By Claudia Stanley – LCSW 

How To Overcome Self Doubt and Insecurity

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

~ E.E. Cummings

Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours Richard Bach Quote
Claudia Stanley

Do you find that you doubt yourself and don’t feel secure with who you are? Have you taken the time to reflect on who you are? What beliefs have shaped you? What you value?

If not, no worries.

We live in a fast-paced society and the thought of even doing a little something for ourselves, can sound like another task added to our to-do list. 

But if I can make a suggestion, I would encourage you to take some time to identify your beliefs and values. 


Well, the hope is if you know what brings meaning to your life and what drives your behaviors, you might develop a sense of security knowing the choices you make are in line with what is right for you. You might also be better able to respond to situations because you know that your responses derive from your past experiences.

Let’s play with a scenario where you might doubt yourself and your abilities. 

Say your manager, someone a lot older and with many more years of experience, asks you to present a deal to a perspective client. You might begin to wonder “why me?” “Why choose a young adult, in their 20’s, fresh out of college, and with way less years in the industry?” 

Having these beliefs can lead to thoughts like, “she’s setting me up for failure.” “She wants me to fail at this so she can fire me.” “She made a big mistake choosing me for this.” “Why didn’t she choose Jill?!”

But why do these thoughts happen? 

Well, if your belief is that young adults are not as competent or effective as someone who is older and has been in the field for 10+  years, you might not feel deserving of the opportunity. Having this belief, will naturally leave you feeling completely insecure about who you are.

But say, you shifted those beliefs and values. 

Say you believed that any individual that has worked diligently in their field and has gained the necessary education to fulfill requirements for the position, deserves the opportunity to apply their skill set. 

If you believe that a person with passion and drive can succeed, regardless of years on the job or the age of the person, then what types of thoughts might you have? 

What kind of feelings would be different if you valued the flexibility, creativity, and spontaneity a “green” person in the field can offer? 

I would think that if you had this type of belief system in place, you might think different thoughts. 

These thoughts might range from “my manager can see my strengths and trusts me to apply my abilities” to “I am thrilled to be provided the opportunity to apply my knowledge and skill set.”

If you haven’t caught on already, our beliefs and values have an impact on our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. 

If we think we are not worthy, deserving or capable of doing a-z and we are at a loss of what we truly value, we might feel lost and disconnected from who we are.

So, how do we identify our beliefs and values? 

We need to identify what matters most to us. What brings meaning to our lives. 

You can start with creating a list of your top 10 values. 

  • What is important in your personal and professional life? 
  • When reflecting on recent choices that were difficult or easy to make, what is about those choices that led you to make your decision? 
  • What values did you adapt from your childhood? 
  • What makes you feel ambivalent and uncertain? Sometimes this can cue us that whatever is being presented does not align with how and who we are. 
  • How has your past influenced your perspective?

Reflecting on these simple things, acknowledging how our beliefs play a role in how we interpret situations and behaving from our values can help us to decrease our self-doubt and increase a sense of security.

To know thyself, is to know what provides value and meaning to your life and what makes you, you.

Your experiences shape your beliefs and your values shape who you are and your choices.

Claudia Stanley, LCSW –

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