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Challenge your Mindset

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Methods for challenging self doubt


You’ve probably often heard that self-doubt is a negative emotional response that you need to stop doing. You’ve heard all the negative behaviours and ways of thinking it perpetuates, and that you need to recognise when your own doubts are the only obstacle to you succeeding and being happy. The question is, how do you challenge self doubt and recognise when you’re doing it. Here is a foolproof, concrete way to challenge self-doubt and uncover the lies you tell yourself because of it.

Write down the situation, reaction and emotional response

Self doubt is something you do unconsciously.[How to realise your own self worth] You don’t make an active decision to doubt yourself, you just do. It can be difficult to unpick such a habitual, instinctive emotion, but with a a bit of dedication to the cause, you can.

Make a scale of 1-10, and categorise the various situations in your life by how comfortable you feel in them. Include everything, from home life, to your hobbies, to work, to random trips away. A value of 1 would indicate a situation that causes you severe self-doubt, 10 being reserved for situations where you’re completely at ease. Every time you think of other significant situations, add them to your list until you’ve built a solid ‘self-doubt map’ of your life.

Next, write your reactions and emotional responses in each of this situation. For relaxing at home, you can put ‘calm’, ‘relaxed’, ‘in control’, for example. For each situation, be honest and put the reasons why you act in this way.

Challenge your response

From such a comprehensive overview of your life, you should be able to see behavioural patterns emerging that match a certain emotion you have over certain insecurities. For instance, you have ranked being at home in your pyjamas a 10, but being in a restaurant on a date a 1 because you fear being watched when you eat and drink. [How to manage self doubt in relationships] Round up the insecurities that cause you discomfort and make you self-doubt, and get people you trust to honestly challenge the response. Opening up about your insecurities to other people is nerve-wracking but vital. Seeing yourself through other people’s eyes can be eye-opening, in that it is normally not as damaging to your self-esteem as you think and that you never really can guess what people are thinking at all.

Change the behaviour

Consult your self-doubt map again and see what has changed in your perspective. Are there now some situations you can see yourself becoming more comfortable in? Are there some plans you are now going to pursue because you are no longer insecure about them? [Access our checklists and planning tools to get more out of your life] Self-doubt is often symptomatic of a fear to open up to people around us. Culturally, we can be a closed society, because we don’t want to look vulnerable or fail in a particular way. When the unknown no longer poses a problem, then self-doubt can’t pose a problem. When you ask for the honest opinions of others and aren’t afraid of sharing your real emotions, you have a foundation you can build on. Keep everything hidden inside, and those anxieties and insecurities will continue to grow.

On the face of it, this plan for challenging self-doubt seems overly thorough and perhaps even too obvious in its methodology, but we often forget the most obvious solutions when clouded by a negative emotion. Self-doubt is allowed to flourish if you keep it bottled up and don’t make a definite action to confront it. Commit to getting a thorough understanding of why you self-doubt instead of letting it continue, and give yourself the best chance to stop once and for all. For empowering tools and a community of support join our site today.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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