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15 Quotes for Overcoming Self-Doubt

Self-doubt can be a difficult emotion to overcome. It can sap our motivation and deter us from trying new things. Luckily, there are ways to manage doubt and build up our confidence. By recognizing our strengths, learning to challenge negative thoughts, and practicing self-compassion, we can learn how to deal with our insecurities in a healthy way.

When self-doubt starts to creep up, we can start by listing three skills or abilities we know we possess. As we do this, we might start to notice negative thoughts arise. This is perfectly normal, and often, if we can stop and recognize them, we can address those thoughts head on.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to be kind to ourselves. Everyone struggles with self-doubt from time to time, even the most seemingly impressive and successful people. In the name of solidarity, we’ve collected 15 of our favorite quotes about self-doubt to share here. Knowing that we’re not alone in these feelings can help us choose not to listen to the negativity, and persist in whatever it is we’re endeavoring to do.

To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Yann Martel, author

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A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.
Ambrose Bierce, writer

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You can either waltz boldly onto the stage of life and live the way you know your spirit is nudging you to, or you can sit quietly by the wall, receding into the shadows of fear and self-doubt.
Oprah Winfrey

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If you don’t have some self-doubts and fears when you pursue a dream, then you haven’t dreamed big enough.
Joe Vitale, spiritual teacher and author

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I can’t think of anyone I admire who isn’t fueled by self-doubt. It’s an essential ingredient. It’s the grit in the oyster.
Richard Eyre, director and playwright

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Self-doubt is real. Everyone has it. Having confidence and losing confidence is real, too, and everyone has been in that position.
Venus Williams

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I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, “My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.” We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.
Kobe Bryant

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When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.
Honoré de Balzac, novelist and playwright

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Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Suzy Kassem, screenwriter

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The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.
J.M. Barrie, author of “Peter Pan”

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The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Sylvia Plath

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Stop worrying about how it’s gonna happen and start believing that it will.
Michaela Olexova, designer

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It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.
Hanoch McCarty, author

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Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
William Shakespeare

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Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
Dale Carnegie, writer and lecturer

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Photo credit: 9dream studio/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
April Dávila
April Dávila is a lover of words. Her debut novel "142 Ostriches" was released in 2020.
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