by | Mar 10, 2014 | 45 comments

Happy Motivation Monday!  Last week we celebrated ourselves, and this week’s theme is related, but not the same.  When I talked about celebrating ourselves, it was about looking at things we have already accomplished and pausing to recognize the wonderful things that we have done. motivation monday

This week, I’d like you to think about the self-doubt that inhibits you from taking action towards accomplishing your goals in the first place.  So many times, we let self-doubt overshadow our self-confidence, derail us from moving forward, and feel uncomfortable with ourselves.  I’m sure you’ve been there: whether it was walking into a crowded room and thinking everyone might be looking at you because you looked stupid or were doing the wrong thing, giving a presentation at work and doubting that your boss would be impressed (despite the hours of hard work you poured into it), or telling yourself that there’s no way you’ll be able to eat healthily for a week or stop bingeing after dinner.

when you face self-doubt think about what you've overcome(picture source)

If you think about it, in most situations, that self-doubt does nothing but hurt you.  You may still achieve your goal, but what if you had not spent the time and mental anguish worrying about how you couldn’t or wouldn’t before actually achieving?  What if you felt truly confident in your abilities, your body, your personality?  I challenge you to make that happen today – and all of this week – by recognizing and admitting your self-doubt, and squashing it with your self-confidence.the voice in your head that says you can't is a liar(picture source)

I mentioned in my Brazil recap that I used to struggle (and still do, although I’ve improved a lot!) with negative self-talk.  After a great conversation with Kevin this weekend, I picked out another book to read on the topic, called “The Pursuit of Perfect” by Tal Ben-Shahar (a professor at my alma mater).  Although I’m not finished, it’s been amazing and eye-opening to read research on what I’ve known to be true for myself all along: that my inherent (very strong!) perfectionist tendencies contribute to me doubting myself, fearing failure, and telling myself that I may not be good enough (or smart enough, fast enough, pretty enough, well-liked enough … fill in the blank for any situation here).  Ben-Shahar describes that the best situation is to be an “Optimalist,” which is basically a person with high aspirations (like a perfectionist) who also expects, recognizes, and accepts reality, and doesn’t consider every small failure a life-or-death situation.  I have yet to learn what it takes to become an Optimalist (since I haven’t finished yet), but I thought I’d recommend the book in case any of you are interested! don't let self-doubt deter your progression(picture source … I think this is one of my favorite quotes ever, and unfortunately I can’t find the “real” source!)

MMAZ: Simple Butternut Squash Dip

Simple Butternut Squash Dip from The Lyons Share


I know … it’s Monday, and I don’t usually share recipes on Mondays!  But I love participating in Heather’s Meatless Monday A-Z, and the butternut squash chips I tried to make for Friday just didn’t work out, so I wanted to take another crack at this week’s ingredient: squash.  (By the way, do you see what I did in the title?  SQUASH Self-Doubt?  I know…)

Anyway, it’s a good thing I did try again, because the result is delicious … and pretty much the simplest thing I’ve made in a while.  You can throw it together in 5 minutes flat (after baking the squash), and I’ll bet that if you serve it at a party, your guests will think it’s far more complicated than it is.  It’s creamy and rich, and complements fresh vegetables or crackers very well.  Enjoy, and check out other squash recipes on Better with Veggies today!


simple Butternut Squash Dip 1

So tell me in the comments … Do you deal with self-doubt?  How do you squash it?  And what’s your favorite recipe with squash?


  1. Michael Anderson

    Well, early Monday morning and you set the bar pretty high for ‘worst pun of the week’! 🙂

    The funny thing I have also read is that in the land of self doubt, getting praise, especially effusive praise, can actually cause MORE self-doubt because it makes us feel like the person giving praise is missing seeing how undeserving we are. Talk about a destructive cycle!

    And I totally get it – I was basically a ‘closet runner’ for 23 years due to self doubt. I was sure people would laugh as they waited for me because I was the absolute slowest …

    The squash dip looks really, really good! Definitely want to try that!

    • Megan Lyons

      Glad the squash dip looks good – SO easy! Hope you make it! I’m interested to hear more about your comment. I guess I see how effusive praise could increase self-doubt (in an extreme case such as, “oh my gosh you filled out that tax form SO wonderfully! You are amazing! You have incredible handwriting!” <-- this is my example of over-the-top praise, if you can't tell). However, in almost all instances, I actually feel like praise DOES help. Maybe I'm gullible, or maybe the praise just isn't as effusive on my end, but I do think that the boost I get from others (in terms of compliments, encouragement, praise, whatever) are very helpful. If you disagree, let me know! (As a side note, my mom read this comment and thought I had written it ... and stayed up late last night worrying about whether it was a hidden message to tell her that she was praising me too much. Aww, how parents love their kids and agonize over everything :)).

  2. Cristina

    I have a rule specially when racing … “no negative thoughts allowed” and as they come, which they inevitably do, I make a conscious effort to push them aside. If I compare myself to others I despair. If I compare myself to the person I used to be, I can usually hold my head a bit higher. Have a great week!

    • Megan Lyons

      I LOVE the concept of comparing yourself to the person you used to be. It’s always so helpful and motivating to appreciate how far you’ve come! Thanks, Cristina!

  3. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    I needed some positive talk this morning – thank you!

    Love your dip! I made a butternut hummus a while back, but never thought to do a greek dip! YOu know I love the added protein. 🙂

  4. Tonya@healthy, Fit, and Frugal

    I do deal with self-doubt all the time. The whole not smart, pretty, talented, creative enough. I find ways to support those theories too, which is worse, like not having dated in FORVER. But that’s me not putting myself out there…maybe because of failure? It’s a vicious cycle and something I connately have to work on. It’s not all areas of life…but some.

    • Megan Lyons

      I’m not sure Jillian Michaels is really the person to listen to in terms of relationship advice, but have you by chance listened to her podcast? She always playfully makes fun of her producer Janice for not putting herself out there dating-wise, and it turning into a vicious cycle where she doesn’t attract anyone because she’s not confident. Dating is so uncomfortable, but I hope you get out there and realize that you are an AMAZING person and there’s someone else out there who is a great match!

  5. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun

    Self-doubt is a hard thing. In so many ways I think that we can be our own worst critic. I try to focus every day on just doing the best I can. Some days that is more than others and that is OK. It’s even to fall back into the self doubt trap every now and then and it’s important to be able to recognize it before it takes over.

    Great post for a Monday morning 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      I love the idea of doing the best you can every day, and accepting whatever that is! Good for you, Sara!

  6. Angela Nadler

    This dip looks amazing! Made me so hungry after seeing it 😛

    I love your chalk board thingy in the pics! Super cool! Great photos!

    • Megan Lyons

      Thanks, Angela! My brother and sister-in-law gave it to me for Christmas and I love it!

  7. Christine @ Gotta Eat Green

    Sooo clearly I have been MIA because I am just noticing your blog redesign. Holy Hannah it looks so amazing!! Congrats Megan! Totally love this. Oh and that dip looks delicious. That’s one to add to my roster of crowd pleasing favs.

    • Megan Lyons

      Thanks so much, Christine! And “Holy Hannah” made me laugh – that’s a new one. I love my new blog design, too, so I appreciate the comments! Hope you enjoy the dip.

  8. Amy @ Long Drive Journey

    Self doubt is definitely something that I have struggled with in the past. It’s so easy to let that voice inside your head dictate what you can and can’t do. And it’s hard, because it’s YOUR voice, and how do you silence yourself? What I’ve found is that there is an equally strong, albeit sometimes quieter, voice in my head that is cheering me on. That voice tells me I’m strong and beautiful, and that I can do the things I put my mind to. Sometimes the two voices duke it out, but the second voice, the good one, ends up winning out. I have learned (and am still learning) to own both of the voices, but choose which one I will listen to!

    • Megan Lyons

      LOVE that idea of the two voices duking it out! It’s never realistic (for me) to believe that the self-doubter voice will NEVER appear again, but I have lots of techniques to silence that voice. Now I’m going to think about another little person inside my head that’s my advocate voice :). Thanks, Amy!

  9. Anna

    I very, very often deal with self-doubt, and you described the emotions associated with that to a t! The things that helps me deal with it are occasional self pep talks, staying busy with things that will contribute to my work/growth, and thinking positive thoughts. Unfortunately that last one is where I sometimes get stuck. I tend to be hypercritical of myself and everything I do, so when one thing doesn’t turn out as I had hoped/expected, that gets the ball rolling for self-doubt. But I’ve been getting better at keeping those unnecessary, useless feelings out and focusing on the things I need to be doing to prevent them!

    • Megan Lyons

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Anna! It’s funny – I LOVE positive thoughts, motivational quotes, and the like, but I still have that voice of self-doubt lingering around sometimes. And the keeping busy one – well, my problem is usually that I get myself TOO busy and then become stressed over things that shouldn’t be stressful. I think the moral of the story is that we all need to find what is right for US and learn to believe in ourselves, and I’m so glad you and I are both making great progress on that!

  10. Amanda - RunToTheFinish

    Punny tittle I LOVE IT 🙂 Self doubt is definitely something I have worked on over the years and it’s much better now in my 30’s!

    • Megan Lyons

      Thanks, Amanda! Well, good to know that in 1 year (when I hit my 30s), my voice of self-doubt will be gone forever :). Kidding, of course, but I do find it very true for myself that the self-doubt has faded with age, so I hope it continues on! Glad yours is much better!

  11. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Wow- that dip looks awesome!! You’re so right about self doubt. I have a great exercise I do with my health coach clients around fear and brainstorming what would you do if there was nothing holding you back? We are very often our own stumbling block!

    • Megan Lyons

      Thanks, Laura! Was that a Marilena Minucci exercise you reference? I remember hearing something about that during IIN, but can’t recall the actual exercise .. sounds like a great one, though!

  12. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    I definitely deal with self-doubt related to my running and my career. It’s always a work in progress! This recipe looks delicious. I love butternut squash! My favorite recipe with it is butternut squash risotto.

  13. Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries

    I had a lot of self-doubt when I hit the wall on Sunday, but I kept thinking of all the inspiring runners I know, like you, and it helped me get through those last miles. Please tell me that running marathons gets easier!

    • Megan Lyons

      Aww, you’re sweet, thanks, Jillienne! I am SO proud of you for finishing – that darn marathon wall is brutal on the body and the mind!! I’d love to tell you running marathons gets easier, and I know it does, but the truth is that they are still very hard for me after having done 5. However, I can also tell you that after 25 half marathons, I have them “figured out” and they definitely get MUCH easier (even for a “good-for-me” race where I’m pushing myself a lot, it’s mentally SO, SO, SO much more doable now!). So, looks like we both need to run a bunch more marathons :).

  14. Ruthie@She'sWickedHealthy

    I think learning to overcome self doubt is one of THE most important things a person can do to improve their life. It’s all about empowerment!

  15. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    I sometimes feel like self doubt is one of my best friends….the one which everyone tells you to drop because they are toxic but you can’t help having there. It’s a work in progress to remove them by my side but after it being so ingrained and commonplace in day to day actions…. its mentally tough!

    That dip on the other hand….anything with full fat yogurt is a winner!

    • Megan Lyons

      That’s an amazing analogy, Arman! I completely know what you mean about the friend that everyone tells you to drop but you just … can’t. Well, I’ve been dropping my friend slowly but surely, and she seems to be hanging out a whole lot less than she used to be, but she’s still not gone for good … hope your friend follows the same trend :).

  16. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    I’m so glad you took another go with the squash recipe – yay!!! As far as self-doubt, I follow the “fake it till you make it” principle quite often. I usually helps! 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      Yes! I love your linkup too much to let it slip by, so I’m glad I took another cut at it, too! Fake it till you make it sounds like a good plan for self-doubt!

  17. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    This dip looks really good; what a creative use of the squash!

    While I have doubts from time to time, I’ve actually got more confidence than I probably should. Maybe we could combine my ego with your doubts and come out to a happy medium. 🙂

    Truth: I find the older I get, the more self doubt dissipates and the more my confidence grows. Or maybe I just care less what others think. Either way, it gets better.

    • Megan Lyons

      Haha, funny thought about combining your ego and my self-doubt :). I have to agree, though … while my self-doubt is still not GONE, it has gotten SO much better with age. The part about caring less what others think is a complete win (over time) for me, and I am proud of my improvement there. It’s just still my own thoughts that I battle sometimes. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Lindsay

    So clever! And I’m in love with squash. And I have to agree with many above, as I get older, don’t less I care about those doubts and the more I brace real faith

    • Megan Lyons

      Thanks, Lindsay! I loved hearing your (and others’) comments about self-doubt improving with age. I can tell you that, while mine isn’t gone (yet!), it has gotten SO much better over the past 5 years. I think it’s a combination of just recognizing that it’s there, reading about strategies to deal with it, and consciously forcing away those thoughts … plus the age-inherent self-confidence, of course! Looking forward to the trend continuing!

  19. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I can confidently say that a lot of my self-doubt is GONE!!!!!! Only when I am in a bad mood do I have a tiny bit of self doubt, but overall, I know that what I am doing is going to work for me! Everything happens for a reason, and the reason I am doing what I am doing is because it’s going to pay off in the end!!!! 🙂 YAY! SERIOUSLY YAY! I am so flipping happy. HA!

    • Megan Lyons

      That’s awesome, Gigi! I’m so glad you don’t have to deal with it anymore! I’m happy for you too!

    • Megan Lyons

      Similar posts, but I did NOT make an awesome chocolate banana protein mug cake, so I’ll have to get on that! 🙂

  20. Ree

    I have dealt with self-doubt for as long as I can remember. Even way back in public school. I’m slowly learning to accept myself just as I am. I try to remind myself about all of the things I didn’t think I could do..and then I did them, and did them well! I’m 37 years old and just getting it. I’ve heard your 40’s are the best years for self-confidence and I’m so ready 🙂 Thanks for the book recommendation. I’m totally checking that one out. ~Ree

    • Megan Lyons

      It’s amazing how many comments have hinted that it gets so much better with age, Ree! I’ve definitely seen huge improvements in my own self-doubt over the the past 5 years or so, so I’m excited to see it get even better! Hope you like the book!


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Hi! I'm Megan Lyons,

the voice behind The Lyons’ Share. I love all things health, wellness, and fitness-related, and I hope to share some of my passion with you. Thanks for stopping by!
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