What to Do When You Feel Unsure of Yourself0

Unsure of yourself? Here are 9 ways you can try to get out of the feeling of uncertainty and self-doubt.

what to do when you are unsure of yourself

When you feel unsure of yourself, it indicates that you have self-doubt.  It can happen when you are about to enter a new phase of life or stepping into something which you have never done before and are not prepared or afraid to face it. It also could be due to something happening unexpectedly and you were taken by surprise and don’t know how to react or what to do next.

When you feel overwhelmed by an issue that has escalated or a mistake you have made, you might feel troubled, nervous, and scared. When you face a challenge that you think you cannot handle, it will cause you to doubt yourself and your abilities. When you feel frustrated with the lack of growth and progress in your life, you will also feel unsure, stuck and lost and don’t know which direction or path you need to follow.

When any of those things happen, you lose your motivation and confidence. You hesitate and become indecisive. You won’t be able to see a way out or opportunities ahead unless you pull yourself together and take some alone time to think through your situation and find a way to solve the issue.

It is wise to clear your mind and get out of your predicament as fast as you can. 

9 Things to Do When You Feel Unsure of Yourself

1.Recall Times When You Felt Sure of Yourself

Recalling at least three past situations when you acted confidently is one of the most effective ways to shift your state of mind. 

Ask yourself,

  • What did I do then when I felt assured of myself?
  • What did I do first and what did I do next?
  • How can I use that experience in this present situation

2. Write Down Your Thoughts to Gain Clarity

write down your thoughts

A lot of times when we feel unsure, doubtful, and lose faith in ourselves, we don’t know why and how it happened. By default, when we are triggered by something, our minds automatically come up with corresponding thoughts based on our past experiences and memories. And without our awareness, we feel a certain way.

 One of the best things to do when you feel a shift in your emotions is to stop whatever you are doing, grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down what you were thinking or what the trigger was that caused that feeling. If it is inconvenient to write, record it on your mobile apps or remind yourself that you will write it down the minute you get the chance to do so.

Our thoughts move so fast that we can’t catch them or be aware of them if are not intentional about it. So write them down.

As for your emotions, don’t try to dismiss them because what you resist will persist. Name the emotions you are feeling to gain clarity. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now?” You will come up with an answer. You then ask yourself, ‘How sure am I that I am feeling this feeling and not something else?”

Keep writing and you will be able to see what it was that bothered you. Do this for about ten days and look for the pattern or the repetitive thoughts and feelings. When you gain clarity, it will be easier for you to find a solution.

3. Be Aware of What You are Saying to Yourself

We are always talking to ourselves during our waking hours. We can’t stop the mind chatters. Most of the time we are unaware of these monologues and dialogues that are going on.

Start to become aware of them so that you can stop them from spiraling from one negative thought to another.  When you pay attention and listen, you might hear stuff like:

  • What is wrong with me?
  • What am i going to do with myself?
  • It’s no use trying. i can’t do it.
  • I should have…
  • If only I …

Imagine if these kinds of talks go on and on every minute and every day of your life. You will feel that you are not good enough. And that thought will paralyze you and stop you from moving forward.

Just “catching” what your inner voice is saying isn’t enough. But it is a good start because you stop them from escalating and you can begin to question the validity and challenge them.

4. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

One of the functions of the mind is to caution you of what it sees as threats and dangers. You have developed it to follow the path you have set through your routines and habits. When you face something new or different, the mind will make sure you that you get back to the original path.  It doesn’t like uncertainties.  It will make you doubt yourself so that you will stick to what you have been doing.

But you have control. Studies have shown that you can condition the brain to follow a new path and develop new neural pathways to override the existing one.

You start taking control of your habitual thoughts by doing what it says you shouldn’t or couldn’t do. You take action despite your fears and uncertainties. You do it each time and keep doing until the mind gets it. When you keep taking action, you become more confident.

If you want to learn how to turn your fear and indecision into confidence and action, you might want to read Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers.

5. Choose Your Environment Wisely

The people you associate with on a regular basis, affects your attitude and behavior.  When you are feeling unsure of yourself, find people who are confident, positive, and supportive whom you can talk to and ask for opinions and ideas on what to do or how to do things.

But, you don’t have to wait until you feel low to associate with positive people. Commit to associating with a group of positive people in your circle or network and meet regularly. Try to find mentors or buddies. Having a coach would also help you plan your life, which will help you feel more confident.

Your surroundings, which include your living and working conditions, affect your attitude, behavior, stress level and moods. So choose wisely.

6. Feed Your Mind with Positive and Uplifting Inputs

Read a lot. Read inspiring and motivational stuff. Read biographies. Read anything that will lift and educate you. You can also choose to watch videos and listen to podcasts. 

Feed your mind daily so that you are equipped with information and knowledge so that you can take action fast when you feel unsure of yourself. 

7. Place Visual Reminders for a Quick Confidence Boost

We get carried away with negative thoughts easily. They make us doubt ourselves and lose our motivation to do what we need to do. 

Visual reminders can be in the forms of quotations or images that you can see within your view to keep you inspired when you are feeling unsure and demotivated.

8.Taking Long Walks May Help

Any form of physical activity or exercise is good for your health. It reduces your stress level caused by your uncertainties and fears.  You will gain clarity and a new perspective, which may solve the issue you are facing.

Taking long walks, especially in nature, is one of the easiest forms of exercise and less straining compared to running, hiking and doing strength training. On top of that, exercise triggers the release of chemicals that will make you feel better about yourself.

9. You Don’t Need Other People’s Approval

Some people feel unsure of themselves because they have been relying too much on other people’s approval. They become needy and if they don’t gain the approval, they don’t know what to do and how to react.

All of us have depended and relied on our parents and people who were closed to us when we were growing up. But as grown-ups, we can make our own decisions.

Remind yourself that you are responsible for your life. As long as you try to please or satisfy some people and as long as you expect people to like you, you will not feel happy. So go on and do what you want to do.  It is okay if you make mistakes because you will learn and grow.


Even people who have achieved a lot in life will feel unsure of themselves every now and then. So, don’t be alarmed. As long as you are alive, you will face criticisms, challenges, and unfavorable situations that cause you to question your abilities, values and identity.

It is okay. It is part of life to feel unsure, nervous, and uncertain again and again. Just remind yourself that you have dealt with it before and you can do it again.

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