Stop doubting yourself

Girl holding open a cage to let birds fly free

In times of insecurity and uncertainty, we tend to seek acceptance, endorsement and appreciation from someone or the other. The extent of this demand could depend on our own mindsets or at times the pressure that the environment puts on us. Adolescence can be challenging, with changes in the body, thinking, emotions, relationships, career choices, parental pressure and exposure to a host of painful uncertainties that were clearly absent in childhood. In this challenging period of change, small slip-ups and inaccuracies often arouse serious anxiety with a surge of the existential questions in the mind:

  • Will they mock me?
  • Am I good enough?
  • Does my opinion count?
  • Do people care about me?
  • Am I making the right choice?
  • What if this doesn’t work out?

Insecurities are omnipresent especially in teenage. Overcoming self-doubt is a major lesson in growing up and maturing into a mellow, responsible and emotionally secure adult.

Watch out, these might make you insecure!

  • Not having enough friends
  • Rejection from a peer group
  • Poor academic performance
  • Parents unhappy with your grades
  • Not getting into a good college
  • Being unhappy with your looks
  • Feeling unpopular in your circle.

What might happen when you doubt yourself too much?

  • Restlessness
  • Sadness and depression
  • Appetite changes
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anger and aggression
  • Substance use.

By negating the negative, you essentially make more room for positive thoughts and occurrences, which convince you to believe in yourself.

Negate the negative

Moving forward may not always be easy but you can start with at least not falling repeatedly backwards. Try to eliminate negativity from your words and thoughts and engage in self-affirmations. People may not agree with you but that doesn’t carve it in stone that they don’t care; they disregard you and will never approve of anything you say or do. It’s easier to be frustrated and upset than to be calm and optimistic. Don’t always feel judged and censured. To connect better with others you need to first connect with yourself. There is a nagging voice in the head that fails to differentiate reckless from self-assured. It tries to keep reminding you that you can fail or that others are better or just simply that you’re not good enough. The voice gets louder when you listen. It gets tired and stops talking if you stop listening. By negating the negative, you essentially make more room for positive thoughts and occurrences, which convince you to believe in yourself.

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Dr Shefali Batra
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Dr Shefali Batra

Dr Shefali Batra is a Psychiatrist and Mindfulness Coach. Connect with her on Instagram @drshefalibatra and read more about her work at