How to deal with self doubt and low self esteem

St Neots life coach Scott Hardiman.

St Neots life coach Scott Hardiman. - Credit: SCOTT HARDIMAN

Research has shown that more than 85 per cent of people suffer from low self-esteem or self-doubt.

The biggest problem with self-doubt is that it stops so many people chasing their dreams, and going after what they really want. Self-doubt isn’t your fault; it’s no one's fault.

There are so many ways that self-doubt can be brought on and a few of the most common include:

Your own past experiences and mistakes

The way you were brought up

The way you compare yourself to others

Unexpected challenges that you’ve come across

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A fear of failure, or even a fear of success

This might sound daunting, but understanding where your self-doubt comes from can be really helpful. Understanding where it comes from, allows us to challenge it. 

One way of looking at self doubt and something that really changed the impact it had on me was understanding that self-doubt is essentially a decision not to try.

When we look at self-doubt as simply as this, it becomes a lot easier to overcome. All we would really need to do to combat our self-doubt is take action and try. Through taking deliberate action, we develop competence, and, as we continue to take action, our ability improves.

It’s all well and good me telling you to take action. The thing is, though, you hear that everywhere, all the time. So, I want to go one step further, and share with you a technique that I introduce to my clients.

The aim is to start action and to build your confidence effectively.

It’s called the five-second rule. It’s great and has an incredible impact on making steps towards our goals and dealing with self doubt.

The idea is that everyone has jobs they really don’t want to do. For me, I 'm not keen on the accounting side of things.

When I realise that I need to get to work on payments, I start counting down from five. By the time I get to one, I’ve started the job, and for me, once I start I nearly always follow it through.

5. My laptop is open

4. I open up File Explorer

3. I find the folder and document

2. I open it up

1. I’m typing

Putting such a short time limit on these tasks, and taking action whilst counting down, means that our brain doesn’t have the time to come up with reasons for us not to do it. Before you know it, that tedious task is done.