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Are You Selling Yourself Short? Signs You’re Struggling with Self-Doubt

How often do you second-guess your thoughts and actions?


It’s natural for anyone to experience moments of self-doubt from time to time. Sometimes, you will doubt your actions and decisions.

However, this becomes an issue when such thoughts become dominant and start to affect other parts of your life. It can be paralyzing to your social life and stall your personal and professional growth.

Understanding Self-Doubt

Uncertainty about your life choices and actions can stem from childhood trauma, anxiety, and attachment disorders. Negative experiences such as bullying, constant criticism, and being berated and humiliated can result in self-doubt and low esteem in adulthood. Negative feedback tends to make up a significant part of your inner monologue.

Some common signs you’re struggling with self-doubt include;

  • Lack of Confidence

You’re constantly uncertain about your choices and excessively seek validation from others. You rely heavily on external approval for a sense of self-worth.

  • Fear of Failure

You’re afraid of making mistakes and actively avoid new opportunities and challenges. You prefer to stay within your comfort zone to avoid judgment and disappointing others.

  • Comparison and Envy

You’re constantly comparing yourself to others and highlighting your inadequacies. You believe everyone else is more successful and competent than you.

  • Over-Apologizing

You’re always saying sorry for everything, and you worry you’re an inconvenience to others.

  • Self-Isolation

Your fear of judgment and criticism leads you to withdraw from social situations and avoid interactions. You’re always anxious in group settings.

  • Self-Sabotage

Do you frequently engage in activities that undermine your success and well-being for fear of failure?

  • Avoiding Responsibility

You feel incapable of taking charge and making decisions and prefer to let others take the lead. Responsibility makes you feel anxious and overwhelmed.

  • Difficulty Accepting Compliments

You often dismiss and downplay compliments and feel unworthy of praise. You believe others are just being polite.

Getting Past Self-Doubt

The journey to getting past-self doubt requires self-reflection, patience, and mindfulness. You should take proactive steps toward building your self-confidence.

Here are some strategies you can apply to overcome self-doubt and take charge of your life;

  • Challenge Negative Self-Talk

Watch how you talk to yourself. Pay attention to your inner dialogues and identify negative thoughts and criticism.

Replace the negativity with empowering and positive affirmations instead. Practice self-compassion and be graceful when you make mistakes. Remember, everyone falls short sometimes.

  • Celebrate the Strengths and Wins

What are your strengths and talents? What are the accomplishments you’ve accrued over the years?

Reflecting on past successes reminds you of the hurdles you’ve faced before. Focusing on your positive qualities helps to counter self-doubt.

  • Set Realistic Goals

When you’re struggling with self-doubt, it’s important to set realistic goals.

Break down your goals into smaller bits that are easily achievable to build your self-confidence. More importantly, celebrate all your wins, no matter how small they seem.

  • Embrace Failure

It’s essential to understand that failure, in whatever magnitude, is inevitable in life.

However, failure is not a reflection of your worth but an opportunity for learning and growth. Use failure as a tool for self-reflection that will help build your resilience.

  • Build a Support System

It’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in you, offer encouragement, and support your goals.

Seek healthy relationships and supportive partners who provide guidance and reassurance. For more information on dating and lifestyle, you can visit the Hily app.

  • Practice Self-Compassion

It’s important to treat yourself with more kindness, understanding, and forgiveness. Treat yourself with the same compassion you would offer a friend.

  • Seek Professional Help

When self-doubt starts to paralyze your life, seeking help from a mental health professional is important. They’ll offer guidance and tools that’ll help you address your underlying issues and healthy coping strategies.


Overcoming self-doubt is not an easy feat, and it requires conscious effort. Celebrate all the wins, lean into your support system, and seek professional help if necessary.