Overcoming Self Doubt – The Enemy From Within

Doubt weighs heavily on the strongest of individuals. It can make the greatest idea seem so minuscule, that a person may give up without even trying.

This sense of not being good enough often comes from outside sources. You know the usual, people who have never done what you’re trying to accomplish but have all of the recommendations in the world about how it should be done.

A lot of times you can find comfort in the fact that those people don’t know what they’re talking about, and keep moving right along towards your goal.

After all, that idea you have or that project you started is your baby. You’d never let anyone hurt your baby, so you defend it with all your might.

You burn the midnight oil losing sleep, missing out on social engagements, and go through several episodes of “What am I doing?” all in an effort to prove those doubters wrong.

Proving others wrong is a bit less to think about because you’re taking them on with a “me against the world” mentality.

Those fools don’t see the genius in what you’re bringing to the table? Fine, because you’re going to have the last laugh, right? Well what happens when you’re faced with self doubt? That kind of self doubt that comes along when you’ve put hours upon hours into your creation, only for it not to be received the way you feel it should be.

That type of doubt can consume you. It’s one thing for someone else to tell you you’re not good enough, it’s another thing for you to be telling yourself you’re not good enough.

There are numerous scenarios that can create self doubt. You might be making music and no one is bothering to visit your soundcloud. You may design clothing, but can’t get anyone to make a purchase.

Maybe you are a photographer who can’t seem to keep a solid list of clientele. Either way it looks, that self doubt feels the same. How do you escape the very mind state that might lead you to quitting?


Obviously, the first step to overcoming self doubt is to keep working. It’s a mental state, not an incurable disease.

Doubt will come and go, some days you’ll feel on top of the world and other days you’ll feel smaller than the fly annoying the hell out of me as I type this. You’ve got to work through both emotions accordingly.

When it comes to doubt, you can’t let it beat you into submission. Instead work toward that next moment that will allow you to feel like a giant again. Then work toward the next one, and the next one. Before you know it, you’ll have more wins than losses.


Very few people are blessed with a certain amount of talent that allows them to succeed without effort. Those folks never last long anyway since they don’t have to go through much to earn it.

Stop worrying about being a phenomenon, and stop worrying about getting attention for your work. Those who get the accolades usually don’t even care about them, they are too busy working on the next project.

Stay focused on what you produce, not who thinks you’re the best at what you do. Be self aware, not self-centered.


Understand that you live in a digital world of instant gratification, a concept you should not seek past Instagram and Twitter. So much of what you see online is people selling themselves, because they have to do that.

They have to make noise, because they don’t have enough results to show yet. To create a body of respectable work takes time. Beyond that it requires mistakes, losses, and failure.

No one is exempt, and you have to wait for your season just like anyone else. Spend time building a resume and a portfolio that speaks for itself, and in due time you won’t have to say a word.


Doubt comes from a lack of self-awareness. When you know who you are, and you know what you’re capable of then you will spend less time obsessing over how to become that.

You’ll understand that as long as you stay focused, well intentioned, and committed that your success is inevitable. You’ll also understand that your struggle will not look like anyone else’s.

For that reason alone you’ll be able to stop comparing yourself to your perceived competition, and you’ll stop putting a time table on your big break. Just keep functioning the best way you know how, and the rest will take care of itself.

Self-doubt is as big as you let it become, or as small as you decide to make it. Break through that fence you’ve built around your optimism. After all, you’re the one who built it. There’s no reason you can’t take it right back down!

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