Have you ever experienced being excited about something you truly desired only to not pursue it due to fear? Or, because of the feeling that you are not good enough? Self-doubt is the quiet killer of dreams. Self-doubt steals your future and turns fears into realizations.
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”― William Shakespeare
Sometimes we have to be reminded of how great we can become. We see our faults and they block out our strengths. While living in Hong Kong I was placed into a role I did not feel qualified for. The HK head pulled me into his office and said we need you in this role for these reasons and then listed them out.
“…learn to take responsibility for your decisions
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. Don’t take counsel of your fears.” – Thomas S. Monson
The first time I became a sales lead in my professional career I was scared, I doubted my abilities to lead more experienced and better salespeople. My manager came to me and said: we put you in this role for these reasons – and began to list out the reasons. What are the themes? The two managers were not overlooking my faults, they were just choosing to focus on different metrics. Our life can be measured by the performance indicators we choose. What we focus on becomes our reality.
“Nothing is written in stone, as a career is an unpredictable journey.” – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
For all of us who suffer from self-doubt we know it leaves an emptiness that can’t seem to be filled. At times, all humans face some form of self-doubt. The way we react to that emotion is what determines our ability to achieve our potential. While ignoring the self-doubt is one way around it, recognizing the feeling and then proactively taking steps to overcome the self-doubt will lead to stronger personal convictions and resilience.
“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” – Kobe Bryant
My previous managers helped me by teaching me how to do a self-assessment. One way to overcome the paralyzing fear of self-doubt is to take a self-assessment where you determine what is assessed. Self-doubt is looking at the reasons why success might not happen. Self-assessment is looking at all the reasons why you will succeed!
To take a self-assessment:
- List out all of your Personal Strengths & Qualities
- List out all of your Achievements
- List out your positive Relationships
Then pick your top 3 from each category. Write them down again. Write them down a few times. Read them over and over again remembering how you feel when you are using your talents, remembering how you felt when you were accomplishing those tasks, remembering how you feel when you are around the people whose relationship gives your the most happiness. Remember the feelings. Feed those feelings. Embrace those positive emotions.
“By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved…you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.” – Jack Canfield
Once you have the positive emotions flowing start visioneering yourself accomplishing your goals, your dreams, your desires. See in your mind’s eye yourself completing and succeeding. Attach those positive feelings to the accomplishment of your dreams. Then get to work. Then take action. Take the steps you know you need to take, ask people for help, help others, work harder, then go to sleep and do it all again.
Knowing you are not perfect is the key to continuous learning. Always be striving to learn more. Learning builds confidence. While wanting to learn is vital and important, focusing on your strengths is what enables the emotional fortitude to push through times of uncertainty.