Understanding and Overcoming Self-Doubt

Most people experience self-doubt from time to time. Self-doubt is characterized by feelings of uncertainty regarding one or more aspects of yourself. You might experience imposter syndrome when applying for a new job, or you might avoid trying something new because you feel like you’re incapable of succeeding.

Feelings of doubt can be healthy in some situations, encouraging you to challenge yourself, reflect, and grow. However, when feelings of self-doubt leave you constantly questioning yourself and interfere with your daily life, you may have chronic self-doubt.

Especially if you’re experiencing other mental health issues, chronic self-doubt can feel debilitating. When doubt interferes with your daily life, you might have a hard time realizing that there are also good things about you. Over time, these negative thoughts can impact your self-esteem, self-worth, and self-efficacy.

Whether you’re constantly focusing on other people’s achievements or self-sabotaging yourself, here are the best ways to overcome feelings of self-doubt to live a happier, more productive life.

Addressing self doubt

Surround yourself with supportive people.

When you’re experiencing doubt, remind yourself that you’re your harshest critic. The next time your inner critic takes over, call on your social support network for reassurance. By surrounding yourself with people who support you and believe in you, you can combat your self-doubt, practice self-compassion, and receive the emotional support you need to take the next step.

Whether you call a good friend, hang out with family members, or surround yourself with other successful people in your life, your loved ones can help you realize that you’re talented and resilient during even the challenging situations when you’re not feeling that way about yourself.

Avoid comparing yourself to others.

If you’re experiencing feelings of doubt, it’s completely normal to compare your achievements or failures against other people. Although comparison can take a significant toll on mental health, many of us do it without even realizing it. If you’re constantly focusing on what other successful people achieve and then comparing your own past experiences, you might develop jealousy, discomfort, or resentment.

Ultimately, the best way to overcome comparison is to realize that you’re incomparable and work to become a better version of yourself. With the help of a mentor or mental health professional, you can understand your obstacles, develop compassion, and recognize your self-worth. Regardless of what other people have accomplished, you can control and focus on your path and where you want to take it.

Seek professional help.

If negative thoughts are consuming your life, consider seeking professional help. Psychotherapy not only provides a safe space for you to express your mental health concerns and specific challenges, but it can also help you learn different ways to overcome feelings of doubt.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy, can effectively help you combat negative thoughts and low self-esteem. CBT can also help treat a wide range of mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression, which can leave you doubting yourself and your own abilities. During CBT sessions, you’ll work with your psychologist to identify negative, problematic thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.

In addition to CBT, several types of therapy can help you identify the root source of your negativity and doubt, including music therapy, art therapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy.


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Finding the Right Therapist

Whether you’re starting therapy for the first time or searching for a new psychotherapist, it’s essential to find the right fit for your mental health needs. According to the American Psychological Association, forming a strong therapeutic relationship with your psychologist can help you feel more comfortable during therapy sessions, which can boost your long-term mental health outcomes.

If you’re not sure where to start, online therapy can help you find the best match. With more psychotherapists offering online counseling services, it’s possible to access mental health care from the quality of your own home. For many prospective clients, online therapy offers a more convenient and affordable option. Plus, online therapy offers access to a wider range of therapists, so you can start on the right path without a time-consuming search for a new psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor.

To find a licensed therapist, reach out to a mental health professional through The Therapy Group of DC. Whether you’re experiencing depression symptoms or looking to develop self-compassion, we’re here to help. One of our compassionate mental health professionals will help you take the next step, change your mindset, and learn to live in the present moment.

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