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Self-doubt exists within you if you are unsure of yourself and your abilities. Self-doubt causes you to procrastinate, delay and hesitate to do the things you have or want to do.

You have experienced the feeling of wanting to do something very much but being worried that you will not succeed. This feeling of self-doubt is a hindrance only when you give in to it. Not to give in means you must learn to be confident and daring, and take risk – calculated risk. When you do that, you are likely to succeed in getting the desired result. It is the bold people who get to succeed nearly all the time.

It’s natural to have self-doubt when you lack confidence in what you want to do. You feel uncertain about the outcome or troubled over the potential difficulties. Even if you know you have the abilities, some self-doubt is enough to hold you back. Learn to believe in yourself. Make an effort based on your self-belief to achieve what you want to do. Even if you make an unsuccessful attempt at doing something, you will still gain in experience and with it, some confidence as you know another attempt is easier that the previous one. And armed with the experience and confidence, your probability of succeeding has increased.

When there is an absence or deficiency of self-confidence, self-doubt prevails. Self-doubt and fear are certain to plague those who are thinking of venturing into self-employment long before they make up their mind. Self-doubt deters a young man from striking up an acquaintance with an attractive girl out of fear of rejection. Self-doubt is the root cause of procrastination which is not laziness. You may be able to develop courage and confidence to dispel self-doubt by thinking to yourself that failure is not life-threatening. It does sound simple. But it does work.

You create your own doubt when you underestimate your own self or your abilities, or when you make comparison of yourself with other people. Usually, you unconsciously compare yourself with someone whom you think is superior to you in some aspects. This lessens your self-confidence. Never ever compare yourself with another person. Each individual is brought up in different circumstances. Having doubt about yourself just because you think someone is superior to you is not only being unwise but also deprives you the opportunity to do what you should do.

Sometimes you make a minor mistake or suffer a failure, and it stubbornly persists in your mind to haunt you. It makes you feel inadequate and stupid despite your determined attempt. Feelings of self-doubt are inevitable here. You can counter these feelings by treating the mistake or failure as feedback to be used as a basis for improvement. You can also affirm repeatedly that once you set your mind on something, you will successfully accomplish it.

Criticisms and adverse comments from other people can cause you to have self-doubt simply because you choose to believe them. Sometimes they are right or reasonable. Mostly, they are wrong possibly motivated by pure jealousy or other ulterior motive. Whatever the motives behind them, you want to know whether they are justified. Do a self-discovery or listen to your intuition and chances are you can easily disbelieve them completely. But do not let them persist in your mind because of the possibility of turning them into self-fulfilling prophecy.

Those closest to you can be the ones who will instil you with the most doubt. They are not acting from hidden motives when they discourage you from taking an action. Don’t let them discourage you if you have made up your mind. There will be people who do not hesitate to criticize and cause you to have self-doubt. They ignorantly exaggerate the risks involved and inaccurately predict the dire consequences that befall you. As a result, it arouses considerable anxiety in you.

Self-doubt will have minimal effect on you if you can change the way you think. Study how successful people in every field of human endeavour still act despite having self-doubt. Just think how much more you could achieve if you were free from self-doubt.