SELF-DOUBT & CONFIDENCEMan struggling with self-doubt

Who doesn’t struggle? Here is one approach to managing self-doubt and stepping up anyway…

It’s common to struggle with self-doubt and a lack of confidence. We often focus on not being good enough. And we worry about having enough confidence to do what we want. 


You know that moment where you stop doing what you want to do because all of a sudden you think, “OMG, I can’t do this. I’m not up to this. No-one’s going to listen to me. No-one’s going to understand me.”

That moment of self doubt that stops you dead in your tracks as you are about to walk out the door, or stand up in front of the class or lecture or meeting, or about to walk on stage or the playing field or race track.


That really uncomfortable thought that contradicts the rational and logical evidence that you are actually ok. The evidence that others could so easily provide if you asked them. That graduation certificate, your marks, those awards, those medals and trophies, the fact you were cast in a role or selected for the job. The number of people who tell you that you are good at what you do. 

Cartoon of jumbled thoughtsThoughts

That thought or collection of thoughts can be so intrusive. It’s that thought I sometimes have moments prior to clicking on publish or post or start a live video. It’s that thought that maybe I’ll not be able to fill the word count or the 10-15mins of video, or that what I’m sharing won’t speak to anyone.

Taking the leap… or not…

In that moment, it can be hard to just take the leap into the unknown… there’s so much out there. But I reason with myself that if what I want to say or what I’ve written might be helpful to me it might be helpful to someone else, and even if it’s helpful to just one person, it’s worth it.

Taking a leap by walking a rope bridge
Photo by Chin le Duc (Unsplash)

Slow down, breathe… leap

So I take a slow breath and notice my racing heart and click on publish, or post or start the live video and just jump in. And sometimes I don’t get a response, but I know that sometimes it’s pretty hard for readers, watcher or listener to say ‘yes, that’s me’ or ‘thankyou, that’s really helpful’, or “OMG, you get it”.

“I am worthwhile”

I remind myself that there is plenty of evidence that I am worthwhile, that I do have the knowledge, that I do have the insight and the skills to help… even if it is hard to see sometimes. And after I’ve clicked post or publish or save and post video I take another slow breath and remind myself that if I’ve helped at least one person then that’s ok.

I’ve helped myself to manage those uncomfortable and unpleasant thoughts and emotions by taking that slow breath, noticing my heart racing and acting anyway. Every time I do this it gets that little bit easier. So here’s to managing our self-doubt and stepping up anyway!


Profile photo of authorYours in courage,

Nonie Carr

Counselling Psychologist & Possibility Coach

P.S. If this has touched a nerve with you, or might be helpful for someone you know, please share it. And if you’d like to learn more about how you can learn to manage those thoughts please send me an email at or contact me here.

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