Are you preparing for that big job interview, company presentation, or life changing event? Don’t let self-doubt hold you back from performing at your very best.
Let’s face it, almost everyone has serious moments of self-doubt at some point in his or her career. For some, self-doubt passes quickly and has no effect on the task at hand but for others it can consume your focus and undermine your performance. Self-doubt holds so many people back from doing what they really want to do in life.
Here is the good news; self-doubt can be conquered with a little bit of work and mind set adjustment. I have worked with thousands of individuals, teams and organizations and witnessed the incredible difference conquering self-doubt has made in their lives both personally and professionally.
That little voice in the back of your head, that keeps saying you’re not good enough. It’s that voice that makes sure you don’t try anything new or go for your dreams. For many people self-doubt becomes an “emotional habit.” No worries, this habit like all other can be broken with a little bit of work and determination. Yes, at first it may sound like a huge task but believe me it is very achievable.
So what can we do to Conquer Self-Doubt?
A LITTLE SELF-DOUBT IS HELPFUL
Start with the understanding that a little self-doubt will help you prepare. When we get over-confident it often shows up in our preparation and effort. So using a little bit of self-doubt in your preparation is a good thing. Over-confident people become complacent and their effort level drops, leading to poor performance. Plus, its always empowering to take what you thought might break you and turn it into something positive and helpful. So don’t try and eliminate all self-doubt, it can be a positive tool in your preparation.
Most often mistakes mean you are learning something new. Embracing a growth mindset that views mistakes as part of the journey of learning and getting better. It’s actually healthy to have opportunities to fail regularly. Try new things you’re not good at
yet. Apply for that dream job; the one that is “way out of your league” or take up a healthy activity that you have never tried before because you didn’t think you could do it. Acknowledge you’re not going to be great at it at first. No one is. Be sure not to strive for perfection. These new areas are there to fail and learn, make mistakes and grow. Striving for perfection will cause you to miss out on a lot of wonderful opportunities. Don’t let your desire to be perfect stop you from pursuing your dreams. It is way better to do something imperfect than to do nothing at all. You don’t have to be perfect to have fun, learn, grow and succeed.
Often that inner voice that tells you not to try something or pursue your dreams can be a mechanism you have created over the years to protect yourself from the hurt associated with failure. Don’t just brush that voice away. You must acknowledge it, confront it. Ask yourself if it’s realistic or accurate? Is there any evidence to support it? By challenging how logical and rational your thoughts are, is a great technique widely used by psychologist. Irrational thoughts cause increased anxiety, which leads to self-doubt. Replace that unhelpful inner voice with an accurate, rational and helpful voice.
Proper preparation fixes a lot of ills. Focusing on your preparation will strengthen your confidence. The more prepared you are the more confident you will assuredly be. Being prepared goes a long way towards drowning out potential negative thoughts that are often unrealistic and beyond your control. Part of your preparation for any important event should always include goal setting. Proper, realistic, action oriented goal setting will help provide structure, focus and motivation. Self-doubt is an inward focus. Conquer that by setting goals, which is an outcome focus. Goals are always a great way to help you focus on you. Not on how you measure up to others or what they are doing, instead it’s about reaching your goals.
Develop a morning routine that includes reading something inspirational and writing down some of your thoughts. Sometimes we need some outside help to go from a negative mindset to a positive mindset. With the help of your smartphone or computer you are just seconds away from countless inspiring quotes of the day or motivating short stories. I recommend everyone have a journal of some sort where you can write down your accomplishments, what you learned today and what you want to remember tomorrow and beyond. Writing down your thoughts will also increase your awareness of what’s going on in your head.
Nothing guarantees instant freedom from self-doubt. But you have to start somewhere to conquer anything. Don’t fear self-doubt conquer it. Its time to stop letting it hold you back and start going after what you really want in life. Conquering self-doubt could very well be the catalyst to your next big success.