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How to Turn Self-Doubt into a Power-Source of Personal and Professional Growth

Activate Your Self Confidence - Elena Perella, Sentidu Life Coach
Unless you are from another planet, we all felt self-doubt at a time or another; however this is one of those feelings we wish we never have to deal with.

According to Roget Thesaurus, self-doubt is the “lack of confidence in the reliability of one's own motives, personality, thought, etc.”

We all question whether we are living up to our potential, or have the capacity of facing daily challenges, of making the right choices and decisions. Perhaps we feel that we are not good enough, or that we simply don’t deserve certain things.

However, is self-doubt really so bad? Not at all and I’ll explain why. But first let me make a distinction between healthy and toxic self-doubt.

  • Healthy self-doubt is that feeling of uncertainty that helps us prevent unhealthy outcomes in our lives, private and professional
  • Healthy self-doubt comes from an internal platform of balance and is a manifestation of self- love
  • Healthy self-doubt helps us thrive and create constructive relationships

Unfortunately for most people healthy self-doubt is overshadowed by toxic self-doubt, which is part of one’s family’s toxic emotional inheritance. This is a legacy of toxic emotions, feelings, beliefs, tendencies, internal conflicts, etc. that our parents and relatives passed onto us.

For example, if you had a mother who had feelings of insecurities or a father that lived with an internal
sense of inferiority, they, unconsciously, passed those onto you. Probably they reinforced this with neglecting
your potential, ignoring or not praising your achievements, etc. In this way your self-confidence wasn’t fully activated. As a consequence, you grew up with a sense of uncertainty and self-doubt that weren’t yours and that are still imparing your ability to make choices and decisions, to face challenges, and often or at times, feel inadequate.

The Difference between Toxic Self-Doubt and Healthy Self-Doubt

Toxic self-doubt is different than healthy self-doubt because the toxic one it consumes us, it makes us delay our actions and, often, it blocks us from doing what we really want. Toxic self-doubt gives us a sense of insecurity that we struggle against ‒ just like swimming against strong ocean waves ‒ in the attempt to clear our way towards the realization of our goals.

On the contrary healthy self-doubt doesn’t consume us, it doesn’t force us to question ourselves and our capacities at the extent of toxic self-doubt; it rather it challenges us to assess our choices and as a result, be and do more. Healthy self-doubt feels good, makes us reflect on things, helps us make the right choices and helps us redirect our decisions when they are not constructive because it warns us before we make them. We don’t need to struggle against healthy self-doubt because it is inherent to our natural balance; it doesn’t block us, it makes us flow.

Like I previously said, toxic self-doubt is part of our family’s toxic emotional inheritance. Know that toxic self-doubt comes from a lack of self-esteem which originates from a deepest cause: a lack of self-love. This means that if we want to banish toxic self-doubt we have to work at its source: our lack of self-love, by detoxifying ourselves from our family’s toxic emotional inheritance.


By learning to really love ourselves. In order to do this, there are two the steps:

1.      Identify your family’s toxic inherited elements and find ways to eliminate them
2.      Activate your self-love  

In order to detoxify from your family’s toxic emotional inheritance, you have to be willing to identify it inside of you. This is the first step to freeing yourself from all emotional toxic elements and find your balance. This step is not easy – it can, in fact, be quite painful to some, as you have to revisit past experiences that most likely will be painful. Not everybody is emotionally ready to fully embrace this step. It requires inner strength to face the toxicity passed onto you by your family. If you feel you are ready to take this step and would like guidance with it, send me a message.

Loving yourself is the key to everything

In order to achieve your maximum potential and become the person you know you can be, learning to really love yourself is a must. Whether you are a parent, a businessman, or a housewife, if you don’t really love yourself you will never be able to live a satisfactory life. “Satisfactory life,” meaning an inner peace not necessarily related to any achievements, possessions, relationships, or career success; but rather related to a balanced inner feeling that “I am enough”. When you don’t live in this “balanced inner feeling,” you will simply survive in the illusion of being happy, settling for way less than your capabilities; or worse, you will go through live feeling miserable, no matter what you achieve.

In order to really learn to love yourself we have to put aside what you have learned about self-love and love in general, and embrace a new concept:

“Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.” (M. Scott Peck)

Building upon Scottt Peck’s definition, I will say that real love is:

The energy that you use to help yourself for the purpose of nurturing your own personal and professional growth… You can choose to love yourself, but can fully do it only after you detoxify from your family’s toxic conditionings. Choose to love yourself! That choice in itself will get you started on your journey toward complete self-love”

Learning to really love yourself will help you:

·         Identify and defeat toxic self-doubt
·         Have a solid sense of self, knowing that you are enough
·         Improve the quality of your life
·         Don’t get lost in a spiral of uncertainties and worries
·         Use healthy self-doubt to make the right choices and decisions
·         Find a sense of purpose

And much more…

Once you learn to really love yourself, even when you fail at something — because we can’t always succeed in everything — you won’t beat yourself up feeling unworthy and you will know that you are adequate of being more and doing more than those around you made you believe.

Are you ready to embrace the opportunity to start a new chapter of your life? For more information, contact me at

About the author

Elena Perella is NOT a therapist, a psychologist or a psychiatrist; she is a coach who focuses on helping clients indentify the real reasons behind their suffering and problems. Born and raised on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Elena is passionate about what she does, and with good reason. Elena coached herself through a severe depression, eating disorders and domestic violence and her experience has led her on a journey of discovery of how to break out all of these challenges. As a result she created Sentidu Life Coaching to help people experience their own transformation and break free in the areas they feel stuck.

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