Self-doubt has been a major issue for me over the years.
There have been times when I have intrinsically doubted my own abilities for whatever reason and there have been times when other people’s comments or reactions have got in my head and made me feel unworthy, particularly when I was in the corporate world.
On a personal level, self-doubt has made me not apply for jobs and give up on business opportunities through fear that I didn’t have the knowledge or the skill-set to make everything come together. Now when I look back I feel frustrated in myself for not persevering and pushing harder to overcome my self-imposed restraints at the time.
I think when self-doubt is holding you back you know it is time for a change. Realising that your feelings stem from a lack of self-confidence and insecurity is key, but there isn’t a switch that you can flick off to resolve this issue. In fact, I don’t believe self-doubt is something you can ever eradicate completely. Even the most confident people have moments where they second-guess what they are doing. But here are some practical steps that I use, that you can use too, to help train your mindset to overcome self-limiting thoughts and effectively pursue opportunities.
1. Ignore naysayers and their opinions!
If Oprah Winfrey had listened to that person who told her she wasn’t fit for TV, where would she be now? Well, she wouldn’t be a billionaire, that’s for sure! If you spend your time worrying about other people’s thoughts and opinions you will never achieve anything. Take on board constructive criticism and leave the rest in the dust. Don’t hand someone else the power to change your life.
2. Stop hiding behind excuses!
Someone pointed out to me that I say “it’s easier said than done” a lot. I wasn’t aware of it until they highlighted it to me, but I soon realised that it was my go to phrase to cover as an excuse for why I couldn’t wouldn’t do something.
If you could see inside my brain every time I would utter that phrase, you would see a range of insecurities flying around behind the words I was verbalising, such as ‘I don’t know where to start’, ‘I don’t have the skills’, ‘it would be a disaster’, ‘I’m not clever enough’, ‘it will be too difficult’ etc. But we all know making excuses doesn’t get us any where. We have to confront our fears face on.
3. Don’t overthink – just take action!
When you spend too much time thinking, self-doubt has time to creep in and put you off your stride. Being a Boss Lady means being assertive, tenacious and active. Analysis paralysis never got anybody anywhere, though that’s not to say you should jump in to anything blind. Just don’t agonise. Keep it moving.
4. Reaffirm just how great you are!
No, this isn’t just a fluffy piece to tack on the end of the list. I really mean it when I say you need to tell yourself every single day just how great you are. If this is something you struggle to do, just remember it is a FACT that you are unique. No one else has your personality, your exact skill-set, your specific knowledge and it is this blend that makes you great. You are valuable, regardless of what other’s may perceive. And, I guarantee you have the ability to affect someone positively, just because of who you are! When you get up in the morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself you are great, or if you prefer journalling write it down. Either way, do it on a daily basis and it will affect your mindset positively.