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Wellness > Mental Health

Advice for When You’re Dealing with Self-Doubt

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. John's chapter.

It has now been a  little over a month since college has commenced, and this can commonly be a point where students encounter feelings of self-doubt. One’s diffidence can stem from a variety of reasons, such as doubting their decision-making, lacking confidence in their abilities or maybe they just believe they are not enough, in general. For students like me who’ve just begun their freshman year of college, the first semester can be rough. Whether you’re struggling to manage your assignments, missing your family, or questioning the path you’ve chosen, everyone has these feelings and this is completely normal.

No matter who you are, you deserve to feel confident in yourself and your life. Most of the overwhelming emotions students feel are planted in their own heads. If you begin to doubt yourself or the decisions you have made, take a step back and evaluate before acting irrationally. 

Believe me when I say that I’ve had my own encounters with self-doubt this past month. I am a journalism major and I set high standards for myself. So, when I don’t do well on an assignment or an article of mine receives a lot of edits I begin to doubt my abilities and if I should continue pursuing journalism. It’s moments like these where I take a moment to remind myself that I’m only 18-years-old and I am just beginning to embark on my journalism journey. 

If you start to become apprehensive of yourself, find some distractions. Hobbies are your best friend when you start to feel emotions like these and I can personally relate to this. Whenever I’m feeling this way, I like to pick up a book and get lost in another world that isn’t my own. Listening to music, going for a walk and heading to the gym are really effective ways to rid your mind of its doubtful thoughts. Another constructive distraction could entail hanging out with friends because you should remember that you are not alone, and many others are feeling the same emotions. Instead of focusing on the negative thoughts circulating your brain, focus on your own individual, positive characteristics. Know that you have come so far and you still have so much more room to grow. 

Whenever you’re experiencing self-doubt, remember that you don’t have to be afraid of these feelings. Even if you’re questioning your capabilities, ask yourself why, get to the root of what’s triggering your fears and then challenge them. Most commonly, there are no practical motives that cause someone to doubt themselves, but one key proponent in enabling self-doubt is overthinking. Questioning and overanalyzing the decisions you have made throughout life is a recurring experience. You will inevitably face situations where you will doubt yourself or what you’re capable of. Always remember that you can do anything you put your mind to and know that you are never alone.

Sasha is journalism major at St. Johns. She's born and raised in Pennsylvania but always dreamed of living in a big city. She loves all things fashion, books, tv/movies, and food.