Self-Doubt And It’s Subtle Trickery Revealed


We all suffer bouts of self-doubt from time to time but most of it is self inflicted with no real justification behind it.

The goal ultimately is to reach a point where you believe in yourself, feel sure of your capabilities and as a result feel bold in taking some risks.

At one time I went through a phase that almost destroyed me and I’m going to share with you as honestly as I can about my own personal challenge of self-doubt how I did my best to get through it.

There is no shame in going through challenges or having moments of despair. None of us are perfect and no one has all the answers. It is through pain and challenge that we grow and get answers.

Most of us ‘know’ these concepts and but it is only a few that really put things into practice and go on to do great things. Knowing and doing are two very different things.

(You know how they say doctors make the worst patients? Well, life coaches make the worst coaching clients! 😉 I’m definitely no exception to that rule! However, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful wife who has actually become a fabulous reminder of my worth. She pointed some things out to me that really opened my eyes about how much was doubting myself and lacked self belief.)

I know what I would normally do in tough situations. I also know how I would coach someone going through difficult situations also; but putting into practice what I know and applying it at the right time, that’s the tough part!

There was a time when I began to listen to the voices of self-doubt start telling me things like:

“Amit, you’ll never be able to be a success.”

“That’s a silly idea, that will never work!”

“You are not as good as others and you’ll never be able to.”

“Who are you to try and offer people coaching?”

“You don’t even have a degree, how will people take you seriously?”

“But it’s okay for that person, they’ve already succeeded so it’s easy for them.”

“It’s different for me as my situation is unique and makes it more difficult for me.”

I went through a phase where I became totally overwhelmed by those thoughts and I almost allowed them to completely put my life on hold.

How sad would that have been to allow myself to succumb to such mundane thinking? I’m willing to bet you’ve experienced this at some time or other in your life right?

The trouble is, we don’t often spot when those kinds of repetitive thoughts, or when that kind of attitude takes over. Even when someone points it out to us, we don’t always accept the truth.

The trouble is, self-doubt uses a lot of subtle trickery and can take you by surprise and leave you completely unaware that it is happening. And so it’s my job to be like one of those undercover magicians right now who breaks the magicians code and reveals how the magic is done. Except I’m going to show you how to recognise when self-doubt is kicking in.

Being able to detect those thoughts and then shift them is paramount to your personal success.

It’s incredible the stealth with which self-doubt can creep in. Most of the time you probably don’t even know it’s there and you won’t even recognise it when it rears it’s ugly head.

You know how when you look for something, you can’t find it but it’s right in front of you? It’s exactly like that!

I never realised until recently, until I began paying attention, just how much self-doubt I was having. If you acquiesce to it, then it will take over and prevent you from achieving great things.

I’d just like to point out that modesty and self-doubt are not the same thing. Just because someone chooses to show modesty about their abilities, it doesn’t mean that they have self-doubt.

However, self-doubt is often the genesis of excuses.

How To Spot Self-Doubt

Become mindful of self deprecating thoughts. Self-doubt can also creep in, in guise of excuses.

If where you are right now, is not in line with where you would like to be, and you’ve given yourself justification of why that is, you’ve just allowed the excuse to negate your responsibility of moving forward.

You’ll be comfortable with that excuse and you’ll find ways for it to be reinforced.

The biggest difference is, on one side you work daily towards your milestones. On the other side, you repeat reasons as to why you have not reached your milestones. And therein lies the biggest curator of self doubt.

Does that pattern sound familiar? If you can be brutally honest with yourself and say yes, then you’ve just overcome the first, and often biggest step, towards personal transformation which is detection and acknowledgement.

What You Can Do To Quash Self-Doubt

What are your limitations truly? If you have a working mind then there is nothing you cannot create or replicate.

If there is a business man or woman you admire, and you’d like to replicate their success, then there is absolutely no reason why you cannot.

Saying, “it’s okay for them as they don’t know how hard it is for me”, is just an excuse.

To begin with, on a surface level, you can throw in some more self believing thoughts. Things like: “With dedication and commitment, I can not only achieve the results I want, I can surpass them!”

It doesn’t just stop there with a few simple surface level thoughts though.It then needs to be backed up with action. The action will back up the thoughts and eventually turn into your persona.

The more you think like that and follow up with action, the more you habitually behave as a self believer. 🙂

These are the steps I’ve taken which have truly made a difference for me. No longer am I a slave to my self doubt. No longer will those thoughts stifle my progress.

Don’t be tricked by self-doubt. Don’t let it’s subtle trickery prevent you from fulfilling your highest visions of your life.

8 Responses

  1. skittles234 says:

    Awesome article Amit, kinda bittersweet in a way because you’re such a wonderful, cheerful and happy dude so I could never imagine you being in this state of self-doubt, depression, and pessimism. I’m glad your fiancee told you the things that you’ve been teaching your clients through life-coaching!

    It’s funny you produced this piece because I was recently giving a friend some advice about her career, relationship, family and other such intense issues. The ironic thing was that the more advice I gave her, the more I realised that this info could benefit me too!

    We never realise our true potential until we truly put ourselves to the test… As the saying goes:

    Even the toughest metal had to go through the hottest fire 🙂

    Let’s hope everyone who reads this will gradually learn to become warriors and fight against all the negative thoughts created by us and by those who think they know us “well enough not to succeed”.

    If all else fails, let’s all find a logical life partner like yours! 😀

    • Amit Sodha says:

      I absolutely love that quote of yours “Even the toughest metal had to go through the hottest fire.” how awesome is that! 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words though, I hope your partner gives you the same wonderful wisdom that you’ve given him! 🙂

  2. Ron says:

    Excellent post, and one thing I like about it is that is shows that even positive minded people have bouts of self doubt from time to time.

    What I do is continue on anyway. I have a routine of exercise (actually recreation such as walking or biking) as well as work every day. I just do them, no matter how I feel. Always just a matter of time before the clouds lift and I have lost nothing in terms of productivity and health.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hi Ron,

      Thank you so much for you kind and comforting words! You’re absolutely right and it’s what I do. I’m reminded of that very simple quote “if you fall down twice, stand up three times.” and there is not better way to face the challenges other than to continue and keep going!


  3. Milan Bakrania says:

    Hey bro, thanks for being so brutally honest and putting your thoughts out there for us all to learn from. That in itself shows how you have defeated the negativity. You’ve changed and saved lives through your long-running blog and life-coaching activities. That’s something no one can take away from you.

    I think every sentient being experiences self defeating thoughts from time to time. Too much negativity and stress stimulates cortisol (the stress hormone), positivity stimulates the mighty endorphins! The point is that both sides are in-built in our system. The key is to accept that. No one can be positive all of the time. How can we measure the light without the dark? When I get self-defeating thoughts I put on my headphones and rattle a choon! I’m back in no time. Exercise is also a good one to get the adrenaline pumping. But, in my experience, the best way out is to vent. Speaking to someone close can do wonders. Thanks to the Mrs you’re thankfully back on track! : )

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Milan,

      Wonderful to hear from you and I always welcome your wise words and in particular your thoughts about the light and dark which I wholeheartedly agree with. I agree with you on the music and in particular, the movement, as Tony Robbins says, emotion can be controlled with motion 🙂

  4. Miheer says:


    Interesting & thought provoking. Self doubt is a very powerful instinct to protect or debilitate. Often, as we are unaware that they are at play , we don’t give doubts the necessary investigation , validation & resultant acceptance or dismissal.

    I’ve found that , an individual’s foundation or unique approach is the basis on which self doubt will be analysed . If your positive energy is low your approach will be more conducive to a negative conclusion when analysing doubt. This then triggers further doubt and so on.

    The best way in my humble view , is to assess doubts but ensure all results from the assessment is aligned to positive action. If not , accept rather than act on them. It reminds me if a great phrase that “if you focus on your weaknesses all you’ll end up with are very good weaknesses! “. Use what you have as strengths & they’ll drown out the weaknesses to irrelevance .

    The fail safe to this is having people around you that know you fully Рyour strengths, capability , capacity & weaknesses or limitations . These are powerful mirrors that ,if used with respect , keep doubts at bay but also allow for balanced realism to exist. This is very powerful as if ensures you grow fast & solidly. I believe your fianc̩e is such a person.

    Lastly, action is the best validation of doubt when you’re in a stalemate. Action creates momentum & energy . Inaction makes no progress , no energy , no movement .

    Thanks for sharing ! Hope my views add to re-in force the ways of dealing with doubt & self doubt in particular .

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Miheer – It’s so lovely to hear from you – How is life in SA?

      Thank you so much for your serene words and your encouragement, you should write me an article one day! 🙂

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