Self-doubt can paralyze you with fear and make you second-guess every choice you make. Everyone questions themselves at times, but when it happens often, it can cause stagnation and mental problems. Sometimes, we’re our worst enemies because we overthink everything and never feel good enough despite our achievements.
Unsurprisingly, women suffer from self-doubt more often than men. They tend to downplay their capabilities and don’t like to ruffle feathers like their male counterparts. In fact, a 2019 KPMG Women’s Leadership Study found that only 43% of women feel comfortable taking risks to advance their careers. Moreover, the research revealed that women’s risk-taking behaviors decline as they gain more experience, even as their confidence increases.
However, societal advancements have shown that women can accomplish anything if they believe in themselves. They no longer have rigid structures holding them back and can choose a new course for their life.
But getting rid of the negative voices in our heads doesn’t happen overnight. It takes determination and willpower to overcome self-doubt and honestly believe in our abilities. Hopefully, you will find encouragement from women who removed self-imposed limitations in these stories.
Five Successful Women Who Overcame Self-Doubt Reveal Their Secrets
1. Miyoko Schinner, Founder of Miyoko’s Creamery
Miyoko founded the plant-based dairy company in 2014 in her own kitchen. Since then, she’s been on a quest to create a more compassionate world while running a successful women-led business. She now sells her vegan cheese products in 29,000 North American and Australian stores. She encountered plenty of self-doubt along the way but didn’t let it hinder her progress.
In an interview with Plant Based News, she said, “We women are at times our own worst enemy. We’ve come to believe that we’re not good enough, that the man in the room knows how to run things. I’ve learned that it’s not true.
“So many times, I’ve doubted myself, given away my power. Only, in the end, to discover that I had known all along how to do something. I’m learning — as I age — to rely on my instincts and intuition more and more, and take command and lead,” she continued.
2. Jennifer Lopez
Even celebrities aren’t immune from self-doubt and negative thoughts about themselves. After Jennifer landed a role in the film Second Act, she told Thrive Global how she manifested her dreams despite others’ criticism.
She said, “I just kept going. You ask me what I did? Despite the hurt and the pain, I just kept going.” She took her own advice and made more records and movies even though some doubted her talent. After learning to trust in her abilities, she said, “I started believing in the fact that I wasn’t an impostor, that I wasn’t a fake, that there was a reason I kept doing this and people kept hiring me.”
3. Arleen Ouzounian, founder and CEO of Nazani Tea
Running a business comes with numerous challenges and anxiety-inducing scenarios. However, the founder of Nazani Tea believes that following your passion gives you the strength to overcome any problems. The herbal-infusion brand sets itself apart by using ethically sourced, sustainable ingredients. Arleen attributes the company’s success in recent years to responsible business practices prioritizing the environment and human health.
In an interview with Entrepreneur, she said, “There will always be moments of self-doubt and back-to-back days where you feel you’re constantly fighting fires, but with perseverance and sheer determination the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place.”
4. Rosie, stylist
Unfortunately, many women suffer from low self-esteem, especially after having children. They begin losing their identity as life becomes more about motherhood than personal development. In an interview with Marie Claire, 37-year-old stylist Rosie told her story about overcoming self-doubt and launching her own business.
“I was badly bullied at school, and I didn’t realise how much it shaped me. I always had self-doubt. Things came to a head after I had my second child and was re-evaluating my career. I realised I wasn’t alone — so many women forget about themselves in motherhood and start feeling worthless,” she said in the interview.
To help women feel more confident, she launched a personal styling business €” My Virtual Stylist. It aims to help women feel more comfortable in their skin and find a style that suits them best. Rosie added that self-love and compassion opened up new doors in her life that wouldn’t have been available otherwise.
5. Georgia, student
In the same interview with Marie Claire, Georgia talked about how she overcame anxiety as a school captain. One time, she had to give a speech to 1000 people and began doubting herself. She wondered why anyone would listen to her, but all the insecurities melted away once she got on stage. She remembered a quote that her mom would always tell her: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Since then, the quote has become her life motto, and she often takes on challenging roles to test her abilities. She believes that leadership is like a muscle; for it to grow, you must exercise it often.
If you struggle with self-doubt, these stories will hopefully instill confidence. Remember, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Final Thoughts on How Successful Women Overcame Self-Doubt
Self-doubt plagues all of us at some point in life. But it isn’t the feeling that matters so much as how we act on it. We lose faith in ourselves if we allow fear and anxiety to control us. But we can achieve anything by working through our doubts and using positive thoughts. Fear drains our willpower and makes us hide from life. On the other hand, self-confidence (even if you fake it at first) can move mountains.
If you ever feel self-doubt, use these stories above for a confidence booster!