I’d be lying if I said that I never had feelings of self-doubt. And it wasn’t just when I was starting my own business with no money, clients, or a clue of what I was doing. Even after years of being an entrepreneur and achieving success, I find myself feeling uncertainty and fear.
There is a false belief that leaders should always convey unfaltering confidence, well I am going to tell you a little secret: Everyone feels self-doubt; from people in the highest ranks of leadership to the person standing in front of you at the grocery store.
We have been taught to believe self-doubt is a weakness…
I disagree; I understand that feeling self-doubt is part of the human condition, but it can serve you. I have learned from experience that self-doubt can be a secret weapon when it comes to achieving great results.
We all have the infamous internal critic; you know that quiet voice in the back of your head that tells you negative things and stirs up feelings of self-doubt. Acknowledge it, then tell it to shut the front door! Seriously! The difference between a person who lets self-doubt get the best of them and a successful entrepreneur is how they use it.
As we transition into the New Year, I want to share some of my personal experiences and how I have used my feelings of self-doubt to overcome my fears and inspire my success.
Motivation: From a very young age I believed in the motto “tell me I can’t, and I will show you I can”. My parents were notorious for only seeing what I did not do well rather than focusing on my accomplishments. As an adult, I do not hold this against them. It taught me to persevere and work hard to prove them wrong. Yes, this is the origin of some of my self-doubt, but it has also accounted for my level of tenacity and determination to achieve.
When self-doubt rears its ugly head, I say change the narrative of your story. Use it as motivation to dig in get dirty and don’t stop until you get to where you want to be.
Continuous Learning: Do you know it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something? When in doubt get curious and start researching. There is not a day that goes by where I am not researching, reading a book, or reviewing websites. Remaining curious will lead to continuous learning and increased confidence.
The best approach to quieting the voice of self-doubt is to learn as much as possible in your industry. Yes, it requires a lot of time and effort. But it’s also one of the characteristics that separate someone who succeeds and someone who fails.
Ask For Feedback: You may be of the assumption that because you are the leader you do not need feedback. Wrong! This could not be further from the truth. I have another secret for you. You are perfectly imperfect and must seek to understand your blind spots. You do have areas you need to work on. We all do. The only way to become a better human is to ask others how you are doing. One sure way to overcome self-doubt is the understand how others experience you and how you can work to be better.
Believe in miracles this holiday season and turn something negative into a positive. Use your feeling of self-doubt, fear, and uncertainty to your advantage. Your biggest fears can incite your biggest breakthroughs.
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