Stop self-doubt from holding you back

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Let’s talk about self-doubt.

Doubting yourself is just another battle going on in your head. Before I start my rant for the week let me just bang this into that very intelligent brain of yours.

Self-doubt is just made up of thoughts. Nothing more.

It is not the truth and it is not something that you need to listen to.

It is just a thought. Or 50 more likely.

And you all know who has control over your thoughts… You.

I’m not brushing off self-doubt like it isn’t something powerful. It is. That quote up there says it all.

It can cripple us. Paralyse us. Be a massive wall that blocks us from moving forward.

It’s nasty and rude and like that scabby old bra that gives you no support.

But it is only powerful because we give it power. We let it talk shit into our ear and we listen.

It also gets its power from repetition. Tell yourself you’re not good enough for (insert life action here) a few times a day and fast-forward to March 2020 and it’s popped up in your mind over 1,000 times.

1,000 times that you’ve heard from yourself that you’re not good enough, that’s not possible for you or you can’t do it.

But this doesn’t make it any more true. You are creating a skewed perception of yourself that only you see and believe.

Self-doubt is like limiting beliefs. If you don’t address it and make the decision to overcome it then any goal you set for yourself that seems a little bit or a little impossible is going to be an uphill battle.

And all you are doing is letting your mind sabotage you. You are blocking yourself. 

For lots of people, self-doubt can be crippling. It can paralyse you from any action and as soon as you freeze, you convince yourself even more that you can’t do it.

In all honesty, there is little point in setting a goal you don’t believe you can achieve because guess what? You are proooobably not going to achieve it.

We need to address our self-doubt and put in the work to get past it before we can really start setting and smashing our goals!

And I am all about smashing goals!  

So how can we do that?

  1. Address your doubts

Here’s a question.
Don’t think about it too much, just answer with what comes to mind.



Get out a piece of paper and say that vision to yourself again. Write it down if you’re brave.

Then write down every negative, self-doubting thought that comes up.
Get them out of your head and on to the paper.

Do a full thought download.

“I don’t know how.”
“I don’t have enough money”
“I don’t have time.”
“I’m not smart enough”
“What if I fail?”
”I don’t have the skills”
”I’m not good enough”

DO NOT feel bad about these. They are natural. They are your mind doing what it does best. Staying in the familiar and protecting you from danger.

Look at all this doubt and for each one, ask this.

Is it true?

And I mean the truth. Not what you think is true. Your mind is a liar remember and you are real harsh on yourself. You’re Regina in Mean Girls and you are not fetch.

Then ask yourself this.

Do I want to think this about myself?

Do I really want to think that I’m not smart enough for that job or I’m too old to start dating or I’m too inexperienced to start a business?

Do I really want to tell myself that I will just fail and it’s not worth my effort and I’m not capable?

The answer better bloody be no or I will slap you.

You are capable and you can do it.

How do you know what you’re even capable of if you haven’t tried everything?

 2. Listen to your true self

The self that is sitting under all those fearful thoughts.

You know you are capable. You know you have skills and talents and something special.

Underneath all those negative thoughts is the little voice that dreamt up your goal. That knows what you really want to do and had the guts to pipe up.

And you drowned it out with all the reasons why that dream is not possible for you.

You have stamped on that little voice your whole life.

Why not just give it a little bit of space and listen to it?

You might not have the skills right now to reach your goals but you are capable of learning them.

You are capable of figuring anything out.

 3. Re-frame “not good enough”

What is “not good enough”?

Are you not good enough at a specific thing? Work on it!


Chances are, you just think you’re not good enough in general.

Well let me tell you…You are good enough. Right now. Just as you are.

Nobody can change that. Nobody can take that away from you.

Your goodness is who you are at your core.

It cannot be judged externally and it cannot be judged by others.

Not getting that job, being dumped, failing an exam - that doesn’t make you not good enough. You are still the same good enough person.

That just means you didn’t meet some external expectation that is often judged by others.

You are good enough to do whatever you want to do. Right now.

 4. Take the first step

Clarity comes with action.

Confidence comes with action.

As soon as you take one small step and achieve it, you gain the confidence to take the next one. And then the next one. And then the next one.

You do all of this with self-doubt but with each step you show yourself that you can overcome a little bit of it.

Soon your self-doubt turns from an impenetrable brick wall into smaller one you hurdle over and eventually just into a stone in your shoe.

Annoying but not stopping you.

If you feel a bit lost in what to do first, that’s ok. But just do something.

Clarity comes with action so one step will open up the next move. Just take the action.

5. Cut the crap

Sometimes we very cleverly mask our self-doubt with “facts” about the world.

Here’s an example.

Say you’re single and one of the veerrrry obvious reasons why is because there are no good guys out there. They’re all on Bumble to take you on a date or two (or three if you’re really being good), get in your pants and then initiate ghost mode.

What you are really saying here is that you don’t believe you will ever meet a good guy.

Or maybe you’re not applying for jobs you actually like because you think employers want to see at least two years at one place on your CV.

You’re just doubting that you can get those jobs you really want.

If there is another person in the world with what you want or doing what you want to do then your doubt is self-doubt.

It’s not a fact. Do not blame the world for it.  

 The good side of self-doubt

There’s another side to self-doubt that’s real important too.

The presence of self-doubt means you’re growing.

You’re expanding yourself.

You’re putting yourself out there and doing something new.

So my question to you is…


So you have self-doubt? So fucking what? Everyone has self-doubt!

Self-doubt means you are stretching yourself. You are growing towards something better that you really want.

If you are doubting yourself you are on the right track.

If you aren’t doubting yourself then you’re on the road to nowhere.

But not even on a road. You’re stuck in a bloody hole somewhere.

Anybody in the history of the world who has done anything has done it with self-doubt. They’ve felt not good enough and doubted themselves.

And they’re taken steps forward with self-doubt pulling them back.

I doubt myself every single day.

“Am I good enough to do this?”

“What if I fail?”

“What if I don’t get clients?”

“Will people want to pay me?”

And I say, thank you brain for trying to protect me from being hurt or failing but you’re being a little bitch so please sit down.

One of my mottos this year is DO IT SCARED.

I see doubt now as a good thing. It means I’m on my way to something bigger.

I’m on the path to a vision that means something to me.

And it is scary as shit!

The gap between where I am now and the big big goals I have are huuuuuge. Enough to give me an instant stress reaction and feel like I can’t do it.

If I fail then I fail in front of everyone! And if I fail it means I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do with my life and most likely be poor as shit!

But I know that my self-doubt is just thoughts.


And I’m prepared to take steps with my self-doubt walking alongside the whole way.

So instead of coming from a place of scarcity, negativity and fear, come from a place of opportunity.

Flip it around and make yourself excited by the big goals. Have faith that you’ll get there even if you don’t know how quite yet.

You are capable remember?

What you do on your way to that big goal can be even better than achieving the goal itself!

Here’s a quote that I love:

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So believe in yourself, take that first step and know that self-doubt is only a thought about yourself.

Nothing more.

Tee xx

Tahirih McLaren-Brown