Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about self-doubt.   I’ve suffered from self-doubt throughout my life; I guess the best way to describe it is that sometimes I feel like an imposter.  It’s a sinking, uneasy feeling – “I’m not really suppose to be this happy / successful / loved,  my partner / boss / friend must have mistaken me for something that I’m not.”


At my worst self-doubt moments, I look at all the good things that I’ve created in my life and wonder if God is going to come and say, “Oh, Caitlin.  I was just kidding; I meant to give that life to someone else.”  I’ve always felt like that, even when I was at my lowest of lows (and I’ve hit some crappy lows).  Honestly, I wouldn’t wish that worry on my worst enemy.  


I think a lot of self-doubt stems from the unconscious feeling that we have to be perfect to be worthwhile.  The perfect worker, the perfect friend, the perfect wife or husband, the perfect person all the freaking time.  And if we’re not perfect, good things aren’t suppose to happen to us.  This, of course, is totally silly.  No one says you have to be perfect to be worthwhile, and the idea that anyone of us could even approach perfection in our work, studies, relationships, or health is ridiculous. 


In the past, I allowed myself to get totally swallowed up by those doubtful feelings.  Even when I managed to push on with my plans for success, my self-doubt would sabotage me in little ways.  A perfect example of this is when I was working for that urban planning company a few years back.  I had really put my nose to the grindstone, and my bosses had noticed that I had potential; they gave me more managerial responsibilities, bigger projects, and less oversight.  It was what I had wanted for so long – to climb the corporate ladder – but the moment I put my foot in the next rung, I began to make stupid mistakes.  I turned in memos with typos, forgot to call back clients, and missed conference calls.  Self-doubt raged in my head, growing bigger and bigger with every error.   In light of all my mistakes, I decided that my self-doubt had been right.  I wasn’t cut out for the promotion. 


The truth was that I had let a few simple mistakes snowball into a self-doubt nightmare.   And I think that goes back to the feeling of perfectionism – once I screwed up, I felt like my ambitions were hopeless.  In reality, I had all the capabilities, skills, and drive to be successful at my job, I just shot myself in the foot.  I got derailed by minor setbacks.  I let the self-doubt win.   


Over the last few years, I’ve realized something very, very important:  instead of believing that my self-doubt voice was right when things began to go awry, I could choose to try to prove my self-doubt wrong. I began to see self-doubt as a little gremlin (the evil kind, not the cute kind) that lived in my head and wanted me to fail.  But the self-doubt gremlin didn’t control me – I controlled my responses to difficult situations.


Specifically, here’s how I’m tackling the self-doubt monster:


  • When I have moments of self-doubt, I remember moments when I failed and recovered.  I think it’s easy to brush off successes as “accidental” or “lucky.”  When I think about overcoming failures, I’m reminded of what I’m capable of.


  • I started to focus on happiness that have nothing to do with money or fitness.  I started to volunteer with Girls on the Run, and I made a bigger effort to call my old girlfriends.  Being successful in other (more important, frankly) areas of my life made it easier to roll with the punches.


  • I began to do daily prayer / meditation / whatever you want to call it.  I’m not a particularly religious person, but being thankful every day for the things I do have made me less stressed out about what I don’t have. 


  • I decided to view failures as opportunities, not death sentences.  My first book was rejected nearly a dozen times.  I tried so hard not to let it phase me.  Just because something doesn’t work out the first time, doesn’t mean it’s not suppose to. 


  • I stopped feeling guilty for having self-doubt in the first place.  Oh, what a vicious cycle!  I would doubt, I would feel bad and weak for doubting, and then I would feel worse.  Now I just acknowledge my self-doubt, know that it’s okay to feel it, and try to proactively tackle it.


  • I decided to view self-doubt as a motivator, not an obstacle.  When I have a moment of self-doubt, I try to prove my gremlin wrong – either by proactively chasing success or brushing myself off and trying again when I fail.   And more than anything, I’m REALLY trying to turn my voice of self-doubt around and use the little stupid gremlin for good, not evil.  I’m over putting limits on my own happiness.  


Self-doubt is a bitch.  But sometimes, you just have to figure out how to get out of your own way.  Trust the path you’re on. 


No matter what, if you just believe in yourself, you’ll end up where you’re suppose to be. 



  • Kayla May 9, 2011, 7:17 pm

    Amen sister! Loved this…just what I needed while finishing up these last exams for the semester!

  • VeggieGirl May 9, 2011, 7:21 pm

    EXCELLENT reminder and message. Thank you for this!

  • Laura @ Backstage Pass May 9, 2011, 7:25 pm

    Beautiful post! I definitely struggle with self-doubt, and these are helpful suggestions for how to deal with it and overcome it. Thank you, Caitlin!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now May 9, 2011, 7:25 pm

    Great, great reminder. I’ve had some self-doubt issues myself lately, but I just keep trudging through knowing I am doing the right thing.

  • Carol May 9, 2011, 7:26 pm

    Caitlin. Wow, this is just what I needed. I’ve been having a tough time this week. I’ve been given a promotion, been told I’m going to be great, but I feel like, you said, an impostor or maybe that they’re seeing something that’s not there. I’m also so afraid of what I don’t know and being uncomfortable again. I know that this next step is good for me and deep down I know I’m cut out for the position. However, I can’t help feeling all these feelings of “will I be good enough? Will I succeed?” etc. Achieving success, or moving forward, is not easy.

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:02 pm

      You deserve the promotion 🙂 You are awesome and can totally do this.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg May 9, 2011, 7:27 pm

    Awesome post — self doubt creeps in my mind often. I also take those times as opportunites to prove myself wrong!

  • Jenna (Hello, I Love You) May 9, 2011, 7:28 pm

    Caitlin–this is why you are one of my favorite bloggers. It is not just about physical health but mental health too. This post rocks!

    • Julie May 9, 2011, 10:12 pm

      Amen to that!!!!

      • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:04 pm

        Thank you both!

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun May 9, 2011, 7:28 pm

    I fricking love this post!!! I especially hate the self doubt to guilt cycle. Oh how I can relate. And I’ll email you back sometime tomorrow. 🙂

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe May 9, 2011, 7:31 pm

    Love it! I am the same way, when things are going right for me I’m plagued with worry that something is going to take it all away. I am getting better at believing that I deserve every bit of happiness that comes my way, and that doubt is the only thing that will sabotage it.

  • Tessa @ Amazing Asset May 9, 2011, 7:31 pm

    Loved this post! Exactly what I need to hear right now…with a combination of finals and a bunch of other issues going on, I have been doubting myself lately

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 9, 2011, 7:35 pm

    This post is amazing. I definitely doubt myself a lot. Especially teaching in an inner city school. Some days, I just want to all up and cry when I feel like I am doing nothing to help these kids.. when thing just aren’t clicking. It is nice when some colleagues can help to bring me back to earth.. and help me to realize I am damn good at what I do – and am providing a great education for my kids!

    • Sarah May 9, 2011, 9:33 pm

      I also work in an inner city school, so I could relate to this comment a lot. Last year (my first year) I was so floored by the need and the difficulty of teaching kids who face so many obstacles. But over time, I’ve learned that I’m not called to “save” these kids or reverse years of negative circumstances–I’m just called to care about them and believe in their potential to overcome those circumstances in their future. That’s easy! I genuinely DO care about them and believe in them, and I can show them that by showing up everyday in a positive mood regardless of what happened the day before, expecting the best from them but being patient with them when they fail to meet expectations, caring about them, noticing and respecting their moods, skills, and the way they express themselves, etc. When bring MY best self and give my all to my students, I am doing everything I need to do, and I can leave proud of what I’ve accomplished that day regardless of how they have performed. Listen to your colleagues–I’m sure you are fantastic at what you do, and are making much more of a difference than you realize.

      • Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 9, 2011, 9:44 pm

        Wow – thank you for this comment. You really lifted my spirits! It is my first year.. and some days are just so tough. You are right.. I am not there to save children.. and there are some things about their circumstances..that are incredibly unfortunate, but there is nothing that I can do to change that! You have just brought that warm and fuzzy feeling to me heart! Thanks girl!

        • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:06 pm

          I agree… incredible comments. Thank you both.

  • Amy May 9, 2011, 7:37 pm

    Great post, Caitlin. Thanks!

  • Nicole May 9, 2011, 7:39 pm

    This couldn’t have come at a better time! I self-doubt often, especially as I finish my undergrad and move onto my graduate degree in the fall. I start to think “who am I” can I really do this?! But your post says it perfect, and I agree I think we end up holding ourselves back by letting it take over! Thanks for such a great post!!

  • Lauren May 9, 2011, 7:43 pm

    Great post!!! It’s so easy to not believe in ourselves when all we do is tell others that they need to fully believe in themselves. It’s so contradictive. I have always looked up to you and the person you are and I never once thought that you don’t deserve every amazing blessing that was given to you. You rock!

  • Courtney May 9, 2011, 7:46 pm

    A great post. Self-doubt IS a bitch. You’re one of the women I most admire- you are so accomplished, and when you set out to do something you DO IT. 🙂

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} May 9, 2011, 7:50 pm

    This post rings so true for me. I also get gripped with fear if things are going too well…like something is bound to go wrong or something terrible is going to happen if things seem too perfect in my life. Fear is a dangerous emotion, as well. It can be crippling! Thanks for this post; it is helpful to read of another person’s journey with similar emotions.

  • megan @ the oatmeal diaries May 9, 2011, 7:52 pm

    Caitlin- you are awesome!! I am learning this too: “Now I just acknowledge my self-doubt, know that it’s okay to feel it, and try to proactively tackle it.” 🙂

  • Jennifer May 9, 2011, 7:53 pm

    This post came at a perfect time for me. I’ve been moving quickly up the ladder at the company I’m at and have been worried that one day, they will discover that I’m not really as smart/talented as I seem. I’m constantly worried about letting everyone down and being discovered as a fraud. I have been trying many of the same things you mentioned to try and get over my insecurities. I need to trust in my abilities and let myself know that it’s o.k. to be human, and mistakes will happen and that their not the end of the world. Luckily I have a great job with great opportunities and a supportive boss who believes in me. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who battles these thoughts! You are an inspiration!

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:08 pm

      Supportive bosses are the best!!! 🙂 You will do great.

  • SaraRM May 9, 2011, 7:59 pm

    Great topic and at a much needed time! It is very easy to get wrapped up in the things you do wrong and not focus on everything else that you do right. I always have a habbit to run away when something goes bad or I doubt myself when that snowball hits but NOT this time dammit, I will be successful and not give up!

  • Alicia at Poise in Parma May 9, 2011, 8:00 pm

    Thanks for this. I’m having an intense month at work and am not handling it very well. I love the idea of turning the tables on that self-doubt – moving forward to prove it wrong is a fabulous concept. Here’s hoping I can do just that when it creeps up when I hit a stressful moment.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) May 9, 2011, 8:06 pm

    I love this post. I am really working through my demons lately and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can say out loud “I am not my problems from the past”. I am me and I have to take whatever happened before and learn from it…not let it lead me. Did I mention I love this post?! Thanks Caitlin!

  • Rachel @ The Perseverance Diaries May 9, 2011, 8:06 pm

    I am so happy you posted this. I totally struggle with self-doubt because I am very hard on myself. Any little mistake at work and I feel so frustrated with myself. If I don’t slave away at work all the time I feel like a slacker. I’m just now learning to focus on my strengths and remind myself everyday that I am awesome! We all have our fabulous qualities, we just have to find them.

  • Zo May 9, 2011, 8:07 pm

    Perfect timing on this post, Caitlin. I needed to read it today. Thanks.

  • Kelly May 9, 2011, 8:10 pm

    Self doubt is my arch nemisis. It is a constant battle.

  • Hallie May 9, 2011, 8:11 pm

    This is the kind of stuff I’ve been working on with my therapist for months. Have you been talking to her? LOL. I struggle with this so bad sometimes, but it’s getting better. Like, I might not be that perfect size 6 (or 8) on my wedding day but that doesn’t mean I won’t have an amazing wedding and honeymoon anyway (I honestly thought if I wasn’t “perfect” then it would all suck). I’m not perfect at work but I try really hard, I learn from my mistakes, and I seem to be doing a good job or I wouldn’t be where I am. The thing about recognizing that good things in your life happened because you MADE them happen (as opposed to some lucky accident that had nothing to do with you) was a big realization for me, too. I thought at any moment the “truth” about my inadequacy would come out, but the real truth is that I do well in school, work, and in my relationship because I work really hard to make that happen.

    Cheers to you for sharing this with your readers!

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:09 pm

      Your wedding and honeymoon IS going to be awesome because all that matters is you’re starting a life together! Congrats and best wishes.

  • Beth @ 990 Square May 9, 2011, 8:12 pm

    This is a great post. And so true. I often have these same feelings, and I just have to snap out of it!

  • Christine May 9, 2011, 8:24 pm

    Interesting thoughts.

    I know what you mean, though, about thinking that life is almost too good and that the happiness is temporary. But then I remember that I’ve worked really hard when it comes to my marriage, jobs, health, and other personal endeavors and I feel less guilty. And if that doesn’t work I remember how much student loan debt I have- then I deserve every ounce of happiness I have 🙂

  • Julie @ Shining From Within May 9, 2011, 8:27 pm

    this is an amazing post. I have been self-doubting myself lately but it’s important to always BELIEVE in yourself. well said 🙂

  • Amanda in Pittsburgh May 9, 2011, 8:36 pm

    LOVE this post! Rock on!

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt May 9, 2011, 8:39 pm

    Amazing post. Amazing, amazing. I suffered from self doubt for the majority of my life. It wasn’t until the past few years that I realized I had been severely underestimating myself. I love the idea of telling the mean little gremlin to shut the heck up. I’m all for the cute gremlins, but the mean ones deserve a smack down!

  • Parita May 9, 2011, 8:39 pm

    Beautiful post, Caitlin! I used to (and sometimes still do) let self-doubt chip away at my well-deserved happiness. I love your tips because they touch on an important point – only we can eradicate the self-doubt that exists within us.

  • Christie @ SpringJumps May 9, 2011, 8:44 pm

    What a fantastic and insightful post! I experience self doubt often – this week has been especially so, this post couldn’t come at a better time. I agree, you are truly one of the greatest bloggers – you always hit the nail on the head! I will definitely be trying your strategies! 🙂

  • Mrs. Muffins May 9, 2011, 8:48 pm

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been hearing the self-doubt gremlin lately and reading this (especially the last sentence) really helps. Thank you!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 9, 2011, 8:51 pm

    Great post – I too doubt myself a lot. I think the more responsibility we get, the more doubt we feel.

  • Margaret May 9, 2011, 8:54 pm

    I remember getting to college and thinking I am not smart enough to be here. everyone else is so much more accomplished than me. this must be a mistake but before I could freak out more I went to the campus wide introduction where the dean of admission stood up and in front of all the new first years and said “We did not make any mistakes. You are all suppose to be here.” it was pretty awesome to realize that all these other women felt just like me. Now I always remind myself that its normal to feel doubts and that it takes strength to acknowledge them. Or I do what one of my spanish teachers always recommended and go and stand in front of the mirror and compliment myself about anything and everything until I believe it. Sometimes I even do it in spanish like the original homework assignment.

    You’re a pretty awesome person who has worked hard for your success and relationships. Don’t doubt that you deserve them but rather appreciate what you are capable of creating.

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:11 pm

      Omg i love that the dean of admissions said that! he probably felt that way when he was in school and got his big promotion, too! 🙂 we can all relate.

  • Laura May 9, 2011, 8:55 pm

    Such a great post! There are certainly times of self-doubt, and it is so easy to feel that we must be perfect in order to feel like what we have done means anything or will make an impact. We are not perfect and will make mistakes, but it how we deal with these obsticles that highlights how we truly are and what defines us:)

  • Baking 'n' Books May 9, 2011, 8:56 pm

    I live with this every day, every moment of my life…I can’t believe you experience it…

    I’m actually tearing up here. I know that ultimately that’s what it comes down to – I don’t believe in myself. I don’t believe I’m worth it. I don’t believe I deserve to pay for a place to live that’s more expensive because I should be saving it all and just live in small basements the rest of my life…

    “you just have to figure out how to get out of your own way.”

    Yes. It’s only me. No one else. The vicious cycle for me is feeling the guilt and shame (from food to money to relationships to jobs) – and thinking it’s too late – that I’m “damaged” …that needs to stop. I need to change. I know it. I know it….

    Thank you Caitlin. I’m going to print this off.

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 9, 2011, 8:56 pm

    I’ve felt the same thing a lot, but I won’t detail that here. I will say that your post is well-timed – May is Mental Health Month

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 9, 2011, 8:57 pm

    Aww this is such a lovely post Caitlin! I think everyone faces self doubt at some point, and it’s how you perceive it and deal with it that makes you a better person. Clearly, you’re a pro at this! 🙂

  • Nikka B May 9, 2011, 9:04 pm

    It’s crazy to me how we can get caught in our own little bubbles…here I was thinking that I was the only one struggling! I find myself believing I’m the only one who experiences self-doubt and that must mean I am flawed in some way, it is truly comforting to know that I am not alone. TRUST YOUR STRUGGLE!

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:13 pm

      Love ya, Nikka!

  • Danielle May 9, 2011, 9:20 pm

    I swear to God, Caitlin, I needed to read this today. Thank you. xo

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 9, 2011, 9:27 pm

    Wow this was so real and honest! I think we all struggle with self doubt sometimes and the important thing is learning how to deal with it. I’m glad you’re figuring this out! 🙂

  • megan May 9, 2011, 9:31 pm

    Oh Caitlin, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this tonight. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Sarah May 9, 2011, 9:35 pm

    Caitlin, I love how honest you are…

  • Aja May 9, 2011, 9:37 pm

    Wonderful topic and excellent post! You have no idea how helpful this is for me. I’ll be sure to keep those things in mind.

  • Jen May 9, 2011, 9:42 pm

    Thank you.

  • Lee May 9, 2011, 9:42 pm

    Thank you for this reminder. I struggle a lot with self-doubt in my professional life. I’m a graphic designer and constantly feel like I’m not good enough.

  • Rebecca May 9, 2011, 9:51 pm

    Really needed that this week. Thanks. 🙂

  • Christin May 9, 2011, 9:53 pm

    Caitlin, I’ve been reading this blog for two years and this is (IMO) the best post you’ve ever written. THANK YOU. Thank you for paving the way for the rest of us. Your introspection, honesty, and positivity encourages everyone here.

    Just think of us all as cute little gremlins sitting on your shoulder, reminding you of how awesome you are!

    I truly believe that our worth and identity is found in God and how much He loves us in spite of our inadequacies. You’re right – we need to get out of our own way and see ourselves the way He sees us.

  • hemp jogger May 9, 2011, 9:56 pm

    what a great post caitlin! this is why i read you consistently…you are so real and honest and go through all the trials and tribulations we all do…and talk about it! this is such a problem for me lately, but i tend to sit on my thumbs and revel in the anxiety. thats for the kick in the patooty to stop and realize i’m worth it, doing a good job, and have the ability to change what i dont like.

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances May 9, 2011, 9:58 pm

    What a wonderful post! I also struggle with self-doubt (I guess we all do!) and I plan to reference these tips in the future. I find that I typically struggle with this at work — and with my writing. I like to think I’m getting better at dealing with my “gremlins” as I get older and more confident! 🙂 XOXO you are AMAZING!

  • Molly @ RDexposed May 9, 2011, 10:00 pm

    I think I’ll read this every morning after waking up.

  • Lu @ A Mix of it All May 9, 2011, 10:02 pm

    You motivate me.

  • jamie May 9, 2011, 10:06 pm

    wow! this is exactly what i needed today. i recently received a rather large research grant… and have been feeling inadequate compared to other recipients, and have felt that i’m not intelligent/capable enough to follow through! i guess i need to prove that little gremlin wrong 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:14 pm

      I wish you the best of luck on your research project!!!

  • Emily G May 9, 2011, 10:20 pm

    Thank you so much. I’ve been hosting a self-doubt festival today (and for awhile, really) thinking about changing jobs and reading this post was exactly what I needed. Thanks for sharing your own vulnerabilities and offering really useful ideas for taming the self-doubt monster.

  • Elena @ GagaForGrapefruit May 9, 2011, 10:26 pm

    i’m bookmarking this. i really need to remember this more often than not. thanks girl 🙂

  • Julia May 9, 2011, 10:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I really needed this today as I am starting the “serious” job hunt after taking a year off after graduating college to volunteer through AmeriCorps. My self-doubt gremlin is attacking me from all sides as I write my dozens of cover letters/emails/resumes trying to highlight what I can offer. Selling yourself is hard when self-doubt comes along!

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:15 pm

      How did you like your AmeriCorps experience?

      • Julia May 10, 2011, 11:36 pm

        It’s good! I’m originally from NC but I moved to Atlanta to do AmeriCorps. I run weekend enrichment programs for 5 elementary schools in the area. I’m not as enthused about the non profit that I work as I would like to be but I like working with the volunteers and kids who come out. I might start volunteering with Girls On the Run after this!

        • CaitlinHTP May 11, 2011, 8:47 am

          Yay how awesome!!! 🙂

  • Meaghan May 9, 2011, 10:34 pm

    Wow- such an incredible post to end my night! As someone who has struggled with both self-doubt and an eating disorder (often a combination of both), I find it extremely hard to believe in my worth a lot of the time. I constantly hear that voice in my head telling me that I have to prove myself to someone. BUT WHO AM I REALLY TRYING TO IMPRESS?

    It is inspiring to know that others struggle with some of the same issues. It is truly something that I have trouble wrapping my head around… how can things be going so great in my life while all these thoughts and emotions are running wild in my head? Your ‘tips’ to handling self-doubt are so uplifting- next time I hear one of those voices, I am going to set out on a mission to prove it wrong. I am so much stronger than the voices in my head.

    Thanks again. 🙂

  • Melissa May 9, 2011, 10:49 pm

    Oh how I needed that.
    Beautifully poetic post.
    Thank you. (I wish I could send the link to everyone I know, but you are so prompt about posting, there will be new stuff up in no time.)

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:15 pm

      🙂 Thank you Melissa.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 9, 2011, 10:53 pm

    AMEN. Beautiful post. I am chasing my dreams NOW. No self-doubt allowed 🙂

    Thanks for a great reminder, girl!! You are amazing!

  • Melissa May 9, 2011, 10:54 pm

    I hope you bookmark this post so your readers can find it easily and reread it often.

  • Carin May 9, 2011, 11:10 pm

    Caitlin – thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. This is a great post – I’m assuming it’ll turn up in an amended form in the HTP book? You have a wonderful talent for encapsulating your honest, innermost feelings in accessible narrative and making them resonate with so many others – and help them in the process. That’s a beautiful thing.

    I really struggle with self-doubt too and wonder whether it’s a by-product of people identifying “potential” – because it’s not specific, it’s easy to feel that you’re not living up to it? I think it’s far better to identify and appreciate (a) skills that people have and (b) progress they’ve made – that way, it’s a celebration, rather than a curse of un-defined “potential” looming ominously over your head!

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:16 pm

      Thank you Carin! I will definitely think about including this in the book.

  • Allison @ Happy Tales May 9, 2011, 11:42 pm

    Wow, Caitlin, this is an incredible, heart felt post — thank you so much for sharing this. I myself have experienced self-doubt (and still do!), and your words are such a good reminder to know that the steps I am taking are all worth something. Looks like you struck a chord with quite a few people… this is such a great topic, and looks to be talked about more!

  • Andrea May 9, 2011, 11:42 pm

    I CANNOT believe you posted this today. In the last 6 weeks I got an AMAZING job, moved out of the apartment where I had roommates and moved into the most FABULOUS apartment, and I have never had more anxiety in my life. Every day I wait for the other shoe to drop because all of these good things couldn’t happen at one time right?!?!

    Thank you so much for writing this post. It helped a lot today.

  • Heather May 10, 2011, 12:23 am

    What an awesome post! I can relate so so so much to what you have said and in fact I am going through a lot of it right now!

  • monicanelsonfitness May 10, 2011, 12:41 am

    So refreshing Caitlin. Bless you! Wise wise woman you are. 🙂

    You are helping so many people!

  • Khushboo May 10, 2011, 12:41 am

    I love this post and you posted it at such perfect timing- lately I’ve been in two states of mind and just questioning my own purpose and wondering when I will finally be in a position where I love my career. I’ve reached a comfort zone at work, want to quit but the fear of ‘then what’ is holding me back! I’m going to print this post out and read it when I have low moments- thanks Caitlin!

  • Jolene ( May 10, 2011, 12:42 am

    Everyone who is successful experiences the imposter syndrome. It is normal (unfortunately), and professors have told me in university that all grad students at some point feel that way. I know I have!

  • Elin @ and serenity too May 10, 2011, 1:30 am

    Wow, thank you for this! One really needs to be reminded every once in a while… I think this “impostor syndrom” is really common, probably even especially among girls since we are often an overanalyzing bunch. 😉 We really can choose to be happy right now, everything doesn’t have to be perfect for us to deserve that (everything never will be perfect anyways but that’s not an excuse not to start our happiness journey now!)
    These days I am really trying to remember that, and trust that things will work out even though they don’t happen right away. I still have the power to be happy.

  • Hwasun May 10, 2011, 1:34 am

    What a beautiful and motivating post! I needed to read this kind of post long time ago. I also have tendency to let my self-doubt roll into such a big deal. This self-sabotaging habit has become so big for years. Although I am trying me best to break this stupid and truly harmful habit sometimes it feels too much. Thanks for posting this! I will read often to remind myself. I think praying – just thinking about things that I am grateful for everyday is going to help me a lot.

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:16 pm

      It really does help me feel better to pray about all the things I’m grateful for!

  • Karen May 10, 2011, 2:05 am

    I absolutely LOVE how ‘real’ and honest you are! So relatable! Excellent post:)

    It’s funny you mentioned feeling like an imposter. This is something that my husband also often says. The other day, I found a great article on Twitter; the author addressed this very thing, albeit briefly:

    “There’s this very real thing that runs rampant in educated people. It’s called imposter syndrome. The clinical definition is a “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” It means that you feel like a phony, like you’re just winging it, that you really don’t have any idea what you’re doing.

    Guess what?

    None of us do. I had no idea what I was doing when I started blacking out newspaper columns. All I knew was that it felt good. It didn’t feel like work. It felt like play.

    Ask any real artist, and they’ll tell you the truth: they don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day.”

    Here’s the link if you’d like to read the whole article

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:18 pm

      Dude that is so awesome. Thank you so much for passing it along!

  • Casey @ Chasing Casey May 10, 2011, 3:20 am

    This post could not have been written at a better time in my life for my situation. Thank you. So much.

  • Katie @ Life... Discombobulated May 10, 2011, 3:26 am

    Thank you, Caitlin! I am going to print this off so I can read it whenever I need. It is truly posts like this that make your blogs one of my very favorites.

  • Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl May 10, 2011, 3:30 am

    I’ve been a follower of your blog for some time now but haven’t really commented until now. I can completely relate with your self-doubt. I moved abroad to study an international MBA degree in pursuit of changing my life. I lived/studied in Barcelona, met a wonderful man, fell in love an am now working in Holland. Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve this life and that this MUST be a mistake. Thanks for the reassurance that I’m not the only one with these feelings, and that there are ways to change this mindset!

    Keep blogging!


    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:20 pm

      I am happy to hear of your wonderful life 🙂 You deserve it.

  • Sophie @ threetimesf May 10, 2011, 3:30 am

    I’ve got a tough day ahead at work today, and feel like this has just set me up to deal with it! Thanks Caitlin, and Well Done you! 😀

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) May 10, 2011, 4:14 am

    you don’t know it but… you wrote this for me. i needed that.

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 10, 2011, 4:38 am

    This is such an awesome and inspiring post. I definitely have moments of self doubt that snowball into thinking that I’m a failure. But I also try to tackle that doubt by proving myself wrong. And along with that, I think that not believing in failure really helps. I refuse to fail, so I’ll do something over and over again until I get it right.

  • Hats @ See How She Runs May 10, 2011, 5:43 am

    This post really struck a chord with me. I have always been quite a confident individual when it comes to me appearance, but I almost always doubt myself when it comes to my intellectual ability. I had always been at the top of my class at school – I was a straight A student. When I got to university (a top university in the UK) I suddenly felt like a fake. I didn’t feel bright enough to be there, despite gaining grades ABOVE the entry grades for my course. My mistake, of course, was comparing myself to others when everyone at this university was at the top of their class at school. I’ve tried to learn from this and use it to push myself further. After my BSc I did an MSc (changed disciplines) and now I work doing a job I love. There is plenty of scope of personal and career development and I can’t wait to continue this new chapter in my life. I still occasionally doubt myself, but for the most part I trust my abilities. I now appreciate how awesome I am! 🙂

    • Hats @ See How She Runs May 10, 2011, 5:53 am

      This also got me thinking about our Twitter chat about people treating others like they’re not real people. I’m trying to not to let silly people like that, who don’t repect me or my job, bug me. It’s hard, but it’s gradually happening!

  • Julia @ Brides Up North May 10, 2011, 6:13 am

    Fabulous post Caitlin, love it. Really helpful to me. I am constantly wracked with the dreaded SD. Gotta keep on truckin’.


  • Sarah@The Flying ONION May 10, 2011, 7:07 am

    What a fabulous reminder!! Thank you for this post. 😀

  • Allie May 10, 2011, 7:28 am

    this is just wonderful. thank you.

  • Danielle May 10, 2011, 7:28 am

    Thank you so much for this posting. I personally have been suffering from my own self-doubt. It is good to be reminded that you can overcome it even when things seem so dark. I just hope that I can continue to motivate and remind myself I am the smart individual on the resume.

  • Maria May 10, 2011, 7:39 am

    This post just reminded me why I read your blog everyday 😉 As I am working toward finishing my PhD, I am suddenly plagued with enormous self doubt about my abilities and decisions. It is nice to know I am not the only one who struggles with this constantly.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all see each other through our friends eyes? My girlfriends and I discuss that all the time.

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:21 pm

      I love that question –
      Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all see each other through our friends eyes?

  • Emma (Namaste Everyday) May 10, 2011, 7:46 am

    I always think that I don’t deserve my own happiness. I usually think to myself, you are right, self doubt, I deserve MORE! then I try and prove it wrong – several times over 😉

  • Ginger May 10, 2011, 8:04 am

    Your timing on this post totally hit my world at the right time and for that I thank you for this great post!

  • Liz May 10, 2011, 8:40 am

    So this is unrelated to this specific post (which I really liked) but I think I saw your wedding dress on The Secret Life of the American Teenager! I remember reading your wedding recap and loving your dress and when I was watching the show this morning I thought I recognized it!

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:23 pm

      hahaha i loved that dress 🙂

  • Jess @ Jessica is Getting Fit May 10, 2011, 8:43 am

    I really like this post, it sums up a lot of what I’m feeling these days! Thanks for this post!

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out May 10, 2011, 9:13 am

    Thanks, Caitlin! I totally meeded this. I had a pity party yesterday. I’m gonna bookmarking this page. Great advice!

  • Ashley May 10, 2011, 9:30 am

    I cannot tell you what great timing you have with this post. I’ve actually never thought about it this way before, and it’s sort of a relief to see someone else that is so successful experiencing the same thoughts…especially the part about being an impostor, lately I have been feeling like I am just fooling everyone into thinking I am capable of so many things, and that the jig will soon be up. I also love the movie gremlins and will probably be adopting that metaphor for all these negative thoughts! Definitely something to consider…thank you

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:23 pm

      Hahah I definitely think of the gremlins movie!

  • Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 10, 2011, 9:44 am

    Such a poignant post. I think we are all guilty of self-doubt and it definitely seems to creep up most when things are going well and we are afraid of what success will bring.

    Thank you so much for sharing, I will look at this post again many times when i am having self doubt as a great reminder to be positive and encouraging to myself 🙂

  • colleen May 10, 2011, 9:44 am

    Wonderful Caitlin! Like many others, this is what I needed today and will probably need tomorrow. Self-doubt is something I have struggled with since childhood. Thanks again for reminding me how to handle it.

  • Cindy Robinson May 10, 2011, 9:51 am

    Thank you Caitlin! I appreciate your honesty and for allowing yourself to be vulnerable and admit faults that we don’t want to admit we have 🙂 Does that even make sense?? Keep up the wonderful work. I truly believe we were put on this Earth to be happy and to spread happiness to others.

  • Marisa E May 10, 2011, 10:03 am

    Great post!! I really needed this today 🙂

  • Errign May 10, 2011, 10:03 am

    Like others before me, I’m commenting just to tell you that posts like this are why I come back to your blog day after day, and why it’s one of my favorites. You’re real, open, honest, and you place a focus on both physical AND mental health. You’re a complete rockstar, Caitlin.

  • Katie @ Up Fit Creek May 10, 2011, 10:09 am

    Great post, Caitlin. Thanks for sharing!

    The part you said about feeling the need to be perfect at everything. That. Every day of my life. I feel like if I slip up, I’ve thrown everything I did well in the garbage. I’m really trying to put things into perspective and this post offers some great tips for doing so.

  • Hayley @ Oat Couture May 10, 2011, 10:20 am

    Fantastic post! Self doubt is so all consuming and so debilitating and it’s a massive problem for so many people. Over thinking things stops a lot of us from achieving our true potential. However it is something that anyone and everyone can beat! Thanks for being so open about it and also the ways you deal with it! 🙂

  • Paj May 10, 2011, 10:27 am

    If you (or your readers) ever get a chance to see Dr. Valerie Young talk, I highly recommend it. She speaks and writes about this kind of self-doubt, dubbed the Imposter Syndrome.

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:23 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for passing this along.

  • chloe @ 321delish May 10, 2011, 10:29 am

    thank you for writing this post 🙂 Today, my little gremlin is cackling on my shoulder, but after reading your post, I feel more confident in my ability to knock him off.

    Thanks Caitlin.

  • Maura May 10, 2011, 10:32 am

    Thanks Caitlin! I needed this today.

  • Jennifer@ knackfornutrition May 10, 2011, 10:45 am

    I really relate to this post. You express things so clearly that I found myself literally nodding along. I took a cue from this subject on my own blog today and cited one of your quotes. I hope you don’t mind. I linked back to this post as well.

  • Amber K May 10, 2011, 10:47 am

    Excellent, excellent blog. It really hits home as I have felt like an imposter in my own life before. I love that you see self-doubt as a gremlin, although…there’s a cute kind of gremlin? huh? 😉

  • bonnie May 10, 2011, 10:52 am

    thank you for this post! i am battling some inner demons of self doubt regarding a half marathon i’d like to run in a couple of months. i’m not the strongest runner and my thoughts keep asking me why i even bother, i’m never going to be able to run that distance. i’m not a runner. i’m not an athlete. etc etc. its never ending! but your post reminds me that i’m in control and i can do it if i put my mind to it. just because i sometimes think it, doesn’t automatically make it true 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:24 pm

      Do it! I know you can do it. Walk/Run your way to greatness 🙂

  • Andie ( May 10, 2011, 10:52 am

    I love this 🙂 You are such an inspiration!!

  • chelsea May 10, 2011, 10:53 am

    Great post Caitlin! I have been struggling finding a job, and every time I get a rejection it kills my self esteem and self worth. It’s hard to remember that I have any worth, when no one else thinks so!

  • Wendi Matt May 10, 2011, 11:21 am

    I really appreciate your post. This is EXACTLY what I’ve struggled with my entire life and through a lot of seeking, have started to realize that I do this to myself. I love that you said you’re not religious but do a little prayer/meditation thing in the morning. I’ve really started to focus on meditation and using yoga to help me with meditation. It has been life changing for me and while I am still not religious, consider myself to be a seeker of God’s will. This is where a lot of my confidence in myself has come from!

    Thanks again for your post!!

  • Ashley @ Feeding Ashley May 10, 2011, 11:23 am

    This is the perfect wake up to my morning!

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats May 10, 2011, 11:28 am

    I think a lot of the self-doubt and perfectionist thinking went hand in hand with my weight issues. I wrote a guest post about my dealing with these issues for a friend’s blog and that really helped to see how far I’ve come! My main things that help are breathing, gratitude (prayer/meditation), naming my inner gremlin (I call her Scarlett O’Hara when she’s really annoying) and keeping a journal so I can remind myself of the good things I’ve done/times that I’ve had. It is a struggle sometimes, but I’ve learned so much about my self-doubting voice and that it only comes out when I’m scared or nervous or don’t feel “deserving” – when I’m actually strong and capable and deserve success.

  • sonali May 10, 2011, 11:43 am

    caitlin – this post really resonated with me! thank you!

  • Joey May 10, 2011, 11:55 am

    Love this post. I definitely struggle with this too and am always telling myself I’m not good enough or smart enough or pretty enough… Thanks for the tips on tackling the monster!

  • Heidi @ Food Doodles May 10, 2011, 12:24 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! It’s beautiful and something that really affects me as well 🙂

  • Kimberly May 10, 2011, 12:36 pm

    Looking at these comments it seems that self doubt is pretty universal! I also needed this – I just started a new job in the field I have always wanted to be in (publishing). Sometimes my excitement at being here is outweighed by self doubt and worry about the unknown. So this was exactly what I needed!

    One more thought about self doubt – I’ve always had it in my professional life which has at times prevented me from succeeding. But it took a major health scare in my family to make me realize that life is hard, and sometimes you just have to overcome self doubt and DO it. Really put things in perspective!

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:24 pm

      <3 I am sure you are awesome at your job. Good luck with everything!

  • Marysa May 10, 2011, 1:08 pm

    Caitlin – you are amazing! You have changed my life in so many ways over the past year. Since I started reading your blog about a year and a half ago I quickly changed my eating habits, became vegetarian for a while but then when I went back to eating meat I continue to be healthy. Incorporating the simple idea of one healthy option over the unhealthy option helps to keep me on track and is easier than feeling “forced,” to eat so healthy. “One small change at a time…” Not only have my eating and fitness habits been inspired by you but posts like this are so relevant and helpful. As young women we face so much pressure to be “perfect,” not just as a spouse or partner but in career and education also. Self-doubt is my least favorite thing about myself and I feel it holds me back from so much. Little posts like this are so helpful. Thank you so – so – so much. 🙂

    • Marysa May 10, 2011, 3:08 pm

      PS – I added the last part of this to my “about me” on Facebook but of course attributed the quote to you. Look, you’re famous? I also tweeted it as a not to self type thing. You’re fabulous.

      • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:25 pm

        Thank you so much Marysa. You are so sweet. I really wish you the best!!! Stay in touch 🙂

  • Rachel May 10, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I’ve climbed that same rock in Knoxville! I also had my dog with me, but unlike yours mine just got in the way and never made it up to the top with me.

    I also (and I think everyone does) suffered (still suffer???) with self-doubt. One of the biggest obstacles I faced was the feeling that everyone else was perfect and I was the only one struggling. Whenever I have doubts/worries now I remind myself that I am just as good as everyone else. They are not super-human and neither am I.

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:25 pm

      I had to carry James up! He was scurred.

  • Lauren @ Lettuce Eat Cake May 10, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Wow, AMAZING post, Caitlin! I think I spend way too much thinking I don’t deserve all the wonderful things in my life. I also have constant fear that God will “revoke” my happiness by taking away my fiance or a family member. I’ve never heard someone so articulately describe this nagging feelings that’s accompanied me basically since teenage angst.

  • Tally May 10, 2011, 1:47 pm

    Hey Caitlin —

    I just had my first green monster today! It was yummy. Who knew?


  • Stace May 10, 2011, 2:41 pm

    GREAT POST! This really resonates with me right now because I just signed up for a 3-day 60 mile walk for cancer where I thought to myself a million times I CAN’T DO THIS. Which I realize I have told myself too many times before! So i signed up and still had so many thoughts of how will I do this?, how will I ewalk so far?, how will I get the pledge requirement? But I CAN DO THIS!

  • Steph @321delish May 10, 2011, 3:19 pm

    Caitlin, thank you so much for this post. It was just the reminder I needed today:-)

  • Maja May 10, 2011, 4:09 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this! I am fighting back tears after reading your post… Just started a new job yesterday, and I’ve been praying, hoping and working hard for a new job for years. And I keep feeling like at any moment a situation will arise in which I look like an idiot in front of my new colleagues and boss! like they will discover that I am a fraud. But I am not. I can do this ! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • CaitlinHTP May 10, 2011, 9:27 pm

      Good luck! You can do it 🙂 Congrats on your new job in this economy, that is quite an accomplishment and speaks to how amazing you are!

  • suzy pepper May 10, 2011, 5:42 pm

    Your most honest posts are my most favourite. This one ranks high up there for me. Haven’t we all felt this way? I’m pretty sure I got into grad school by accident.

  • Lauren @ LaDolcePita May 11, 2011, 11:42 am

    Thank you Caitlin for posting this. I, too, have struggled alot with self-doubt and perfectionism and your tips for coping sound really useful – I’ve copied them down and will give them a try! 🙂 I just started reading a book “Be Happy Without Being Perfect” and it’s also really helped! Thanks again.

  • LisaMarie May 11, 2011, 9:56 pm

    Thanks for posting this. Really needed it!!!!

  • Jenifer May 13, 2011, 11:35 am

    I’ma just curl up in a ball and cry…. then I’ma get up, dust myself off and get right back to the grind. Thanks for an inspiring post ladybug!

  • Dee May 21, 2011, 12:39 am

    Amen sistah. A-freaking-men. 🙂

  • Rick Ford January 9, 2014, 1:53 pm

    Awesome, I appreciate this article! It’s pretty easy to get hit with self-doubt, when in face of disagreements with close friends and family members of my choices & decisions. Sometimes, that “maybe they’re right” moment kicks in. But, I am glad I could turn to an article like this in such times!

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