We don’t often give a lot of thought to self-doubt until we are in a situation where that feeling of doubt keeps us from doing or accomplishing things we’d like to do. Then it suddenly becomes a problem … and potentially a big one.

But what is this self-doubt and where is it coming from? Self-Doubt by definition is the “lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities” (source: Google.com). In other words, self-doubt is closely related to confidence or the lack thereof.

When we don’t have the confidence to do something, we start to doubt ourselves. And that often happens from fear or inexperience. Both of those you can be overcome.

The first step is to figure out what’s causing your self-doubt. Without this crucial little piece of information, you won’t know how to tackle the problem.

If your feeling of self-doubt is caused by inexperience, or because you don’t know how to do whatever it is you’ve set out to do, the solution is simple. Get some help and gain some experience. Ask someone who’s doing what you’re wanting to do for advice. Get a book, take a course… do whatever it takes to gain the experience that will give you the confidence to reach your goals.

Fear is a little harder to overcome, but it too can be done. Depending on what your fear is, you can try one of these strategies:

Baby Steps

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and there’s just too much to be done, stop looking at everything. Instead break it down into Baby Steps and focus on those one at a time. You may doubt that you can get it all done, but you KNOW you can do this one thing. Go do that and then move on to the next step.

Imagine the Worst Case Scenario

If you’re worried about how this could go wrong or that you’ll fail, sit down and imagine the worst possible outcome. Can you live with that? Can you make it through that… Once we face that fear it suddenly doesn’t seem as scary as the unknown does. And remember, this is only the absolute worst that could happen and it likely won’t.

Focus On the Positive

Last but not least, make yourself focus on the positive. If you think you’re not good enough to do something, think of all the compliments and great feedback you’ve gotten in the past. That will give you the boost of confidence you need to overcome just about any case of self-doubt.