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Blog

Overcoming Feelings of Self-Doubt

By Mormon.org
small boy playing the violin for his family

Focus on the Real Truth

For children, the concepts of faith, belief, and trust are not complicated. But as we grow and encounter more people, opinions, and experiences, doubt and fear have a way of creeping in and keeping us from our ultimate potential.

Experiencing feelings of self-doubt from time to time is a normal part of life, but if we were to shine light on the effects of doubt on the human experience, we would quickly discover that doubt is an inhibitor. It derails, impedes, and frustrates our progress. Thankfully, everything in this world has its opposite, and the opposite of doubt is belief. If we’re willing to simply change the way we think, we realize that when we believe—especially in ourselves—our human experience can be quite different.

The real truth is that each of us is incredibly special and valuable. We are children of God and have no reason to doubt ourselves. We each have immense divine potential that we haven’t even tapped into yet. Consider yourself a divine seed that’s growing daily toward incredible possibilities.

Overcoming Doubt

Overcoming feelings of self-doubt is a process. It takes honesty and being willing to deeply analyze what you believe about yourself and why. Once you’re consciously identifying your beliefs, you can begin working on eliminating all untruths that keep you from moving forward and following your dreams. “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt” (William Shakespeare).

Your Toolbox for Overcoming Doubt

  • Prayer: Your Heavenly Father wants you to see yourself clearly. Seek His help. Remember the assurance from the scriptures that with God all things are possible (see Mark 10:27). He loves you and He wants you to succeed. You are worthy of all of the wonderful things this life has to offer.
  • Positive Talk: If you want a plant to grow, you don’t keep it in the dark. Humans are no different. To grow and develop and progress, we also must be nurtured with sunshine in the form of positive talk, self-affirmation, and validation. There’s nothing wrong with believing in yourself and expressing it often. Pat yourself on the back for every positive thought—because thought is the foundation your life is built upon.
  • Scripture Study: Many accounts can be found in the scriptures of individuals who wrestled with doubts—from Moses’s doubts about his speaking ability to Jonah’s reservations about preaching in Nineveh to Peter’s doubts about walking to Christ on the water, but walk he did, until he became distracted by his surroundings and looked away from the Savior. The scriptures are rich with stories that teach us how important it is to believe in ourselves, in Heavenly Father, and in Jesus Christ.
  • Appreciate Failure: When you fail at something, does it increase your feelings of self-doubt? Perhaps it’s time to consider that failure is an important part of learning. Make a conscious effort to identify what you’ve learned each time you fail; it allows you to track your progress. Thomas Edison refused to let failure get the best of him when inventing. A paraphrase of what he is thought to have said: “Results? Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward.” Thomas is a perfect example of how belief and perseverance always trump doubt and resignation. Work: Hard work has helped many an individual overcome self-doubt. Work is a remedy that can help pave the way to future confidence. David O. McKay, former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, once said, “Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success” (Pathways to Happiness [1957], 381).
  • Patience: Be patient with yourself. Conscious effort, a positive attitude, and the personal mantra of “I can do better each day” will help you on your way to living a rewarding life of self-belief.