5 Ways To Stop Self-Doubt From Crippling Your Motivation

5 Ways To Stop Self-Doubt From Crippling Your Motivation

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5 Ways To Stop Self-Doubt From Crippling Your Motivation
Image Credit | drlana

Ever had that feeling of doubt that just pops into your mind when you need to think most clearly? Or that niggly voice that keeps whispering that you’re not good enough, or that you really don’t know what you’re doing, especially when you really need to stay motivated?

Or you might be making fantastic progress, until you start to question yourself making it a bit more challenging to get going again. If so, you’re definitely not alone. We’ve probably all been there at some point or another and although it might not be something that we openly talk about in public, it’s definitely happening behind the scenes.

Even Maya Angelou said – “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

So how do you stop self doubt from crippling your motivation? Here are 5 ways to stop the self doubt:


1. Keep a diary

It’s easy to forget all the great stuff that you do, especially if you’re in the habit of finishing one thing and just going onto the next – so have a go at keeping a diary. It’s a great way to reflect on all the things that you did great and what went well in a particular project or activity. It’s also a nice way of blowing your own trumpet – especially if blowing your own trumpet doesn’t come naturally to you.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” – C. JoyBell C.

2. Try not to compare yourself to others

This is often easier said than done especially in todays world of social media. It’s not hard to get caught up in thinking that everyone else is doing better than you. Unfortunately this is a habit that needs practice to break, but a great way to do this is to genuinely wish others well, and go back to focus on what you’re doing. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes anyway, and comparing yourself to them is doing no-one any favours. So keep working on your own journey.


3. Surround yourself with cheerleaders

The people you hang around with are so important, so make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive people. The cheerleaders of the world. The people who really do want to see you succeed and do well. Yes we all have friends (or family) that are negative so rather than cutting them out completely, just don’t see them when you need a pep talk.


4. Get some me time

Time for you is so important. This could be a time slot once a week where you focus on your development, planning or reflection. Or it could be a hobby that you want to pursue to give you some time out. Either way, giving your brain a break is a great way to keep yourself on track.

“No matter how challenging things get, never stop believing in yourself. Self-doubt is nothing but a highway to failure.” – Edmond Mbiaka

5. Talk about it

Finally, talking about how you feel can work wonders. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It doesn’t mean that the niggly feeling is true, and it doesn’t mean that you should stop what you’re doing.  Instead by sharing how you feel with friends and colleagues you might be surprise at how many people are in the same place, and together you can boost each other along.

What ways have you used to stop self-doubt from crippling your motivation?
Barbara Nixon specialises in Leadership and Management Development, helping Business Owners and Managers get the most out of their teams and themselves, and to be the best Boss they can be. She does this through one to one coaching, E-courses, and bespoke management development programmes and is passionate about practical solutions that really deliver. Visit her at http://www.barbaranixon.co.uk and grab your free download on the 7 Essential Tips to Being the Best Boss You Can Be at http://www.barbaranixon.co.uk/beingboss


  1. Thanks Barbara. Very short but powerful message. Very true a message. No 2 is easier said than done. No. 1 I have been always procrastinating but shall work right now on it.

  2. Not only Doubt cloud our imaginings as the brilliant author had put it cripple our motivation, it also kills our passion to succeed . Great pieces of advice Barbara Thank you for such a good read article 🙂

  3. It’s rare that I read a post, especially one with a list, that I agree with every single point. But with this one, every single point resonated with me. Such a great reminder. Thank you for writing this Barbara! And thanks for sharing!

  4. I like the idea of keeping a diary. I have kept one as a food journal before but not thought of keeping one as a motivational support. I will certainly give this a try.

    I also like motivational quotes. I also find motivational CDs helpful. You don’t have to actively listen to them but you are taking in their messages subconsciously.

  5. Excellent post. I like the diary idea. I never thought of it that a diary could serve as a reflecting tool.
    I personally deal with self-doubt by repeating motivating quotes by famous achievers. Then i think about such quote (thoughts) till i get into the real essence behind the quote. By that time any doubts would have cleared off from the mind and my motivation juices will be flowing once again. Thank you, great post indeed.

    • Hi Thapelo, Thanks so much for your comment. I love your idea of repeating motivating quotes until you get your doubts have cleared. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a fantastic weekend 🙂

  6. This is such a great reminder, thank you Barbara! I love the bit about cheerleaders – it can make such a difference and it isn’t always the people we think will be our cheerleaders. I have found it’s important to remain open to new cheerleaders to come into my life when I least expect it!

    • Hi Kath, I completely agree. Cheerleaders really do make a massive difference, and yes you’re right – sometimes it isn’t always the people you expect. Love it when this happens 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate it.

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