Combating Self-Doubt

by Kat Kaelin

Top View of Boot on the trail with the text: Become Who You AreMerriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines self-doubt as “the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities.” So many of us are guilty of regretting decisions that we make solely on our lack of self-confidence.  We believe in the intent of our actions, but tend to allow outside factors to weigh down our assurance. There are so many moments in the day when self-doubt can arise. Whether it’s at home or in the work place, the emotional stress that comes with doubting ourselves can lead to a variety of problems that affect our overall well being.

The world is ever changing and we all want to keep up with it. It is easy to label ourselves as victims of ignorance, and settling for our lack of knowledge as all we can bring to the table of this evolving world. This alone brings us back to self-doubt and our unwillingness to be confident in what we can offer. Confidence is key to effectively contribute to today’s society.

We are all worth it. We just need to find our place and our desire to contribute to this busy world we live in. Settling is giving up. It is easy to settle into what is comfortable. But if you begin at the core of the issue, you, and work on that; the world will seem limitless.

A lot of us, myself included, can easily be sucked into the world of negativity and disappointment. We allow these negative emotions to run our lives and short change us of the opportunities that we most definitely deserve. I truly believe if we take a step back from realities’ opinion of us, we can become self-aware and coach ourselves into believing we can accomplish whatever we put our minds to. But it takes the first step. Believing in yourself and your value as a contributing factor in today’s world.

Whatever it takes to set the mood of building yourself up, do it. It may seem silly at first, but creating a positive mind out of a negative one takes time, and it takes work. We must surround ourselves by what makes us feel uplifted. I ran into an amazing blog that lists multiple ways to build your self-confidence. Yes, some may seem silly, but you may never know, complimenting yourself in the mirror might be the extra push to land you that job you were hoping for.

I remind myself with positive affirmations throughout the day, by little notes or reminders on my phone. It reminds me that I am trying to grow as a person, and my contributions do matter. This leads me to such an important part of the process, committing yourself to change for the better. As stated above, change is not overnight. There has to be a willingness to accept this slow process and learn and grow into the best person we all want to be. Instant gratification, is just that, instant. We want long term success.

Throughout the process you will encounter outside negativity, but avoiding it will only bring the issue full circle over and over again. Squash it where it stands. Allow yourselves to say no. Saying no, for a lot of us, is extremely hard. But it does become easier, and the reward is much higher. Saying no allows us to be told no. A lot of times hearing no, makes us question ourselves and brings us right back to self-doubt. Realizing what you may have to offer may not be beneficial at that moment. But that is okay and it is completely normal. It makes us reevaluate our path and either fix or change that path. Being told no or saying no is not negative, it’s a given opportunity to enhance our qualities.

Committing to change is challenging. There are so many outside factors that you may be faced with that may distract you from your positive state of mind. Remember, you are worth it. What you have to offer is beneficial. Find something that promotes your self-confidence, and remind yourself in a way that works for you. It may take time, but creating a habit is easy, changing one is difficult. Staying the course of true self-worth is difficult. But it is worth it. The reward is there; it is up to you to go out there and get it.


Kat Kaelin is a former US Army Staff Sergeant and a combat veteran of Afghanistan. Near the end of her military career, she volunteered to train and serve in the Army’s new role for women as a cultural support team (CST) member. After completion of the training, the 75th Ranger Regiment selected her and the top tier CST’s to be attached to support their soldiers in Afghanistan. She was a member of CST-2 and served with LT Ashley White, whose story is told in the NY Times best-seller “Ashley’s War.” She is a cohost of the Mentors for Military podcast that has been on iTunes “New and Noteworthy” list.

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