From Self-Doubt to Self-Love: A Journey of Healing with Women’s Issues Therapy in NYC

In life, it’s common from time to time to experience feelings of self-doubt. If you’re taking a big exam, switching careers, or giving a speech, there’s a good chance feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty may arise. You may find that you frequently second-guess yourself, question your abilities, worry about failure, or seek reassurance by polling others when making decisions. If this is the case, you may struggle with a form of self-doubt that leads to low self-esteem and imposter syndrome.

Self-doubt is a style of thinking that manifests as a lack of confidence in one’s capabilities, skills, and judgment. Self-doubt is a form of anxiety that is rooted in a fear of failure. There’s no one specific cause of self-doubt. For some, it may be caused by past hurts or traumas, a critical or demanding parent, or experiences of striving to fit in. Whatever the case, you don’t have to continue to struggle with self-doubt and let it rule your life.

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Self-doubt in NYC women with high-functioning anxiety

For many women, self-doubt is an invisible struggle that is unfortunately reinforced by our success-focused and demanding work culture. From the outside, you may be seen as hardworking, high-achieving, motivated, ambitious, organized, and detail-oriented. However, on the inside, these qualities and behaviors stem from a place of anxiety. Women with high-functioning anxiety often fear being seen as a failure, incompetent, or that making mistakes will be seen as a sign of weakness.

Navigating imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome and self-doubt go hand in hand. When a person doubts her own capabilities and worthiness, this leads to feeling undeserving, incompetent, and even incapable. With imposter syndrome, you may likely attribute your past successes to mere luck or downplay your skills and capabilities leading to a greater sense of inadequacy. A fear of somehow being discovered as a “fraud” leads to even greater levels of anxiety, isolation, and exhaustion.

Self-doubt frequently causes feelings of extreme overwhelm and self-judgment. You may overthink everything from work, relationships, the past, and thoughts about the future. Overthinking can look like doubting your decision-making and ruminating over your choices to the point of exhaustion. Worrying whether you are doing the correct thing, making the right decision, or getting enough done can become so anxiety-provoking that for some, it is paralyzing.

Understanding the roots of self-doubt

It’s helpful to keep in mind that the human brain is predisposed to focus on what could go wrong more than what could go right. As humans, we are wired to scan our environments for threats to keep ourselves safe. Through evolutionary psychology, we know that our ancestors who looked out for threats and acted accordingly were the ones who survived. Therefore, it is in our DNA to look out for any signs of danger. However, this becomes problematic when it leads to constant worry, overthinking, and self-doubt.

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Proven strategies for NYC women coping with self-doubt and high-functioning anxiety:

You don’t have to live with self-doubt. You can learn to tame this unhelpful and harmful inner voice and still excel, just without the constant overthinking, overwhelm, and anxiety.

Challenge your thinking

To begin to challenge self-doubt, start by writing down and identifying any cognitive distortions you are engaging in. Cognitive distortions are automatic irrational and negative thoughts that influence how a person feels, acts, and perceives the world. Some common types of cognitive distortions are jumping to conclusions, black-and-white thinking, and catastrophizing. Cognitive distortions generally lead a person to overestimate the likelihood that the worst will happen, ignore or discount alternative explanations, and underestimate one’s ability to cope. So, the next time you find yourself experiencing self-doubt remind yourself that thoughts are not facts. Try to name more balanced alternative explanations and remember to not believe everything you think!

Practice self-compassion

When self-doubt and self-criticism dominate your thinking, self-compassion can become your best friend. Research shows that self-compassion helps treat anxiety and increase resilience. When supporting clients, I always work from a self-compassionate lens. Self-compassion profoundly shifts one’s internal dialogue and experience with difficult emotions. The three main components of self-compassion are self-love, mindfulness, and common humanity. You can begin to engage in self-compassion by talking to or treating yourself like someone you love. Chances are you speak to your loved ones in a more loving way than you do yourself. When you actively turn this kindness inward, you can experience a true shift in your mood and thinking.

Self-compassion also involves practicing mindfulness, acknowledging, sitting with, and radically accepting whatever is happening to you in this moment and whatever feelings may arise. And finally, self-compassion encourages you to consider the idea of common humanity, that everyone in this world struggles at times and faces challenges and this is part of being human.

I hope these strategies help you begin to you better manage your self-doubt and high-functioning anxiety, but please know you don’t have to face these challenges alone. Liz Yarock Psychotherapy is here to support you.

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Get started with women’s therapy in NYC today

Liz Yarock Psychotherapy is here to support and empower you as you cope with self-doubt, high-functioning anxiety, and women’s issues. I am dedicated to helping you manage your anxiety and experience growth, healing, and meaningful change. I’m here to support you and help you live a more authentic and fulfilling life. If you’re interested in learning more:

Other services I offer as an NYC women’s therapist

Liz Yarock Psychotherapy offers a range of services to support holistic well-being. From anxiety counseling and life transition therapy to women’s issues therapy, I provide tailored support using evidence-based approaches. I also offer relationship therapy and highly sensitive person therapy. Whatever your needs, I’m here to support you on your journey toward living your most fulfilling and empowered life.

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I am happy to offer a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to help you gain a sense of who I am and my approach to therapy in order to determine if we will work well together.