Conquering Self-Doubt
mindset,  optimism,  Self Confidence,  self development,  self improvement

Conquering Self-Doubt and Cultivating Self-Confidence: A Journey to Soldier On

What about conquering self-doubt? It’s a curious sensation, that feeling of self-doubt. Like an unwelcome shadow, it follows us through life, sometimes hidden, and at other times, overwhelmingly present. Regardless of age, achievement, or background, not one of us is immune. The accomplished author, the passionate artist, the diligent student; each one, at some point, has grappled with the looming question: “Am I good enough?”

Unless you’re a total narcissist, I think self-doubt is pretty much a universal experience, but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. By understanding its origins and by actively cultivating self-confidence, you can soldier on, transforming your challenges into stepping-stones towards growth.

Understanding Self-Doubt

Before slaying your inner critic, it’s important to first understand it. Self-doubt is rooted in fear. It’s the fear of failure, the fear of judgment, and sometimes, ironically, the fear of success. Your evolutionary history plays a role, as your brain is wired for survival (read that as avoiding the tiger) and not necessarily for success. This means your ancestors were often on high-alert, scouting for threats and analyzing their surroundings. While this was advantageous for avoiding predators, in our modern age, it can lead to a heightened sense of self-criticism and apprehension of our self-worth.

Another common source of self-doubt is conditioning. From a young age, you’re subjected to comparisons, standards, and many times to unrealistic expectations. As you grow up, these external pressures can be internalized, making you your own worst critic.

Developing Self-Confidence: Strategies to Help You Soldier On

Self-awareness: Begin with introspection. Understand when and why you feel doubtful. Is it because of past failures or perhaps fear of the unknown? Recognizing the trigger can help you address the root cause rather than just trying to deal with the symptoms.

Reframe failure: One of the greatest misconceptions is equating failure with inadequacy. In reality, failure is an invaluable teacher, so learn to embrace it! Each time you fail, realize it’s an opportunity to learn and grow. Remember, it’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up and try again!

Positive Affirmations: Your brain believes what you tell it. You truly do become what you think about, so instead of allowing negative thoughts to dominate, introduce positive affirmations into your daily routine. Statements like “I am capable,” “I believe in myself,” and “I am growing” can have profound effects on your psyche. Be careful to make your statements in the present tense: “I am…” rather than “I will…”.

Remember to Smile: Did you know smiling, even when you’re not feeling great, releases feel-good hormones that lift your mood. Even when you have to force yourself to smile, it will help you brighten your mood and your outlook. If that sounds silly, I challenge you to try it sometime. I’ve used this during some down times, and it does work!

Surround Yourself with Positivity: Your environment can significantly influence your mindset. Engage with people who uplift you, believe in your dreams, and encourage you to push boundaries. Also, consume positive content – books, movies, podcasts – they can increase your confidence. Conquering self-doubt is not a one and done thing by a long shot! It’s an ongoing practice.

Visualize Success: Before embarking on any endeavor whether it’s something brand new or a repeated activity, take a moment to visualize your success. Remember to repeat the visualization often. Feel the emotions associated with achievement and let them wash over you. When you can visualize it and you see it in your mind’s eye, your path becomes much clearer.

Set Small Goals: Instead of aiming straight for the top, set incremental goals. Take the time to celebrate and enjoy each small victory. As you achieve these smaller milestones, your self-confidence will gradually build, preparing you for more significant challenges.

Self-compassion: Treat yourself as you would a dear friend. This means talking to yourself kindly and avoiding self-criticism. Many of us would never speak to a friend the way we talk to ourselves! Instead, understand everyone including you is on a journey. By offering yourself compassion during challenging times, you can minimize feelings of doubt.

Learn Something New: One of the best ways to combat self-doubt is to master a new skill or craft. This not only diverts your attention from negative rumination but also boosts your self-worth as you conquer new goals whether they are large or small.

Seek Mentorship: Engage with individuals who have walked the same path as the one you’re on. Their guidance, reassurances, and perspective can be invaluable. Hearing about their challenges and about how they overcame them can provide both inspiration and practical advice.

Practice Self-Care: This may sound cliché, but it’s essential. A well-rested, well-nourished mind is more resilient against self-doubt. Engage in activities that rejuvenate you: read, meditate, exercise or even go for a simple, peaceful walk in the woods.


While self-doubt may be a frequent part of our human experience, it does not have to define your journey. By actively cultivating self-confidence and by adopting a growth mindset, you can conquer self-doubt and transform your doubts into fuel for progress. Remember, the journey of self-improvement is ongoing; it’s never done. Every step you take is a testament to your courage and determination to soldier on even when you may feel challenged. Embrace the journey, cherish the lessons, and always believe in your potential!


Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!


Cheryl A Major, CNWC

Cheryl A Major

P.S. I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of creating a better mindset for yourself, please check out my training on how to do just that at Embrace Optimism. Learn how to improve your mindset and create a happier and more positive life for yourself and those around you.

P.P.S. Be sure to follow me on Twitter so you won’t miss my daily postings for health, wellness and mindset!






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