Do you doubt yourself? Self-doubt is a huge issue, especially among creative people. Research says that approximately 85 percent of people suffer from self-doubt and low self-esteem, and I’d be willing to bet that if you isolated the creatives in that group, the percentage would be even higher. So, you are definitely not alone. And I’m right there along with you!
Self-doubt can affect almost every part of your life if you let it. Careers, health, relationships… everything in your life can be affected by how much, or how little you believe in yourself. It’s something I’ve struggled with for my whole life, and plays a huge role in how much or how little I’m willing to put myself out there in terms of my creativity and the things I choose (or choose not) to share with my audience. And that definitely has an effect on my success as a creative entrepreneur!
Fortunately there are things you (and I) can do to get to grips with your self-doubt because it really is a block that needs to be smashed to smithereens, as my mom would say!
Here are 6 tips you can use to help you overcome self-doubt:
Tip #1 – Learn to accept yourself.
It helps to realize that self-doubt is a part of being human. If you can embrace it and turn it into a strength, it can help you make better decisions, instead of rushing into things or going after the next shiny object. It helps to think of it as a tool that guides your actions and keeps you from making costly mistakes.
The trick here is to make sure you don’t overuse it because too much self-doubt can also make you question your ability to make decisions at all.
Tip #2 – Realize you’re not alone.
As I mentioned in the opening of this post, you’re definitely not alone in your self-doubt. Even the most successful people have doubts and question their actions or wonder if they’re doing the right things.
When you focus on building your confidence and self-esteem, you can let go of a lot of the self-doubt you may be feeling. And while it’s true that you might never get rid of it completely – and I’m not going to be so daring as to tell you that you can, because I haven’t done it for myself yet – you can definitely do enough to stop self-doubt from completely taking over your life.
Tip #3 – Do some research.
Sometimes self-doubt can show up because you don’t really know what you don’t know. You might be feeling some fear and anxiety because you don’t know what’s going to happen. And let’s face it, change of any type is scary, and the part of you that doubts plays on that.
You can work your way around this by doing some research into the situation, and getting your facts straight. When you have hard knowledge of the pros and cons of a situation, you can make a rational decision instead of letting fear and self-doubt drive you.
And if you stop to think about all the things you’ve already accomplished and obstacles you’ve overcome in your life, you’ll see that you’re pretty much capable of anything.
Tip #4: Acknowledge your strengths.
This tip expands on the one above. You know you have strengths, but do you recognize them and take time to celebrate them? Most of us take the things we’re really good at for granted, and don’t see how they can help us when we’re feeling self-doubt.
A few things you can do to help overcome this:
- Make a list of things you excel in.
- Write down your skills and accomplishments.
- Accept praise from others gracefully.
- Acknowledge your talent.
Use a journal to celebrate your strengths every single day. Create positive affirmations and reflect on how far you’ve come since you started on your creative journey!
Tip #5 – Pay attention to the energy around you
This is such a hard one to deal with, because you know who the “negative nellies” in your space are. And overcoming your own self-doubt might just mean having to let those people go.
I’ve had to deal with this myself, and it does hurt when nothing you do or say or create is good enough, or people who are supposed to support you question your choices because they don’t agree with what you think is right for you.
The best thing to do when that happens is to try and surround yourself with people who exude positive and supportive energy, and are willing to let you be you.
Tip #6 – Pay attention to your own values.
Finally, pay attention to your own core values and how they shape your life. A lot of self-doubt can come from thinking you should do something that doesn’t necessarily fit with the values you live by.
Being clear on your own values gives you more strength and confidence to deal with situations that might not align with your perspective and your energy.
Overcoming self-doubt is not something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s a lifelong process, and for us creative types it can play a huge role in how we create as much as what we create.
Use these tips to help you stop questioning your own decisions, based on what others around you might be thinking. Trust that you are doing what’s right for you, and take the actions you need to in order to create the success you deserve!