9 Practical Ways I Handle Self-Doubt As A Blogger

by Theja Pk
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Last updated on May 21st, 2024

Can you overcome self-doubt as a blogger? Spoiler alert: not always. But that’s an occupational hazard of being human.

In this post, I’ll outline strategies that have helped me cope with crippling self-doubt, especially on days it seems unmanageable.

You’ll notice that for each strategy, I’ve identified specific triggers that often lead to self-doubt. My intention is to help you identify similar triggers in your own journey.

And remember, these strategies aren’t just limited to blogging – they can be applied to various aspects of life.

So, without further ado, let’s jump in.

1. Get it out of your head

SELF-DOUBT TRIGGER: Overthinking

When self-doubt creeps in, one of the primary triggers for me is the tendency to overthink. When thoughts start flying around in my head at 1000 mph, one of the quickest ways to get them under control is to write them down.

If you’ve been in the self-help world for a while, you’re probably tired of hearing about journaling. But it’s mentioned alot because it works.

There’s limitless space in your head, so thoughts can grow as big and fast as they want. Confining your thoughts to the boundaries of a page makes them more tangible and finite.

excerpt from my bullet journal

This is an excerpt from my bullet journal during one of my episodes of overthinking & self-doubt.

It’s okay to write down the same thoughts repeatedly. I often do. The key is to get them out of your head where they’re the most dangerous.

Over time, you may notice a pattern. What similar moments or people or situations trigger your self-doubt, and how can you lessen these?

But remember, you can only detect this pattern if you write it down.

2. Surround yourself with inspiration

What you expose yourself to daily will impact your mood, whether you realize it or not.

That’s why I’ve made it a point to fill my space with things that lift me up and push me to keep going.

This is more of a proactive way of keeping self-doubt at bay instead of dealing with it after it has happened (hence, no trigger was mentioned above).

Some of my favorite ways of keeping myself motivated are shown below:

  • I keep motivational quotes on my vision board where they are easily visible. This board is right behind my computer, so I see them every day.
  • I keep a compassionate quote on my dresser, so it’s the first thing I see when I start my day and the last thing I see before I go to bed.
  • If you’re as attached to your phone as I am, then having some inspirational wallpapers can be quite helpful.
my vision board
my dresser’s mirror
my iPhone screensaver
my iPhone wallpaper

Feel free to grab a copy of the screensaver and wallpaper if you’d like.

3. Tally your triumphs

SELF-DOUBT TRIGGER: Forgetting your progress

When self-doubt clouds your mind, it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come. The daily grind can blur your accomplishments, making you feel like you’re not making any progress at all.

To combat this, I’ve started keeping track of every little win. Whether it’s learning a new skill or hitting a milestone, I make sure to jot it down.

Switch your mindset from self-doubt to self-assurance.

Whether it’s your daily journal, a digital tracker, or even just a list on your phone, having a record of your achievements can help you stay grounded.

When I feel that self-doubt creeping in, telling me that I’m not good enough, this is a handy reference to have for that motivational boost.

4. Find your tribe

SELF-DOUBT TRIGGER: Feeling alone in your struggles

Blogging is a highly introverted activity. I can spend weeks in front of my computer without seeing my friends. While that’s great for introverts like myself, it gets very lonely.

That’s why it’s so important to find your tribe. Having friends and family with whom you can share your struggles can be a breath of relief on the hard days.

If you don’t have anyone in person to turn to, join online blogging communities or listen to podcasts. Podcasts are one of my favorite ways to get inspiration from other online entrepreneurs who are going through the same things I am.

Here are some blogging communities you can join – list sourced from The Cheetah Buzz blog (but updated to only include currently active groups):

Knowing that others are going through the same thing can be incredibly comforting.

5. Adjust your expectations

SELF-DOUBT TRIGGER: Unrealistic expectations about blogging

It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting too much, too soon, from your blogging journey. The allure of overnight success can lead to feelings of inadequacy when reality doesn’t match your expectations.

Make no mistake – blogging is hard. The competition is high, and the instant gratification is low.

While it’s tempting to compare yourself to the small percentage of bloggers who achieve overnight success, remember that their journey is the exception, not the rule. In fact, only 5% of bloggers earn a full-time income through their blogs (yup, that’s a single digit!).

I’m not saying you can’t do the same—heavens no. But expecting yourself to be successful overnight and then doubting yourself when it doesn’t happen is setting yourself up for failure.

Building an audience that trusts what you have to say and values your content takes time. Give yourself the grace to slowly grow into the person you need to be to make this happen.

If you’re looking for some friendly advice to get your blogging journey started, check out my comprehensive list of lessons I’ve learned in my first year of blogging.

6. Learn one skill at a time

SELF-DOUBT TRIGGER: Trying to do too much at once

One of the most common triggers of my self-doubt is the feeling of inadequacy when I struggle to grasp a new skill quickly. It’s easy to spiral into thoughts of worthlessness when progress seems slow, especially with the pressure of mastering something new quickly.

If you’re a DIY kind of person like me, or if your budget doesn’t allow for hiring someone with the necessary skills, learning the various skills required to run a successful blog can feel overwhelming.

And if you come from a completely different career background, like I do with medicine, the uphill climb is even steeper.

To combat this trigger, I’ve adopted a strategy of setting MONTHLY SKILL GOALS. Each month, I dedicate all my free time to learning one new area of blogging. This month, I am focusing on Pinterest Marketing. Especially with how Google’s been behaving lately with their Helpful Content Update, it’s better not to place all my eggs in one basket.

If you need more than one month, consider using a quarter of a year, as suggested in the 12-week-year method.

In times of doubt, I often come back to this quote by Alex Hormozi ⇒ “Anxiety comes from having too many options and a lack of priorities.”

Whenever I start to feel anxious and question whether blogging is right for me, I return to this quote to remind me to focus on ONE thing that I can control and ignore the ones I can’t.

7. Put down the keyboard and step away from the blog

SELF-DOUBT TRIGGER: Not being able to produce work up to my standards

The pressure to constantly produce content can feel suffocating, and staring at a blank screen only adds to the anxiety.

Creativity needs time to breathe. It’s not one of those things that you can force into existence.

Whenever I find myself unable to write, I implement a “Do Nothing” day.

A “Do Nothing” day is exactly what it sounds like – a day where I do absolutely nothing. No screens, no tasks from my to-do list, just lying down and staring into space.

You might think, ‘Wow, this sounds great,’ but in reality, this day makes me anxious. The perfectionist in me screams to do something productive and not waste time.

However, every time, without fail, by the end of these days, I have solved a creative problem or developed new ideas for my blog. The following day, the words start flowing again.

Taking breaks allows the mind to process information unconsciously. This is also why some of the best ideas arise when you’re taking a shower, doing the dishes, or going for a walk.

So the next time your writer’s block is feeding your self-doubt, try a do-nothing day.

8. Avoid comparison-itis

SELF-DOUBT TRIGGER: Comparing yourself to others

Telling someone, “Don’t compare yourself to others,” is like telling them, “Don’t think of a pink elephant.” The human mind has difficulty comprehending the negative. Here’s a clip from one of my favorite speakers talking about this concept.

Instead of falling into this comparison trap, I’ve learned to shift that energy into a different perspective:

  • If I feel worthless – I focus on how far I have come in the past few years. This goes back to tracking your triumphs, as mentioned above.

  • If I feel jealous – I follow what another one of my favorite speakers, Mel Robbins, always says: “Jealousy is a directional signal telling you what you want.” Then, I focus on making the effort to get where I want to go.

Comparing your journey to others is doing yourself a huge disservice. But because it’s so hard not to do it in the first place, put that energy to better use.

9. Give yourself some grace

I place this last because sometimes, self-doubt wins. You can try all the methods I have listed, and they fail to work. Some days are just hard, and we’ve all had them.

On these days, just give yourself some grace and do what you can to get through the day.

These are the days when I binge Netflix with a tub of ice cream or spend the whole day at a GF’s house. Do what you need to do to make it to midnight.

Tomorrow is another day to try again.

Conclusion

I hope at least one of these methods will help reduce your self-doubt, even if only by a small fraction.

To conclude, I’ll share a quote with you (can you tell I love quotes?): “There are two types of successful people: those with imposter syndrome and sociopaths.”

If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’re not a sociopath.

In the comments below, let me know which tip resonated with you the most. If you have a suggestion that you’d like to add, feel free to do so. I’d love to hear it.

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