How often do you listen to that voice in your head that questions your ability to take on challenges? If self doubt is making your career decisions it is time to put a muzzle on it.
Our minds are very easily persuaded and if we give voice to our self doubt it will lead directly to a self limiting career path. When you see opportunities to participate in a project, on a task force or to put your name in for a leadership role – do you go for it? Or do you listen to that voice that might say:
- I’m not qualified
- Others are more qualified
- I’m too new to my position
- I never finished college or obtained an MBA
- I’m a woman and the team is made up exclusively of men
What ever excuse your self doubt makes, it is time to change your way of thinking. In an article by Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin, Chairman, President and CEO, The Best Advice I Wish I’d Had Sooner, she talks about how self doubt can be self limiting and offers advice for women in business:
When I’m mentoring young professionals and they ask me for advice, I say: Get out of your comfort zone. Learn something new each day. Go for the opportunities that stretch you and push you to grow.
Most importantly, don’t put constraints on yourself because you want to be perfect. Just get out there. You will be amazed at what you can achieve as you discover strengths you didn’t know you had and develop skills that will serve you for the rest of your life.
Sirena Bernal wrote an article for the Tiny Budda offering 8 tips for turning self doubt into a more confident attitude. Here are three that really resonate with me:
Forget about what everyone else is thinking of you.
When you care about what everyone else is thinking of you, you inhibit yourself. You’d rather do nothing and not get judged than do something and risk criticism. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller
Worrying about what other people think of you will continue to hold you back from doing something potentially huge for yourself.
Just make a decision and then correct your course as you go along.
Getting caught up in a decision is another surefire way to water the seeds of self-doubt. It’s very easy to get stuck in trying to make decisions. What is the cure for this? Just make a decision already! Usually your first reaction is going to be your best since it typically comes from a place of intuition rather from the ego, and before outside opinions get in the way.
Identify your biggest fans and then nurture those relationships.
No (wo)man is an island—meaning you can’t do it all on your own. Sometimes all you need is a little reassurance, and your biggest fans are the people who do just that for you.
Quiet that self doubt and change your way of thinking. Recognize your successes up to this point. Remind yourself of those times when you have faced a challenge and been successful. Surround yourself with positive people. Spend quality time reading positive reinforcement books.
It is by stretching yourself beyond your current parameters that you will not only see for yourself just how talented and valuable you are but those around you will witness the same.
JJ DiGeronimo, keynote speaker for women, based in Cleveland, presents keynote addresses on women in leadership, diversity in business and advancement for women.