- Can I really do this?
- What if people don’t like what I have done?
- What if I cannot create something new?
- She is so smart, much better and more worthy than me;
- I will never be successful – success is for others.
I seem to be pre-programmed to question myself.
When self-doubts creep in, I get highly sensitive and quick to take things personally. Or – when things have not gone as expected – I just do nothing and give in to the disappointment.
I am not alone in having such feelings. According to the European Institute for Leadership and Management 50% of female managers and 31% of male managers admitted to experience self-doubt.
Self-doubt can make you feel inadequate, overwhelmed and insecure. As a result you don’t do the things you need to do, are scared to try new activities and lose the motivation to perform.
Some creative people, however, use their self-doubt to energize themselves, some even believe that without it, they wouldn’t be able to create anything at all.
- “If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent van Gogh
- “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” – Robert Hughes
If handled correctly, self-doubt can offer opportunities for creation, personal growth, change and improved confidence.
- Acknowledge the self-doubt in your head;
- Admit that it exists and
- Move on with your clear goals anyway.
In my professional life I learned to use my doubt and get beyond it.
Climbing the career ladder required me to move way beyond my comfort zone. Those moments that challenged my “sense of self” turned out the ones that also helped me in my professional growth.
Throughout my career I was teaching myself to do things I was not really ready for. I learned to take on things I’d never done before.
Of course I was afraid, I struggled and was full of self-doubt. I truly had to push myself to overcome my fears and doubts.
Nevertheless I welcomed every new challenge with (trembling) open arms, thinking that apparently I was seen by others as someone with the required capabilities to succeed at the new level or in that new situation and – in case of a test – at least as someone with growth potential.
And guess what?
It always turned out that I was stronger than I believed and smarter than I thought…
For me, succeeding through perseverance is one of the very best confidence boosters!
Henry Ford is absolutely right: “Whether you think you can or you think you cannot –you’re right.”
The choice is mine (or yours…)!