“Don’t let the noise of others opinion drown out your own inner voice.” – Steve Jobs

I stumbled on the quote above and it resonated with me or we say, ‘I felt that’. In so many ways, we have all encountered self-doubt, some more persistently than others. I have had my fair share of questioning my abilities and decisions and I still do. From as far back as secondary school, when I’d come out of the exam hall and my classmates would go over how well we had done, I’d usually pause to think-what if I didn’t kill it, even though had no major reason to think otherwise. When I’d be asked to read a chapter of Gary D. Schmidt’s “Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy” in front of the class, I’d fear that I’d mispronounce an unfamiliar word; or when my mom asked me to make Semovita for the first time for a visitor, I thought surely this must be the end of me!

Even recently, when I was about to go live with this blog, I thought of several reasons why I shouldn’t:

  • Why not Youtube? People will rather watch a 45-minute video than read
  • Isn’t this blog at least 7 years late?
  • What makes you think people will be interested in what you have to say?
  • Why not just stick to Instagram and wish people happy birthday? I mean no pressure right?

Every day, we are faced with tons of decisions relating to relationships and careers. However, self-doubt often holds us back from launching forward because we worry about failing, lacking skills and knowledge or not being taken seriously. In overcoming self-doubt, we must recognize that its presence is not necessarily harmful as it gives us room to analyze situations a little more critically. Where it becomes a problem is when we allow it to take up more headspace than necessary. 

Here are some steps I’ve taken and I still take every time I am faced with self-doubt:

1. Be patient with myself: I’m learning to give myself room to be flawed. This is because I find it easy to empathize with others but often forget how to do the same for myself. I’m learning not to dwell on my failures and inadequacies but to rise above them, refocus and strike again only this time with more patience and kindness.

2. Remember why I started: I choose to focus on the bigger picture – the raison d’etre – rather than the seemingly persistent and dare I say sometimes relevant fear. Understanding that self-doubt is one of the many things that make me human and that I do not possess the exclusive rights to this feeling, I’m learning to look beyond myself and my current fears of failing or not being enough. Instead I think of how much bigger my dreams are compared to my fears and all the things that I’m capable of achieving if only I take that first step.

3. Look within: I’m learning to quit making excuses that hold me back because people only believe in me when I believe in myself. I try to set my bars and standards, not allowing myself to drown in the noise of others’ journeys or opinions. Even when I find myself drifting, I’ll always find ways to sieve through the noise and recentre.

4. Inner Circle: I believe you define your circle and your circle defines you. Surrounding myself with people who are aligned with my overall goals (people who know my worth and believe in me) can not be underplayed. These people act as confidence boosters and rein me in when self-doubt begins to overtake. They remind me that it’s better to try and fail than not to try at all.

5. Cultivate a new mindset: I’m learning to feed my mind with positive thoughts, sharpen skills that are lacking and make me question my abilities, celebrate small wins and keep showing up.

2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].

This was one of the very first scriptures I committed to memory thanks to Sunday school and oh how I run to this scripture every time I hit a road block.

I’d love to learn from you how you’ve overcome self-doubt. 

X.O


28 Comments

Obiageli · April 21, 2020 at 2:40 pm

Nike’s slogan has definitely become my personal slogan. I honestly ‘just do it’ when I’m in doubt. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed. Knowing that I’ll never know if I do not try has helped me push beyond doubt
.
And the word! He promised to take out hands in his so I’m definitely banking on that too

    Joanne · April 21, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Nike sure knew what they were doing by picking that slogan.

    Ultimately, we can only rest on the One who’s all knowing.

    Thanks for stopping by Enkay.

    X.O

Oiza Sule · April 21, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Self doubt often comes in form of those little foxes.. I always maintain the school of thought that says Confidence is everything! This was a very interesting read, thanks for sharing! ♥️

    Joanne · April 21, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    LOL! I love the analogy.

    Thanks for stopping by Oiza.

    X.O

    Izzy · April 25, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    The power of one’s inner circle can’t be overemphasized, understanding his plans for me are beyond my wildest imagination tells me the worst that can happen is, I fail at that task and move on to do something even more amazing. Great write up Joanne.

Faith Bassey · April 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm

This was very interesting, I also have self doubts sometimes and truly 2nd Timothy 1vs 7 is my go to verse in the Bible.

    Joanne · April 22, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Hello Faith, thanks for stopping by.

    I’m glad we can find comfort in God’s words.

    X.O

Elizabeth Okwuosa · April 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

Thank you for sharing yet another dose of real truths we all experience! For me, I would say delving into the Word of God and fully believing the truths that are written about me.

    Joanne · April 22, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    True that! That’s the truly the best thing we can do for ourselves, reaffirm God’s promises to us.

    Thanks for stopping by Fis.

    X.O

Seyi Maks · April 21, 2020 at 4:37 pm

Amazing post Jojo!! So many takeaways…

One of the ways i overcome self doubt is through ‘Confessions’, i have realized that there is so much power in spoken words. When you start speaking, your mind starts believing it also….

    Joanne · April 22, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Absolutely Seyi!

    Thank you for sharing.

    X.O

A baby girl · April 22, 2020 at 9:51 am

“Why not just stick to Instagram and wish people happy birthday?” 😂

I find that my inner circle works for me. It’s always encouraging to receive that push from those who believe in you but most importantly, tell you the truth! So when I’m unsure about a new venture or something of the sort, I look to my inner circle. I also take to prayer and constantly pray for wisdom and courage.

    Joanne · April 22, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Hello A baby girl,

    It’s one thing to get a push it’s another thing to get the truth from people that have got your back!

    Thank you for stopping by.

    X.O

    Adejumoke · April 27, 2020 at 3:48 am

    Of recent, I noticed that self doubt wasn’t an instant thing for me, I mean it did not just start today. I had let the noises from people swallow up my voice and over time I had questioned a lot of things.
    Right now, I use the word to draw out the noises. What God says about me matters a lot.

    Thanks for the write up Joanne.

      Youbee · April 28, 2020 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you for reminding me that I’m not the only one who struggles with self doubt.
      Focusing on the big/ bigger / biggest picture and not the temporary road block in front of me has really helped me in recent years.
      I’ve gone as far as making vision boards, printing or writing out (keeping in view) what the closest thing to the “BIG PICTURE” is and that has kept me going.
      ✌🏾

Thatsorinola Girl · April 22, 2020 at 12:02 pm

The typing happy birthday on Instagram part got me thou, it’s soo easy to do that. Really one needs to start taking bold steps and stop doubting. This was a good read, thanks for sharing this joan.

Joanne · April 23, 2020 at 10:08 am

LOL! Taking that first bold steps isn’t easy, even staying on can be harder but the real hack is to just do it anyway.

Glad you loved it.

Thanks for stopping by Sorinola.

X.O

NnennaCee · April 26, 2020 at 10:39 pm

Nice one J,
Welldone darling.
Really having people who push and encourage you to be better than your yesterday is the ish, also seeing what you don’t see in yourself. Inner circle sure means a lot as it can make or break you

Susu · April 26, 2020 at 10:48 pm

I felt that. Points 1,2 and 3.
I felt it!

Gus Gus · April 27, 2020 at 6:49 am

This was such a relatable and good read.

Michael · April 29, 2020 at 9:44 am

Fantastic post Joanne. I have been able to deal with self doubt by not comparing myself with anyone.

    Joanne · May 16, 2020 at 12:57 am

    Hello Michael,

    That’s a good strategy to adopt, although sometimes easier said than done.

    Thank you for stopping by.

Chikstar · May 6, 2020 at 1:37 pm

“…and keep showing up” flew at me in the post! I don’t know why this resonates so deeply within. The pictures my mind was flashing were; whatever is thrown at you, dust off the residue from your clothes, vacuum your spirit with the Word and stand up.
A times, it takes more than self-confidence to overcome self-doubt. I believe God wants us to look to Him as our Confidence. Small girl, Big God.
Doubt is always thrown at one from all angles, denting your armour and seeds of self-doubt springs. Looking at the Word in those moments with your mental Nike sneakers is bae!
Good job Jo! Still cheering.

    Joanne · May 6, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Spot on Chika! Got to “Just Do it”.
    Thanks for sharing.

    X.O

Okeyinfu · May 7, 2020 at 10:20 am

This such an important post. I connect with it. One thing for me is to keep going. I choose progress whilst working on perfection.

    Joanne · May 11, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you Okeyinfu for your comment. Glad that you could connect with this post.

    X.O

JF · May 13, 2020 at 10:05 pm

These days faith in the father, and the resolution to keep going.

    Joanne · May 15, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    Absolutely! I mean who else has the answer to it all?

    Got to keep going…

    Thanks Jane.

    X.O

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