How To Overcome Self Doubt
So many of my incredibly talented clients still struggle from issues of self-doubt that I am prompted to address that.
I read once that the true creative person is the one who decides that the work they do is good, whether they are building a house, writing a novel, designing an app or putting paint on a canvas.
They do not have to turn to another person and ask: “Have I done good?”
To me that distinguishes the true professional from the self-doubter. As long as you doubt yourself and need validation from others, you cannot soar to the levels of achievement you are capable of.
The people I meet have no logical reasons to doubt themselves. They have worked at their skills for years and mastered them successfully. Many have awards and trophies on their walls to illustrate the value others place on their work. Yet still they struggle to believe that they are enough.
Deena Metzger, in the amazing book Healing Narratives – Women Writers Curing Cultural Dis-ease compiled by Gay Wilentz, suggests that all of us are suffering from a kind of global fatigue and despair, from “cultural self-loathing, from national suicides, all of which leads to serious increases in attacks against life itself.”
Can that be true? Are we all just riding a huge wave of doubt that is a result of the uncertain times in which we live?
That is too depressing to contemplate, although a case could be made that the advent of social media has turned us into a global culture of people seeking validation in the form of “likes” for almost every life action we take.
It also occurs to me that self-doubt is just another way of people admitting that they are terrified of failing in a culture that places its super-achievers on a pedestal. Corporations promise in their human relations messages to be a place where people are allowed to try and fail, when it is glaringly obvious to all the workers that only those who try and succeed maintain their jobs and get promoted.
How can you tackle your own issue of self-doubt?
First, try to figure out what is causing it? Are you caught up in a culture that is rife with it, or are you just afraid to fail? There is no right or wrong answer…just self-knowledge to be gain by answering honestly.
Once you know what is causing you to doubt yourself, you are half-way to the cure. The second step is to heighten your self-awareness. What do you know that you do really well, likely better than anyone around you? What do you feel needs improvement?
Go and improve the parts that you doubt. It really is as simple as that. Take a course, read a book, ask a mentor for help. Master the points you feel weak about.
Then go into your business and into your life with confidence and compassion for yourself. Know that you are skilled, that you are doing your best, and you deserve the benefit of your own compassion.
Stop asking others how you are doing. At the end of the day, if you are honest with yourself, you know how you did. You know when you were in your zone doing your best work, and when you were just trying to finish the job with as little effort as possible. You don’t need somebody else to tell you those things.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be open to feedback on your projects, but you should have to rely on others to validate your every step. You are worth more than that; you know more than that and you have the courage to do more than that.
Practice making your own decisions about what you are doing today. Start with the small stuff, for that is where doubt begins, and then move to the bigger decisions of your life.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion.
24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
Check out Paula’s bestselling books on Amazon: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and due to be released in March 2018 “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth”.
For speaking inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-888-502-6317.