This post contains some of the best self doubt quotes to help you feel seen and inspire you to work on overcoming self-doubt.
Signs of Self-Doubt
Do you struggle with self-doubt?
The following are some common signs you may be struggle with self-doubt:
- You are often afraid of making mistakes or failing.
- You are often afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
- You do not like trying new things unless you are good at them.
- You don’t believe you’re good enough.
- You often believe other won’t like you and worry about what they will think of you.
- You often replay conversations and think of things you should have said or you could have said better.
- You often think negative and “what if” thoughts.
Related: Best 5 Books About Imposter Syndrome
Self Doubt Quotes
1. “Although a good deal of impostor syndrome experiences and triggers occur in the workplace, they can also appear in your personal life, especially when you start a new relationship or enter new social situations. You may doubt how much your new partner or friend values you or cares about you. This can inhibit how you engage with them, inevitably causing tension in your relationships.” – Lisa Orbe-Austin
2. “And I would find myself again. Not the same version of me that I was looking for, but a stronger version. A wiser version. A woman who knew that she was enough, just as she was. A woman who had been tried in the fire but instead of being burned by it, came out gold. A woman who finally, after doubting and questioning and striving and hustling for her worth for years . . . finally, finally came to the realization that she was and is and has always been . . . enough.” —Mandy Hale
3. “And while there are countless ways that we rip ourselves off, there’s one way in particular that is, without a doubt, the most rampant and the most devastating of all: we invest everything we’ve got in believing that we’re not good enough.” – Jen Sincero
4. “As you become more confident in your purpose and you lead with your heart, your voice supports you to bring your truth out into the world. We don’t want fear and doubt to prevent you from speaking your truth into existence.” – Shannon Algeo
5. “Become one of your own diehard fans, look at yourself from the outside, where all your self doubts can’t crawl all over you, and behold what shines through.” – Jen Sincero
6. “By tapping into your power of leverage, eliminating any self-doubt and worry, and taking affirmative action, you can condition yourself to handle anything. There’s nothing beyond our scope of repair.” – Scott Allan
7. “Can you imagine what it would be like if you could face each day without having any self-doubt? What would you be able to accomplish and dream of doing if your fear didn’t stop you from taking action?” – Scott Allan
8. “Certainly, there is always room for some doubt. We all question ourselves if we can achieve our goals. There is always a sense of insecurity, especially if there are many factors we cannot control.” – Edgar Wise
9. “Doubt is good because it makes us over-prepare. It keeps us on our toes and motivates us to give our best all the time. But too much doubt can be paralyzing. When we always doubt ourselves, we may not even grab opportunities and pass up on good projects. These self-fulfilling prophecies of failure are like shooting yourself in the foot. If you expect to fail, then you will really fail.” – Edgar Wise
10. “Generic positive self-talk doesn’t work very well to improve your self-confidence and decrease self-doubt if all you do is inundate yourself with bland and meaningless positive affirmations. In fact, massive quantities of positive self-affirmations will only work to distract people with already high self-esteem. They don’t have much of an effect at all on people starting out with low self-esteem.” – Jennifer Hunt
11. “How do impostor attitudes differ from true humility and honest self-appraisal? This can be really tricky, since everyone who has impostor syndrome believes there is a truthful and solid foundation for their self-doubt and self-criticism.” – Jennifer Hunt
12. “I know many people who are riddled with self-doubt and have confidence problems, when common sense would dictate that they shouldn’t—they are talented, charming, and successful people. Yet they get too fixated on their own thoughts, instead of focusing on what other people think about them.” – Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
13. “Stop being skeptical of what you want. Stop examining and doubting and calling yourself into question. Just go. Go, go, go. Find out who you are and what you like and what you want and don’t question it. Follow the pleasure. Follow *your own* ideas. Be a person with an appetite. And have enough respect to listen to yourself, for anything less is neglect.” – Ash Ambirge
14. “If you feel trapped by self-doubt, you can change that. If you feel overpowered by challenging situations, you can learn to handle the situation with confidence, no matter what.” – Scott Allan
15. “If you focus too much on your own feelings, you will end up worrying about your confidence instead of focusing on your competence.” – Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
16. “If you have negative, destructive beliefs, you will be doubtful, fearful, suspicious, negative, and in constant conflict with other people in your life.” – Lisa Orbe-Austin
17. “If you know who you are, you’ll be anchored in that truth—regardless of the audience’s response or waves of doubt that splash inside you.” – Mike Acker
18. “Imagine for a moment what your life would look like if you truly loved yourself. What would change if you let go of self-doubt, self-criticism, and the fear of not being good enough? Imagine a life where you feel whole, energized, and ready to take on whatever life hands you. Imagine feeling that you are worthy and have meaning in this world. You have just identified the benefits of loving yourself.” – Megan Logan
19. “In impostor syndrome the inner critic tends to be super-sized, constant, and cruel—the judging voice that criticizes, insults, questions, and doubts you. Usually, the inner critic isn’t only judging you; it may also bitterly judge other people around you and the circumstances in which you find yourself.” – Jennifer Hunt
20. “Kill your doubt before it kills your dreams. If there’s something you’re dying to do with your life and you’re being held back, remember: you’re not going to live forever. Make the most of the day. Someday, the only regret you’ll have is the things you never did.” – Scott Allan
21. “Many of us tend to fall victim to one cognitive trap called the impostor phenomenon (IP), which refers to feelings of doubt, fear, apprehension, and shame that lead us to undermine our own abilities and the worthiness of our own success.” – Scott Barry Kaufman
22. “Most worry thoughts begin with the words “What if.” Self-doubt presents us with similar beliefs. What if I look stupid? What if I fail? What if I don’t get the job? The next time you catch yourself thinking, “What if,” try to complete the sentence with the opposite of your fear. Notice how this converse thinking leads to more positive feelings.” – Megan Logan
23. “Of course, it feels wonderful to be successful and reach your goals. When self-love fuels this rather than self-doubt and fear, success becomes something to enjoy and appreciate with gratitude and a strong sense of our gifts.” – Megan Logan
24. “Once you get started, this thing is going to happen. One moment you will be filled with confidence, pumped about everything, excited to get it moving, feeling on top of the worllllld. And then in the next instant—like, from the time you shower to the time you pluck your chin hair—things will take a nasty nosedive. Self-doubt! Second-guessing! Fear! Insecurity!” – Ash Ambirge
25. “One of the most typical triggers is being placed in a new situation. For instance, if you are promoted to a new leadership position, you may begin to have more active impostor syndrome feelings, such as doubt about your ability to handle the new role. You may think that you don’t deserve this opportunity, will soon be discovered as incompetent, and will be quickly fired.” – Lisa Orbe-Austin
26. “Owning your greatness, beating self-doubt, and overcoming impostor syndrome entail commitment, effort, and insight.” – Lisa Orbe-Austin
27. “People get stuck when they doubt their chances of success. They weigh all the options, the good and the bad, and ask others for advice about what to do.” – Scott Allan
28. “Recognize that emotions change and develop. Life must go on despite the fact that you’ve suffered in the past. You’ll be better able to value yourself and overcome self-doubt by getting up and fighting back. Don’t allow yourself to be possessed by your emotion, trapped in a singular feeling for a long, long time.” – Edgar Wise
29. “Self-doubt can always be found in a fearful mind. It comes when you’re lurking in the shadows of the past, telling yourself, “If only I had…” or, when you’re straining to look at the distant future, saying: “If only I could…” Both timeframes are putting your fearful mind on high alert. You feel tense, anxious, and frightened. Happiness, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose can only be found in what you’re doing in the present moment. Your past failures and even past success have no merit anymore.” – Scott Allan
30. “Self-doubt intensifies when we give our power away to people and things outside of us. But your self-worth is always within you.” – Shannon Algeo
Related: Best 10 Self Esteem Books
31. “Self-doubt is a term for the lack of trust in oneself. The truth is, many people doubt themselves when they must take action and move against the obstacles holding them back. Their self-doubt isn’t the barrier people think it is; it’s a necessary step they all have to work through before they achieve success.” – Scott Allan
32. “Self-doubt is always temporary. As soon as you get out there and do it, it’s diminished. It might show up again the next day, but that’s because you’re pushing the envelope again, going further, breaking out of the fear-based zone. Think about anything you tried the first time and you’ll remember that you were loaded with self-doubt.” – Scott Allan
33. “Some doubt is good, but too much doubt spoils the hard-earned strengths you have upbuilt.” – Edgar Wise
34. “Soul-crushing negative beliefs can feel like they are eating at the fabric of who we are—fueling our self-doubt and spinning us into a spiral of shame and unworthiness.” – Shannon Algeo
35. “The difference between someone who becomes a victim of their circumstances and someone who rises despite them, then, is that tiny little word right there: despite. Moving forward despite your past, despite your fears, despite your doubts, despite the struggle, despite it not being what other people think you “should” do. It’s the opposite of doing things because, which is how most of us live our lives.” – Ash Ambirge
36. “The energy that can come from self-love will propel you into becoming the best version of yourself. No longer trapped in the pursuit of hopeless relationships, emotionally unavailable partners, people-pleasing, self-doubt, jealousy, envy, or destructive behaviors.” – Megan Logan
37. “The first step to defeating self-doubt is identifying and acknowledging your weakness, having control over what you can possibly change, and working towards the solution.” – Edgar Wise
38. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
39. “The inner critic in impostor syndrome is enormous, pervasive, and destructive. This negative voice inside our heads is mean and nasty, and full of believable lies. We hear the inner critic constantly. Our lack of control over this inner critic leads to incredible self-judgment and self-doubt and erodes self-confidence.” – Jennifer Hunt
40. “The main negative emotions that people experience are those of fear, doubt, worry, envy, jealousy, resentment, undeservingness, and feelings of inadequacy, especially in comparison to others. Fear, doubt, and worry arise when the child is continually criticized whenever she makes a mistake of any kind. Even if she accomplishes something worthwhile, it is never enough to satisfy her parents. In addition, the parents seldom express love or approval, or if they do, they immediately withdraw it if they feel that the child is failing to please them in some way.” – Lisa Orbe-Austin
41. “The truth is, it is normal to experience self-doubt once in a while, and it is normal to question your competence when you are learning something new or are in over your head. It is normal to criticize yourself for a few minutes after making a mistake or failing at something. These every-now-and-then feelings of self-doubt—or short-lived, temporary self-criticism—are healthy adaptations that protect us from the potentially bad consequences of overconfidence or even arrogance. So, at what point do impostor tendencies become impostor syndrome? One easy answer can be found in looking at the frequency, duration, and scope of these feelings.” – Jennifer Hunt
42. “This habit of discounting our own capabilities and attributing our success to either effort or luck reinforces self-doubt and a core belief that accomplishment by hard work alone does not reflect true ability.” – Scott Barry Kaufman
43. “Through doubting your skill and your ability to perform, you feel like you are in an unending cycle of constantly having to prove yourself” – Lisa Orbe-Austin
44. “Uncertainty and insecurity about what you’re doing create a sense of loneliness. You doubt yourself and feel alone, separate and different from the flow of humanity around you. Isolated, your creativity goes into hiding. Loneliness is an absence of affection that stems from sadness, which is the loss of control over a source of love or attention. In other words, you want something, and you feel you can’t have it.” – Martha Alderson
45. “Use doubt only as a means of improving yourself and not as a burden that will crush all your confidence.” – Edgar Wise
46. “We’re born knowing how to trust our instincts, how to breathe deeply, how to eat only when we’re hungry, how to not care about what anyone thinks of our singing voices, dance moves, or hairdos, we know how to play, create, and love without holding back. Then, as we grow and learn from the people around us, we replace many of these primal understandings with negative false beliefs, fear, shame, and self-doubt. Then we wind up in emotional and physical pain.” – Jen Sincero
47. “When parents attempt to control their children by giving them love and then taking it away as a form of punishment, they plant the seeds of deep insecurity within their children. This insecurity manifests in a plethora of emotional and mental problems, from feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, worry, and a strong sense of inadequacy and being undeserving of anything good in life, to lack of motivation, fear of not living up to others’ expectations, striving for perfection, and inability to confront issues or deal with conflict effectively.” – Lisa Orbe-Austin
48. “When we’re fearful and full of negative or fearful emotions such as doubt, worry, anxiety, helplessness, or depression, your mind is stuck in the fear-based center. People who expend their mental energy in this state of mind are more prone to physical and mental illness, depression, negativity or fear-paralysis. In this state, they can walk around feeling confused, frightened, and angry with themselves for lacking the know-how to deal with life’s problems even at the most basic level. They’ll feel paralyzed to do anything about their situation and struggle to come up with a positive solution to their problems.” – Scott Allan
49. “When you perform, confidence is advantageous because it enhances others’ perceptions of your competence and distracts you from your inner insecurities. Conversely, when you are performing in low-confidence mode your inner doubts distract you, making you lose focus on the task and conveying to others that you lack competence.” – Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
50. “When your impostor syndrome is triggered, it is normal to feel a pull for perfectionism. If we feel we’re not good enough—or a fraud—it’s easy to imagine that trying to be perfect could remedy the situation. But those who have dealt with impostor syndrome know that the perfectionism never remedies the self-doubt. If anything, it makes it worse.” – Lisa Orbe-Austin
51. “You are a powerhouse. You get to define who you are, who you want to be, what you are capable of, and what you are here to accomplish. But self-doubt and shame can block you from experiencing yourself as the powerhouse that you are.” – Shannon Algeo
52. “You can overcome your limitations that are imposed by fear. You’re limited only by fearful beliefs. The level of fear you have is directly related to the amount of self-doubt, worry, anxiety, and a host of negative emotions you pour into it. The good news is that you don’t have to tackle your biggest fear first. You don’t have to take on all your fears at once either. Just choose the one thing that’s causing you to stay stuck and start by taking a small action step toward it. This step could be anything.” – Scott Allan
53. “You can sit in fear and let it drive you into feelings of self-doubt and low confidence, or you can accept it when it hits you and leverage it to do the thing you’re afraid of doing. You can feel what your first instinct is and resist the temptation to do what it wants you to do.” – Scott Allan
54. “You can’t erase the destructive mind habit of fear and self-doubt until you’re aware of when you feel that way. In order to live your best creative life, denial is no longer an option.” – Martha Alderson
55. “You were built to be effervescent. You were built to create, to make, to experiment, to lead. You were built to be BIG. Freakishly big. Bigger than life itself. Not even your own self-doubt can stop you. Not even the gravest of days or the biggest of setbacks can stop you. You were built to dazzle and dance and charm. You were built to own rooms and capture minds and dismantle boring and be the kind of woman who is not afraid to show up as her best and brightest self. You cannot help it: it is who you are. AND YOU CAN DO THIS.” – Ash Ambirge
56. “Your experience of self-doubt is reinforced by a set of deeply held negative beliefs about yourself. Of course, it’s not your fault for acquiring these negative beliefs—but you now get the opportunity to do some healthy excavation and Marie Kondo–style “Does this spark joy?” inquisition. Do an “out with the old” cleanup to make space for a fresh view on life.” – Shannon Algeo
57. “Your fear-based center is powerful. You have thoughts, habits, and beliefs that have been shaped and molded to respond to your fearful instincts. The fear model represents the mindset of someone who’s living in a fearful state. As you can see, their choices are limited; they stick to a routine even if it’s a damaging one. They lack confidence and are full of self-doubt. These emotions create a vacuum of fear. The voices of fear keep them trapped in their own hell.” – Scott Allan
58. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie
59. “If you lack confidence, take a look at the successful people you know who doubted their abilities and chances of success. You can see these people all around you. It doesn’t matter who they are.” – Scott Allan
60. “Push yourself to do just one thing today that expands your fear-based center. Let your resistance in. Feel it when it jumps in your way. Let the self-doubt in as well. Acknowledge its presence. Be aware the language you’re using to empower your self-doubt. Are you agreeing with what your mind is saying? The only one in control of this is you. You’re choosing your thoughts. Nobody else is in charge. This is extremely empowering when you recognize how much control you really do have. If you feel helpless or weak, it has very little to do with external forces.” – Scott Allan
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Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.
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