If you have ambitious goals, you’re guaranteed to experience self-doubt as you set out to achieve them.
There’s always going to be that voice in the back of your head saying…”Are you sure about this? I’m not sure if you’re capable of achieving these goals.”
Every person who’s ever achieved great things has dealt with this voice, and it’s one that you must silence every day in order to live the life you want.
So without further ado, here’s a list of self-doubt quotes that will motivate you to push past your fears and unlock your potential.
Powerful Self-Doubt Quotes
Let’s kick off this list with some moving self-doubt quotes that highlight the impact that it has on our lives.
- “You’re busy doubting yourself while others are intimidated by your full potential.” ~ Unknown
- “Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself. Believe in yourself, your abilities, and your own potential. Never let self-doubt hold you captive.” ~ Roy T. Bennett
- “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Slyvia Plath
- “Self-doubt imprisons those that never overcome it.” ~ Obiora Embry
- “The reason why you doubt yourself so much is that you have never seen yourself in action. You have never seen yourself breaking limits.” ~ Michael Bassey Johnson
- “I keep going because I doubt myself. It drives me to be better. I’ve learned that the mastery of self-doubt is the key to success.” ~ Will Smith
- “The worst feeling in the world is not seeing your efforts in vain but looking back and realizing you could have made it.” ~ Emma Xu
- “You do not need to pay attention to those voices within you that create pain, or make you feel less competent, smart or able.” ~ Sanaya Roman
- “You are so much stronger than you realize. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re not. Not even you.” ~ J.W. Lynne
- “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~ Dale Carnegie
- “The mind creates all this dissatisfaction and self-doubt which only action can cure.” ~ Marty Rubin
- “What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt – it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.” ~ Hal Boyle
- “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.” ~ Unknown
- “All you need is a work ethic. It’s what allows you to push through moments of disappointment and self-doubt and fear.” ~ Candace Bushnell
- “Self-doubt is the anchor that keeps our ships from sailing.” ~ Unknown
- “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” ~ J.M. Barrie
- “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” ~ William Shakespeare
- “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” ~ Bruce Lee
- “It is our talents rusting unused within us that secrete the poison of self-doubt into our bloodstream.” ~ Eric Hoffer
Quotes For Overcoming Self-Doubt
If you just want to keep reading, then here’s more powerful quotes about overcoming self-doubt.
- “If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh
- “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ~ Carrie Fisher
- “We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” ~ Kobe Bryant
- “When doubt enters your mind, just remember how far you’ve come and who the hell you are.” ~ Annmarie Molina
- “I seek strength, not to be greater than others, but to fight my greatest enemy, the doubts within myself” ~ P.C. Cast
- “Doubts never end. If one doubt is removed another takes its place. It is like removing the leaves of a tree one by one. Even if all of the leaves are clipped off, new ones grow. The tree itself must be uprooted.” ~ Ramana Maharshi
- “Erase self-doubt by working to build your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses.” ~ Rodolfo Costa
- “Self-doubt can create fatigue in your mind, whereas focused action can create achievement in your life.” ~ Jackie Cantoni
- “We work in the dark. We do what we can. We give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” ~ Henry James
- “Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt, or fear.” ~ Dan Millman
- “Doubt can motivate you, so don’t be afraid of it. Confidence and doubt are at two ends of the scale, and you need both.” ~ Barbara Streisand
- “Once you win, you have no doubt that you can win. You have gone through it once, and you can do it again.” ~ Ivan Lendi
- “Don’t stop yourself from greatness before you’ve begun from fear or self-doubt. You were put here on this planet to do great things.” ~ Kaiden Blake
- “He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “The biggest challenge you have is to challenge your own self-doubt and your laziness. It is your self doubt and your laziness that defines and limits who you are.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki
- “Everything you want to accomplish is already within yourself so when you start to roll in self-doubt and think negative thoughts, you’ll fall off.” ~ NLE Choppa
- “We were all born with wings. In times of doubt spread them.” ~ Kevin Myers
- “Acting as if you were what you want to become and know you can become is the way to remove self-doubt and enter your real magic kingdom.” ~ Wayne Dyer
Doubting Yourself Is Normal Quotes
It’s completely normal to doubt yourself. Even the bravest, most courageous people that have ever lived are prone to bouts of self-doubt.
However, they’ve mastered what very few people ever do — the art of acting in spite of it.
Here are some self-doubt quotes that highlight why feeling uncertain about your abilities is a completely normal part of the journey.
- “The greatest obstacle to your success is self-doubt.” ~ Dr. Kimberlie Harris
- “If you don’t have some self-doubts and fears when you pursue a dream, then you haven’t dreamed big enough.” ~ Joe Vitale
- “Doubting yourself is normal, letting it stop you is a choice.” ~ Mel Robbins
- “You don’t become confident by avoiding the hard things and avoiding the doubt. You become confident by doing the things that the doubt tells you not to do.” ~ Tonya Leigh
- “Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing that you’re worth the trip.” ~ Glenn Beck
- “If you are constantly doubting yourself about your skills and talents then you are the person with the right skills and the wrong surroundings” ~ Anuj Jasani
- “In your moments of self-doubt, it helps to have someone in your life who believes in you more than you believe in yourself.” ~ Hrishikesh Agnihotri
- “We’re our own worst enemy. You doubt yourself more than anybody ever else will. If you can get past that, you can be successful.” ~ Michael Strahan
- “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” ~ Robert Hughes
- “Doubt begins only at the last frontiers of what’s possible.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
- “If you’re not riddled with doubt, you’ve probably done something wrong.” ~ Patrick Dewitt
- “Self-doubt is the thing that drives you to improve yourself.” ~ Helen Miren
- “Our biggest enemy is our own self-doubt. We really can achieve extraordinary things in our lives. But we sabotage our own greatness because of fear.” ~ Robin Sharma
- “We all have the tendency to believe self-doubt and self-criticism, but listening to this voice never gets us closer to our goals. Instead, try on the point of view of a mentor or good friend who believes in you, wants the best for you, and will encourage you when you feel discouraged.” ~ Kelly McGonial
- “The writer who loses his self-doubt…should stop writing immediately; the time has come for him to lay aside his pen.” ~ Colette
- “Self-doubt does more to sabotage individual potential than all external limitations put together.” ~ Brian Tracy
Fear And Self-Doubt Quotes
Let’s keep this list rolling with some fear and self-doubt quotes that talk about the tug of war that goes on between your ears.
- “Fear and self-doubt have always been the greatest enemies of human potential.” ~ Brian Tracy
- “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” ~ Suzy Kassem
- “Nothing restricts your success more than your limiting self-beliefs and fears.” ~ Maddy Malhotra
- “Discouragement, fear, doubt, lack of self-confidence, are the gems which have killed the prosperity and happiness of tens of thousands of people.” ~ Orison Swett Marden
- “A person’s greatest limitations are not genetic, but imposed by self-doubt, insecurities, indecision, and timidity.” ~ Kilroy J. Oldster
- A big part of my success is never letting negative thoughts cloud my mind, because that affects your work ethic.” ~ Morgan Wallen
- “Let your fear drive you to evolve into greatness.” ~ A.J. Darkholme
- “Fear and self-doubt are the greatest killers of personal genius.” ~ Ziad K. Abdelnour
- “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your beliefs.” ~ Chase Crawford
- “Self-doubt is a disease. And if it gets out of control, it becomes self-fulfilling.” ~ John Flanagan
- “Dreams are not realized in the shadows of self-doubt.” ~ Steven Aitchinson
- “Because of self-doubt, the fear of failure, or laziness, most people usually bite off way less than they can chew.” ~ Mokokoma Mokhonoana
- “If you ever find yourself doubting you can make it through a challenge, simply think back to everything you’ve overcome in the past.” ~ Karen Salmansohn
- “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” ~ Francis Bacon
- “Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.” ~ Virgil Thomson
- “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
Funny Quotes About Self-Doubt
Let’s wrap things up on a lighter note with some funny self-doubt quotes.
- “Self-doubt is a persuasive mistress; careful not to shag her or you’ll never get your balls back.” ~ Simon Hunt
- “Self-doubt is a disease and has no medicine” ~ Anuj Jasani
- “When in doubt, throw doubt out and have a little faith.” ~ E.A. Bucchianeri
- “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” ~ Caroline Caldwell
- “To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” ~ Yann Martel
- “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are fall of doubts and the stupid ones are full of confidence. “ ~ Charles Bukokski
- “A total absence of self-doubt is the first sign of insanity.” ~ Sandy Woodard
- “I cheated on my fears, broke up with my doubts, got engaged to my faith, and now I’m marrying my dreams.” ~ Unknown
- “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand break on.” ~ Maxwell Maltz
- “When in doubt, don’t.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
How Do You Overcome Self-Doubt?
Whenever you’re about to do something that’s clearly outside of your comfort zone, you’re going to experience a wave of self-doubt.
That feeling of fear and unease comes from the amygdala — the part of your brain that’s responsible for processing fear.
Once your brain senses a threat, the amygdala fires up and triggers the fear response in response to whatever threatening stimulus is present.
- The cute girl at the bar who keeps looking over at you.
- Seeing someone that you need to have a difficult conversation with.
- Walking into a room full of important people that you need to impress.
Within a split second, the fear response causes you to hesitate. And after a few seconds of hesitation, your mind is already made up.
Instead of going up to that girl and introducing yourself, you get worried that she’ll find you boring and retreat to comfort.
This is how self-doubt destroys your life — it prevents you from living intentionally and going after what you really want.
In order to overcome self-doubt, you need to stop hesitating. When you feel the urge to do something uncomfortable that moves you towards your goals, you simply need to move.
Here’s how it works:
- If you find yourself hesitating to act on a goal, start counting backwards in your head from five.
- Your internal dialogue should sound something like… “5-4-3-2-1…go!”
- Once you reach “1” or “go”, you need to physically move towards what you want.
- Ex: If you’re hesitating to say hi to someone, confidently start walking in their direction.
If you let yourself sit in limbo for more than five seconds, you know better than anyone that you’re not going to take action. If you don’t act on your urges quickly, you’ll just sit there while golden opportunities for growth pass you by.
It’s a vicious cycle that all starts with hesitation. So the next time you have an urge to do something that you know is right, see if the five second rule can spring you into action!
Final Thoughts On These Self-Doubt Quotes
Well, I hope you enjoyed this list of quotes about self-doubt.
Although doubt is a powerful emotion, everyone reading this article is capable of overcoming it. Overcoming it is not easy, but it is simple — you simply must repeatedly do what you are afraid to do.
Each time you act in spite of fear, your courage muscle will grow a little stronger and you’ll move closer to what you want.
So what’s one thing you’re afraid of that you’re going to commit to doing today?
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