You can’t do this. You’re not smart enough. You’ll never pull this off. What were you thinking?
Sound familiar? We’ve all been there—those moments when that pesky, negative voice in the back of our minds becomes increasingly loud. So loud, in fact, that it stops us in our tracks and keeps us from making forward progress. Yes, that little voice can be a real b-word.
I’m a firm believer that even the most confident of people deal with self doubt—they’re likely just less willing to admit those moments of uncertainty. And, while that little voice in the back of your head is totally normal (ahem, and obnoxious), you’re much better off if you can learn how to effectively deal with it and turn that b-word down.
How? Here are a few tips that have worked for me.
Let’s give that little voice the benefit of the doubt for a moment, shall we? After all, she very well might have some logical justifications for voicing her concerns. So, it’s important that you take a minute to think about what specifically is causing you to doubt yourself this much.
Are you truly unqualified for that job you’re applying for? Or, are you just trying to talk yourself out of applying because you don’t want to face even the remote possibility of rejection? Do you really already know that you won’t be good at that particular thing? Or, are you just telling yourself that because it’s scary and new?
I’ll admit that sometimes that little voice in your head exists for a reason—and that’s when we call it our “conscience”. It’s in those moments that you might want to think twice. But, if you’re simply trying to hold yourself back because you’re a little scared of the potential results? Well, then crank the volume down and go for it anyway!
When you’re feeling a little down on yourself, the best thing you can do is try to pick yourself back up again. How? Well, any way you can, honestly.
Call your significant other or your parents and beg them to tell you how wonderful you are (that’s my favorite tactic, if we’re being perfectly honest). Read through your LinkedIn recommendations or some sweet notes from friends. Do something you’re really great at for a few minutes. Do whatever you need to do to pull yourself out of that funk and be reminded that you’re an intelligent and capable human being—regardless of what that tiny voice has to say about it.
Life can be scary sometimes. Believe me, I’m a total creature of habit. And, all too often, I hold myself back from exciting and amazing opportunities simply because I’m afraid I won’t meet expectations or live up to the hype.
It’s in these moments of sheer panic and doubt that you need to think about worst case scenarios. Maybe you think that’d be incredibly discouraging—but, I’ve found that it actually has the opposite effect. How? Well, often the real worst case scenario is nowhere near as bad as I’ve made it out to be in my hypersensitive state of doubt and worry. In fact, usually the worst case scenario is something like, “They say no,” or “I don’t do that again.”
See? Totally not the end of the world—unlike the, “The whole world explodes and ends,” or “My entire career falls apart,” lies that little voice in my head tried to trick me into believing.
We all face moments of self doubt—they’re perfectly normal. But, if you learn to effectively deal with them, you’ll be much better off!
What do you do when that condescending voice in your head starts to get a little too loud?
Until next time!