Self-doubt is, in simple terms, double mindedness. It is the thing that prevents you from taking initiative because of fear of failure or making a mistake.

Self-doubt is a product of the negative messages you received in your childhood, the result of how you perceived your past failures combined with the fear of the unknown.

The key word in all of this is the past, though your memories are in the past, the sting you feel is felt today.

In this article you are going to learn what self-doubt is, see what it looks like, how it could have entered your life, in the next article you are going to discover the advantages and disadvantages of having self doubt and how to remove self-doubt and develop self-trust.

The Self-Doubt Experience

When you are locked into self-doubt, internally you are doubting your worth and constantly questioning whether you are good enough?

Practical life experiences have played a role in your developing self-doubt. Three (3) of the most common are:

  • Critical parents
  • Overly aggressive peers
  • Authority figures in your life

Criticism is hard enough to handle as an adult, but when you are a child the experience can be quite painful. Especially, when it comes from an authority figures that you trust.

Even more disheartening is the misalignment with your truth that self-doubt establishes.

I know about this because my children were raised in an environment of criticism and I see how that has affected their life path. It has taken them on detours and cause delays and obstacles that wouldn’t have occurred had they not had so much criticism as their experience.

O.k…a brief understanding of my story is needed here… because of my poor self image, I attracted and got involved in a verbally abusive relationship.  While in that relationship my children were born and reared.

Though I hated every instance of the irrational requests and unnecessary expectations I saw and knew my significant other was demanding, my belief at that time was that God would correct this if I “walked in Love.” I had a fear of getting out of faith by not being submissive because I was told by many in the pastoral or ministry that I couldn’t assert my will without penalty.

So I suffered with self-doubt and frustrating setbacks until I allowed my self to “own” my life. And despite of the fear, risked being punished with the unknown penalties for standing up for myself and my kids and left that relationship.

You see, I wanted to be my “true self” and not a definition of someone else and I wanted my children to be free to thrive.

Critical Parents

An overly critical parents who is never satisfied leaves you with the belief that nothing you do is good enough; because there is always a flaw discovered or some aspect of what you did that could be improved upon.

You don’t learn to view the product of your actions through eyes of success or completeness. Instead you feel like you aren’t good enough yet or its not good enough yet.

This shows up in adulthood where at work you watch others advance having produced what you consider is mediocre work.

You judge their results based on how you were treated and are confused why they are growing in their career and you aren’t.

However, you didn’t take that chance to expose yourself to the opportunity for growth like your colleague did because you weren’t perfect enough yet.

Overly Aggressive Peers Who Teased You, Bullied You or Humiliated You.

Kids can be mean, especially in middle school. If you didn’t have and display a healthy dose of self confidence there is a chance that certain peers picked up this scent and took advantage of you.

They welcomed the chance of being able to build themselves up by tearing you down. There wasn’t anything wrong with you nor did you need fixing or changing, they just picked up on the energy you were sending out and like a vampire used you as a source for their feed.

This experience can cause you to doubt your worth because you can’t see why they are targeting you so you interpret it as being defective.

Authority Figures

For example, a football, volleyball, baseball or softball coach who used negative motivation to inspire the team may have benched you when the stakes got high because they wanted to win the game more than play the game.

Their doubt that you could do what was needed to be done produced a fear in you and you adopted the belief that you could not be trusted to come through in all situations. You inferred that there was a big chance that you might mishandle the opportunity.

You might drop the ball or let it get by you or not get the hit or let someone hit off you. This fear of failure can translate over into other areas of your life and showing up as doubting you can do what needs to be done.

Another painful experiences results from being manipulated, controlled or betrayed by members of the clergy.

For example, let’s say that you are attending a church that continually preaches fire, hell  and brimstone messages. When you shared your struggles with someone that you thought you could trust, you found yourself being judged.

Now that they know this about you, you are being watched, avoided or treated differently. Or perhaps something worse has happened, they have exposed you secret. Instead of finding encouragement or support, you have been betrayed.

This experience can cause you to doubt you can handle yourself because what you have done or something you are thinking has been brought into question.

With experiences like these why wouldn’t you have self-doubt? Who could blame you for second guessing yourself and wanting to play it safe? You’re not alone; many other people do seek to protect themselves from painful experiences and hold themselves back.

Stay tuned for the completion of this article where I tell you how this self doubt has been an advantage and disadvantage and how to remove it and restore self trust.

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Lana McMurray, Owner and Founder of Free 2 Thrive Coaching LLC and creator of the Let Yourself Be Great System works with people who want to break out of their self made prisons and be free to thrive as themselves. She assist clients with getting out of their comfort zones and their own way. To receive her weekly practical & inspiring ezine on having the power to free the “Real You” visit:  Get Free Resources: and to schedule a Free get acquainted session contact Lana at

If you want to stop losing to self-doubt and remove it  schedule  a Get Acquainted Session and I will listen to what’s going on with you and see how I can help.

Lana McMurray, Self Recovery Mentor, is Owner and Founder of Free 2 Thrive Coaching LLC,, a Company helping people to break out of their self made prisons and free their REAL Self! She assist clients with getting out of their comfort zones and their own way. As a result of their work together, clients depart from people pleasing, codependency and paralyzing fear and become aware of themselves and awaken into being bold, confident and fully alive. She enjoys working confidentially with people on issues that have been troubling them for a long time but they just didn’t know who to talk to about it.

To schedule a complimentary Get Acquainted Sessions Click HERE or email her at:

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