Let us just face it: we, as men, have all been at some point in our lives where we’ve wondered if we are on the right track or strong enough to counterpunch all the uncertainties that life might bring in the future. There is a real sense of a mini-tug of war with a little voice in your head that chips away at your confidence and amplifies your doubts.
Self-doubt is often a thorn in the side of men. Commonly, men have moments of self-doubt when faced with a new challenge, like starting a new job or transitioning to a new environment. All this is quite natural. However, if left uncontrolled, the fear that fuels our uncertainty can cause us to be too cautious, thus preventing us from making crucial decisions.
Is self-doubt really natural or forced for men?
Self-doubt is learned. Nobody possesses self-doubt from birth. By the time men transition to adulthood, their own experiences and other people's opinions weaken their inherent confidence. Men are regarded by the outer world as carriers of wealth and as models of unwavering mental and physical fortitude. In a bid to consolidate this, men tend to witness rough patches that make them question themselves.
Self-doubt does not only creep in due to social pressure but also when enforced by one's own individual actions. Therefore, self-doubt is both natural and enforced in this unforgiving world.
Where does self-doubt stem from?
Men face intense societal pressure to succeed, which is often more detrimental than motivating. When things don’t go quite right, men feel a lack of confidence or feel incapable of doing what they need to do, thus giving room for an unwelcome guest in the name of self-DOUBT’ to creep in. The following are the roots from which self-doubt creeps in:
Comparing yourself to others is the pathway that leads you to negative ideas and a feeling of self-doubt. When you compare yourself to others, you may focus on their qualities and accomplishments while ignoring your own faults and failings. For men in particular, this happens predominantly in the workplace, where one might be so into his colleague’s work efficiency that he ends up questioning his own potential. This only might result in feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, which serve as the base for self-doubts to sink in.
Self-doubt is frequently the outcome of unfavorable life experiences, which can have a detrimental impact on your self-esteem. A trauma of some sort can have a tremendous effect on your sense of self, your relationship with yourself, and how you think about yourself. This is especially true if you have had terrible experiences. For men, it can be like growing up in an abusive household or being fired without cause. Negative events have an adverse effect on your overall mental health.
Financial pressure that outweighs everything from earning in a job to supporting a family with the earnings to being able to afford anything can take a severe toll on men and lower their self-esteem, make them feel imperfect, and even make them question their own credibility. When financial stress becomes too much, your mind, body, and social life can suffer. Money is one of those external variables that is glamorized to the point that it is what makes a man feel validated. And when a man can’t really afford something financially, all sorts of doubts kick into his mind, leaving him vulnerable.
Tips for men to overcome self-doubt:
Being friendly to yourself is the simplest form of self-compassion. Observe and recognize your fear to become more self-compassionate. Pay attention to your critical or judgmental self's fears. You just have to remind yourself that nothing in this world, including you, is flawless.
While the majority of us are capable of showing compassion to others, not many possess this treasure in the name of self-compassion. Self-compassion is a real weapon that men can use to suppress their self-doubt.
A big no to comparison with others:
Comparison is claimed to be the thief of joy, and rightly so. If you are experiencing self-doubt because you are concerned you will not achieve something on the same level as someone else, it can be a paralyzing experience.
Everyone's life is unique, and just because someone else excels doesn't imply you don't have any. Instead of comparing yourself to others, concentrate on yourself; it's one of the most effective strategies to be happy and achieve your goals.
Quality time with loved ones:
Spend time with people who make you happy because they can lift you up when you're trying to motivate yourself. Quality time with people who know and understand you well can help you overcome self-doubt.
Your loved ones can provide you with the necessary support and affirmation, as well as fill you with hope and optimism. This not only helps you put an end to feelings of self-doubt but also gives you a moral boost. Just feel free to surround yourself with these people when you're feeling a lack of confidence in yourself. They’ll always remind you of your abilities and resilience when you aren't feeling confident in yourself.
It's always good to seek assistance, especially if self-doubt is a recurrent impediment. Therapy can help us feel understood and provide tools to help us overcome self-doubt. Speak with a competent therapist or other mental health experts to feel supported, and simply feeling understood can help ease feelings of self-doubt.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in particular, is a prominent type of treatment that can help with self-doubt. This form of therapy teaches us how to question problematic habits of thinking, which can lead to improved mood and overall well-being.
Is there a silver lining on the other side of self-doubt?
Fear generates self-doubt. Concern about what others will think. Fear of not having the ability or persistence to attain your goal But remember that confidence can never completely grow without some level of fear or doubt to overcome. Enthusiasm stems, in large part, from the experience of conquering adversity and going past fear.
Self-doubt can inadvertently be the drive that motivates you to work harder to achieve your goals. Doubting yourself every now and then motivates you to keep improving. Self-doubt prods us to solve our difficulties so we can move forward with our heads held high. Be it adapting to a new environment in a workplace, self-doubts push you to your limit such that there is no turning back, and you will have the source of motivation to be man enough to acclimate to the surroundings quicker than you anticipate.
Right from going on a first date to applying for a new job, self-doubt can sneak into the minds of men in every situation that requires a step outside of their comfort zone. Self-doubt often generates uncertainty and self-criticism, stopping men from taking risks that can help them improve.
This is where it becomes ever more important for men to acknowledge that self-doubt can, in turn, be beneficial, prompting them to learn new talents or prepare for unfamiliar situations. Remember that setbacks are an inevitable component of any transition. If you don't strike a brick wall every now and again, you're not pushing hard enough.