How To Overcome Self-Doubt

By Kate James

I had always dreamed of becoming a writer. I was one of those little girls who read under the covers with a torch late into the night. Books were my most treasured friends. When I imagined a future career, I could think of nothing I would love more than to write inspiring content that would help other people to make sense of the world.

Eventually, once I had my own business and it came time to put my writing in front of other people, it wasn't just daunting - it was slightly terrifying. What if no one read it? What if no one liked it it? What if I never fulfilled this lifelong dream?

Most of us write about topics that are close to our hearts so we're not just exposing our writing, we're sharing a significant part of ourselves. It’s no wonder we have moments of self-doubt.

Over the years, I've found that there are practises that help me stay grounded.

Remember your purpose
If you haven't taken the time to work out your 'why', do this now. What is the difference you want to make most in the world with your writing? Stay true to that and always keep it at the top of your mind. When you find yourself questioning whether to continue or having moments of self-doubt, come back to your purpose. If you're staying true to that, it doesn't matter whether people like your writing or whether you have a small audience or a big one. Remember that you’re doing this for you as much as anything.

Go gently, give yourself time
Take the pressure off. This doesn't need to be a race. You can take as long as you need to. If you're under pressure to make an income from your online business or blog, it's not a cop out to take a part time role for a while to give you a little more breathing space.

Be mindful, be here
Take a deep breath and come back to this moment. Be grateful for what you've already achieved. If you'd imagined you'd be this far down the track six months or a year ago, you would have been happy but now that you're here, it’s likely that you're pushing yourself to be somewhere else. Remember to celebrate the small moments and remind yourself that the journey is even more important than the destination.

Be inspired by others
No matter where you are on the path, there'll be someone further along than you. Try not to compare yourself with others (as difficult as that can be at times) but rather, use people you admire as inspiration.  

Reconnect with the real world
It's easy to be consumed by the online world. It's addictive and alluring but it's not necessarily the place where you'll feel most grounded. Block out chunks of time every day to be offline. Reconnect with your ‘real life’ relationships and spend some time in nature to remind you that there’s still so much else in this world to be thankful for.

Kate James is a coach, mindfulness teacher and the author of ‘Believe in Yourself & Do What You Love’. She works with people who want to develop the self-belief to transition into their own creative startup. Kate can be contacted at