Why do I doubt myself
Last Updated: 08/20/2019 at 5:21pm
Sarah Archer, LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
As a Licensed MFT I work with clients to more effectively address, process and learn skills to manage the problems that prevent them from living the life they want.
Top Rated Answers
Often we douny ourselves because of low self confidence meaning that we are not sure in our abilities and have not had the oppertunity to learn from our mistakes and discover who we truly are. A sense of self doubt can also come from excessive criticism from others prehaps from an abusive relationship but also from those who care about us and simply want the best for us - for example certain parenting styles which have an emphasis on achievement. Doubt may also come from a focus on failure and an inability to see the larger picture in a short term context for example after failing an exam in the weeks afterwards I may doubt my ability in all areas of academia so quite simply self doubt arises when we focus on negative experiences and interactions with others instead of looking at situations as a whole and the context they arise in.
We doubt ourselves because we are human and susceptible to making mistakes. Knowing that we may err in what we undertake causes doubt and anxiety. These feelings, in themselves, can be motivation to take action, a challenge to prove that doubt in yourself wrong, or to simply state that you are inherently more powerful than the concept of doubt. Choice is a powerful thing we have at our disposal. When we choose to move forward in the face of doubt, we are effectively expressing a grand statement to the world that yes we have fear, but we have chosen to face it. Will we fail, will we be successful? Either is possible, but when we cower to doubt... there is not opportunity whatsoever for success.
Everyone doubts themselves. It's part of human nature. We want to be accepted and make good decisions, so we doubt ourselves if we are any bit insecure in our decision(s).
Because you have been conditioned to doubt. Failure is the worst thing in the world, you know. Just ask our society. YOU FAILED??? You didn't get an A??? Why didn't you apply yourself? These are all things we are raised with. But the reality is, there is no true success without a lot of failure. There is no greatness without years of failed efforts. We must accept this, not doubt ourselves. We must look at the positive of a failure. Henry Ford's first auto company went bankrupt and he was kicked out of the company that beared his name. The Ford you see now is his SECOND company. Col. Sanders, of KFC fame, languished in a small roadside restaurant for years before he hit his stride in his 40's. Some of the most successful people were successful ONLY AFTER HUGE FAILURES!! But yet, the common person, we are told failure is horrible, so when we fail, we doubt. It's wrong, but it's how society wires us to be. My guidance on this is learn from greatness. I would think that the failures that ultimately succeeded would be a better gauge than someone that always succeeded at being an average person that never tried anything.
Everyone is different. Theres no one answer fits all. You can take the time to evaluate yourself. Make a list and write down all the good things about yourself. You can incorporate someone else you trust to do the same. Compare the list, I'm sure they will find more good things about you than you will yourself. When you see those things on paper, then perhaps you can learn from them and concentrate more on all those good things and apply them to your life more to overcome your self doubt.
Think about the future not the past for the past should be memories that you smile about.
It's natural to second guess ourselves sometimes, for as simple a reason as because the decision is a big one, and anyone would worry about which decision would be the "right" one. It could also be a sign of low self confidence though.
I feel sometimes that I can't achieve anything because I have self doubt. Even in major events, I say that I won't, I don't, I can't. It is a very bad experience
This doubting of oneself is likely from a moment in your life or just growing up where you have had little self esteem and confidence in your own abilities for certain things like work or decisions or having your own opinions on things. It is a very common feeling, particularly for introverts as their quiet demeanour can easily be overlooked by other louder people and therefore eventually feel that their opinions or actions aren't as important or are wrong if they conflict with others. But it is important to remember that everyone has the right to their own opinion and expressing it politely and respectively. It is also important to have some self-worth and believe in what you know and can do. Being wrong in anything is not a bad thing either as it is the way people can learn so you shouldn't be afraid to go and put yourself out there in some way. Confidence will come eventually, you will just need to be strong and believe in yourself to get there. You are good enough.
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