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  • Writer's pictureSamantha From She The Warrior

How to Overcome Self-Doubt and Pursue a Life You Love

Hey guys, it's Penny! This week, we have the lovely Samantha, who is a certified life and empowerment coach for women and specializes in confidence and work-life balance, on my blog. She has written a wonderful piece about how we can overcome self-doubt and create a life we love. I'm so excited to have her and her expertise on my blog!

Being a confident person doesn’t mean you don’t experience fear. We’ve all heard some version of this, right? Everyone experiences self-doubt; it's a pretty big part of being human. But here is where many people get stuck: we spend too much time and energy trying to avoid or simply “get over” the feeling of self-doubt, instead of learning to change how we allow it to be in our lives.

Because the trick to overcoming it isn’t about avoiding negative thoughts or avoiding experiencing fear in general. It's about knowing who you are and what’s important to you, paying attention to what’s going on in your life, and changing your relationship to the fear. It's changing how you respond to those thoughts and feelings when they do arise.

So, how can we do this? There are a few key factors that can be incredibly helpful in learning to overcome self-doubt and pursue our goals. Let’s dive in.

Understand Your Brain

One of the first things to understand is that your brain is always trying to protect you. It is always on the lookout for ways you could be in danger, because, as humans we are wired to want to survive, not necessarily to be happy. And while most of us want to be happy of course, our brains are still constantly looking for threats, whether they are real or perceived. And this means that while the feeling of embarrassment, for example, may not put us in physical danger, your brain might still treat it like a threat, and therefore give you signals to avoid doing the thing that might risk you being embarrassed.

Knowing this can be helpful when you start to have those fearful and negative thoughts come up. Now, when I have fears and doubts come up, I take some deep breaths to center myself in my body. I practice self-compassion and thank my brain for trying to protect me (that’s it’s job, after all), but also let it know that we're not in actual danger and the thing I'm striving for and want to do, is worth the risk.

And that leads me to the next (and perhaps most important) pillar in overcoming self-doubt: your values.

Lean on Your Values

Our goals are the things we want to have, feel, and achieve, and our values are what keep us going along the journey to getting there. Being crystal clear on what's important to us, and what values we want to embody on a day-to-day basis, is essential to having the courage required to take action towards our goals. So, when self-doubt starts to come up, ask yourself: “which of my values can I lean on here?”

Using myself as an example – one of my biggest values is helping people and making a difference in the world. It’s why I became a coach. And that is something I lean on heavily when I'm starting to doubt myself and the fears creep up during times when I'm putting myself out there, talking about my business, or talking about myself - all things that put me at risk of potential embarrassment, failure, and/or criticism.

I can remind myself that making a difference in the world and helping others is incredibly important to me, and that if I let my fears and doubt get in the way, then I won't be able to do that to the extent that I know I can.

So, I would encourage you to do some self-reflection and think about what is most important to you in terms of how you feel and act in the world. What are your top values in your life? Courage, compassion, impact, honesty, integrity - what are some things that you want to be known for, and that are important for you to embody?

Then, in moments of self-doubt, how can you lean on those values to move forward one step at a time?

Pay Attention to Who (and What) You Allow in Your Life

Another factor that influences how confident you feel and what you create in your life is your environment. And that includes not just your physical environment and space, but the people you surround yourself with, and what you choose to consume on a daily basis.

If you are trying to overcome challenges, break through old/unhelpful patterns, move forward towards your goals, build healthier habits, have courage and build your confidence - but you're surrounded by people who are constantly bringing you down or have negative mindsets, it makes it that much harder to focus on what you're trying to create or achieve.

This doesn’t mean you have to cut people out of your life or vow to never say a negative sentence again. It means becoming more mindful of the people you choose to spend time and energy with, how you interact with them, and how they make you feel.

Another factor to think about is what kind of content you consume online. We spend so much time on our phones and on social media, and sometimes we don't even realize how much negativity we're consuming. It can be incredibly easy get sucked into a victim mindset, where you feel like you have no control over your life and things are just happening to you. Take a moment and think about the kind of content you're consuming online right now. There are so many funny videos and reels out there, and yet, how many of them are self-deprecating and not very positive? (I’m not saying don’t watch funny videos, but I am suggesting you pay attention to what you watch and how it makes you feel).

So, while everyone experiences self-doubt and has negative or intrusive thoughts sometimes, how you feel can also be very much influenced by who and what you allow in your life.

Change Your Relationship to Fear

Recently, someone was talking to me about fear and hesitation, and during our conversation she mentioned she was surprised – even relieved – to hear that I could relate, because in her eyes I seemed like such an action-taker.

And while I do take action in my life, I of course experience fear and self-doubt! We all do. Like I said at the beginning, it’s a pretty big part of being human. But here is what we need to pay attention to: instead of trying not to feel fear, we must learn to change our relationship to it. We have to learn to change how we respond.

This may sound easier said than done, but the factors mentioned above – understanding your brain, knowing your values, paying attention to your environment and what you prioritize in your life – really help.

Here’s where you can start: by understanding that having self-doubt/fear is not a problem.

What if it were okay for those doubts to come up? What if you stopped fighting it, and acknowledged those “what-if” thoughts when they came up, and then put them in the passenger seat while you keep your hands on the wheel, controlling the car?

Next time you’re about to do something and self-doubt starts creeping in, and your brain starts going a million miles an hour telling you all the ways it could go wrong and reasons why you shouldn’t do it, take a pause. Put your hand on your heart if it feels comfortable, take a deep breath, and thank your brain for wanting to protect you.

Think of your values (integrity, courage, impact, love, connection, responsibility; whatever comes up for you when you do your self-reflection) and ask yourself, “what would the version of me who totally embodies those values and shows up as my best and strongest self, do here?”

Because while fear and doubt may come up for each and every one of us, they don’t get to run the show. You do. Each of us has our own strengths and things that make us unique and strong. And by tapping into those things, and working with our brain instead of against it, we can start to take steps toward our goals. And by taking action toward our goals, and celebrating along the way, we can step by step work towards creating a life that we love.

About Samantha Buck

Samantha is a Certified Life & Empowerment Coach for women, specializing in mindset, confidence, and work/life balance. She received her training through the International Coaching Federation and has a bachelor’s degree in foreign language and education. Using a combination of her training, experience, intuition, and different holistic resources, Samantha helps women stop feeling stuck, overcome self-doubt, and end overwhelm so they can feel confident to conquer challenges and have more peace, joy and freedom in their lives.

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16 views1 comment


Willow Young
Willow Young

As someone with social anxiety and constantly overthinking these were some really good pointers, never thought about some of the things you shared in depth. Appreciate those post, Penny!

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