Home > Career, Inspiration, Leadership, Motivation > Self doubt and how to recognize it

Self doubt and how to recognize it

You know what? You don’t know what you’re doing.  Seriously, you’re no expert.  You probably aren’t even sure what your next move is going to be.  What makes you an expert?  Did you go to school to get your information or read a book or something?  Quit fooling yourself, you know you’re in over your head

Which one do you listen to?

That’s doubt.  Know what it looks and sounds like.  Know how it makes you feel and don’t you ever forget.  Doubt can destroy your confidence when you hit a bump in the road.  Know the difference between doubt and fact.  You’d be surprised, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two when you are having a debate in your brain moderated by your Self Esteem. 

Take a step back and separate your doubt from actual facts.  The devastating or embarrassing end to your project or business venture probably won’t happen.  It’s only playing out in your head, which IS NOT reality.  It’s not.  Keep going, keep working and keep pushing forward.  It’ll be okay.  Focus on the positive and all the good you are doing.

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  1. June 21, 2011 at 8:30 am

    When I feel self doubt creeping in, I try to counsel myself into a new frame of mind. My favorite technique is to imagine the worst possible outcome and decide how I can face that reality. I can usually come up with a plan for even the worst outcome – which gives me more freedom and less doubt about facing whatever comes next.

  2. Miley
    June 22, 2011 at 12:44 am

    When I have self doubt I blog about it and then hopefully someone, like my wife, comments on it.

    No seriously, as a sales oriented person I am pre programmed to recognize doubt in others. “Buyer Reluctance” is actually something that, when you can identify it, you can spin it into a way to build rapport with the buyer. Ie: “I can see you are having trouble deciding, I totally understand, if it were me I would have the same questions but, trust me, I think you made a wise decision by calling me so let’s work together…yadda yadda…”

    You see, doubt is your brains natural response when you are being moved outside of your comfort zone. What I did with the customer above was I made them feel comfortable again and removed the doubt. So, when I have SELF doubt I do the same thing. I say, “what about this is uncomfortable and can I change it to fit my comfort zone?” sometimes this isn’t possible but now i have acknowledged the doubt and sometimes that is enough. Plus people who know me know that I regularly push myself outside of my comfort zone as an exercise to make me stronger and supress self doubt in future ventures.

  3. July 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Self-doubt has certainly beaten me up over the last few months. I found myself launched into early retirement, through a mostly positive turn of events, but it brought with it some surprising elements. Just as in starting a new job after excelling at the old one, I found I was suddenly the new kid–only this time, I have to look a little harder for my mentors, or else there are just too many choices. After many years in a structured environment, it’s a jolt.

    @Miley, interesting perspective, recognizing doubt in others, something I never gave much thought. You’re right–I’ve started pushing myself out of my comfort zone in several ways and it’s actually making me more grounded, less self-absorbed and therefore less self-doubting. And I’m letting myself enjoy life a lot more.

  4. July 7, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Ann,

    Welcome!

    Self doubt holds you back. You really need to listen closely because if all that is playing in your head is fear… It’s probably not based in fact.

    For me fear of total and complete destruction is like 1970-80’s USA vs USSR. Fear of utter and complete destruction to the tune of nuclear panic and preparation for the end of the world. It didn’t happen. And your worst fears probably won’t happen either.

  1. November 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

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