5 Tips For Overcoming Your Self-Doubt
If you're a creative person making and sharing things, self-doubt comes with the territory.
Who among us hasn't found ourselves wondering at one point or another:
"Am I a fraud?"...
"Can I actually pull this off?"...
"Can anyone tell I have no idea what I'm doing?..."
Jason and I have been there, and, in many ways, we are still there because I don't think self-doubt ever totally goes away. The secret is just in figuring out ways to recognize your doubt and keep taking action and making things anyway.
Over the years we've figured out a few helpful tips for how to deal with those negative voices in your head preventing you from making things or taking risks. We hope one or more of these can be valuable to you the next time that pesky self-doubt voice rears its ugly head.
🎥 At the bottom of this post you'll find an accompanying video. We hope you like it, as it's our goal to make consistent videos like this for the Wandering Aimfully YouTube channel. Let us know if you enjoyed it!
#1: Get out of your comparison bubble
What exactly is a comparison bubble you ask? Your comparison bubble is the space you create for yourself where you willingly invite in people under the guise of “inspiration” only to find yourself full of jealousy, envy or self-criticism every time you see them post on social media.
We're all guilty of this. Inspiration is great, but only when it's not making you feel like crap.
If you're following people whose skills or lives you habitually compare yourselves to, do us a favor and unfollow and unsubscribe to them right now. You don’t have to do it forever, just until you no longer find yourself stuck because of comparison.
This will help you focus on yourself and your work, not waste time worried about what other people are doing.
#2: Expand your comfort zone gradually
Confidence doesn’t just appear out of nowhere; it has to be BUILT intentionally.
Self-doubt and fear often come from UNCERTAINTY—the fear of the unknown. If you find yourself doubting your abilities, it's most likely because you're embarking on a journey you have little to no experience with. Recognizing this will help you understand that it's just about giving yourself tiny opportunities to explore a new edge of your comfort zone.
Think of it like muscle memory. When you practice something with your body over and over, your body retains that information and it gets easier over time. Confidence is like that too. If you practice doing uncomfortable things and overcoming your self-doubt in small ways, that muscle memory will take over and the next time it will be that much easier.
Expand your comfort zone gradually and each time you do, you’ll strengthen your confidence muscle.
#3: Change the tapes in your head
We all have tapes that seem to be on loop in our heads. So much of our self-doubt comes from the harsh words we allow ourselves to say over and over.
If you want to learn to quiet the doubt in your head, learn how to bring awareness to these tapes. (Meditation is great for that.) YOU actually have the power to actually change those tapes, but only once you know they're playing.
Every time you catch yourself saying “I’m not good enough, I can’t do this…”, try replacing it with something more open to possibilities—phrases like:
“How might I surprise myself?…"
"I might not know how to do this YET but I can learn…"
"The only way to get more confident is by putting myself out there...”
#4: Make a lot of stuff and share it over and over
The best way to battle your fear of sharing your art is to make a TON of stuff. There's just no substitute for this advice.
Every time you make something and share it, it releases the pressure you will feel on any ONE piece of your work.
If I make one painting a year, I'm going to be terrified of how I might be judged from that one painting. However, if I make one painting every day for a whole year, I'll feel represented by the whole body of work, not just one thing. This goes for writing blog posts, starting businesses, recording podcast episodes, etc.
Not only are you practicing courage every time you make something and share it (which makes it easier every time) but you don’t feel like one thing defines you. If you make something that sucks or that people don’t like, you can just wake up again and try again. (It really can be that easy.)
#5: Be honest. Don’t try to fake it until you make it.
Some people may disagree, but we think faking confidence and having false bravado doesn’t actually feel that good. Pretending can often make the self-doubt worse.
Instead, try being honest with yourself and others about your doubt. If you’re not entirely confident in your abilities yet, say that. This is something we do in our business a lot, especially with the build of Wandering Aimfully. We'd rather admit we don't have everything ironed out and invite people along for the ride than try to appear like experts. That only makes the self-doubt and imposter syndrome worse.
The thing about self-doubt is…we ALL feel it.
We all wonder if we’re good enough to do whatever we’re doing. But...DO THINGS ANYWAY.
The people who make real progress are the ones who can sit with the doubt and still believe in themselves.
Get these 5 tips in fun, video format below!
Leave us a YouTube comment and let us know which tip resonates with you the most!