our Environment: What kind of environment do you find yourself? Is the atmosphere favourable? These are the questions you need to ask yourself if you are plagued by self doubt. If you stay among people that constantly belittle you, you can never get rid of self doubt. Some family members or neighbours and can be so inadvertently toxic, usually because they have lost their own battle with self doubt. Others can deliberately attack you with their toxic nature, they fill you with disbelief and unpreparedness by their constant nagging and spewing of venomous words.

How to deal with this? 

Shut them out of your mind, never let their words take root in your heart otherwise they will cripple the very legs you stand upon. Eventually, you will have to move out of that environment.

5. Friends and Associates: Who are your counsellors and advisers and who are you likely to take your problems to and accept their counsel? Answer these questions correctly and you are in your way to conquering low self esteem. Hanging with friends that constantly walk in self defeat will cause you to become like them. They have probably failed in something but instead of waking up and taking the initiative, they try to de-motivate you simply because they cannot bear to see you succeed at what they have failed at. They begin to fan the flames of self doubt that they have ignited within you hoping that you combust and end up like them.

How to deal with this?

Put an end to such friendships and go after people that are focused and successful and will not in any way extinguish your spirit.

I end with a quote by  William Shakespeare which says “our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

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