We all doubt ourselves sometimes. Suspicion can feel like a self-constructed prison that traps you in your own insecurity. It is usually the negative soundtrack of your inner voice that tells you not to take action. But more often than not, it’s a mirage of negativity — you have to be able to see through it! And trust me, I know how hard it is; I have dealt with the cruel effects of believing my doubts more than my true power. Early in my career, I missed many opportunities for which I was actually perfect because the voice of self-doubt in my head convinced me that I was not worthy! This kind of thinking holds me back:
You must fail.
You do not have enough experience.
People will notice that you don’t qualify.
I felt all these doubts when I was asked to join my first corporate board. At first, I was glad! It was an honor, and it seemed like a milestone in my career, I had to say yes. . . Right? But then the voice of doubt began to rise:
- I’ve never been on a board before.
- Other board members have fancy degrees and MBAs.
- What if they find out I’m not qualified?
The other members of the board are all men, twenty years older than me, and have spent their entire careers as investors. I was then an operator with no investment experience. I was nothing like the other people on the board, so how could I fit in? My feelings of self-doubt and incompetence spread and I made an excuse as to why I could not join the board.
Five years later, I was at a dinner with a board member, and he asked me why I had turned down the offer. I told him I didn’t believe I had enough experience as an investor. “We wanted you to join,” he said Because Your digital skills and your operating experience of running a company. “He told me that they were following me to join because they wanted a cohesive board with a variety of experiences. I was shocked and disappointed that I just assumed I was not qualified I was made an ideal board member. My self-doubt prevented me from taking a wonderful career opportunity. So from that moment on, I promised to push past my insecurities and trust myself and my abilities. I decided that whenever I saw a new and exciting project or opportunity in my life, instead of saying no when my insecurities, doubts or fears were holding their ugly heads, I would say yes, even though I did not feel fully qualified or ready. I do.
I said yes: new projects, new partnerships, new clients, new countries, new boards. I pressured myself to give horrible presentations, I begged investors for money, and I hugged business deal negotiations with people I didn’t think I would say. I said yes and went into a practice beyond my self-doubt.
Self-doubt is completely human and normal. Women in particular are victims of this trend. Did you know that most men will apply for a job when they are only 60 percent qualified, but many women will only apply if they are 100 percent qualified? Although studies have consistently shown that a large number of women employers perform better, women personally struggle with self-doubt এত so much so that sociologists call this phenomenon: the confidence gap. Women are also more prone to fight Impostor Syndrome than men. Even famous and wildly successful women report that they are constantly worried that they do not deserve the praise they receive.
Self-doubt is poison. It plagues many of us and prevents us from pursuing our dreams. Fortunately, with the right tools and mindsets it can be managed – and even defeated.
Here are three strategies I use to deal with self-doubt:
1. Make a list of your top achievements: Think of it as a highlight of your success in life. It will serve as a reminder of past victories and give you confidence that if you work hard you will succeed again.
2. Reframe Inexperience: When you are doing something new, remind yourself that you are a beginner, not a cheater. It takes time to become an expert, and each expert starts out as a beginner.
3. Advise yourself: Ask yourself what you would say to a friend with the same destructive thoughts. I’m sure you won’t be as negative or defeated with them as you are with yourself. Help yourself to understand how unfounded and unfounded your doubts are.
It’s hard enough to change your personal or professional life because your inner voice doesn’t make you incompetent or unprepared. Strategies for overcoming self-doubt will make your jump easier. When you learn to overcome feelings of inadequacy and focus on the positive, you are training your subconscious to be your friend and not your enemy. You will be equipped and ready to choose hope, confidence and optimism even when the road ahead seems impossible.