If you are under a self doubt cloud, it is time to get out of the shade.
I recently asked a women’s group what topics related to empowerment they would find valuable to read. To my surprise “self-doubt / lack of confidence” were the two that came up the most. Why is it that us women think so low of ourselves? We often work so hard to then turn around and not be confident in our own abilities.
I was brought up surrounded by boys, so to say I’m a tomboy would be accurate. I was raised in an environment where there was no place for “sissy’s or weaklings”. I learnt to defend myself and stand up for what I believed in, almost as a matter of survival. Which is one of the reasons I think that self-doubt rarely plays a part in my professional career.
If you were to describe me now I would say that I’m a strong woman who is fearless in the pursuit of having what I deserve. There are many factors that have played out to define who I am today, but I know it’s possible for women to develop more confidence and to tell that self-doubt voice to “SIT DOWN”!
A lack of confidence in yourself can be caused by many things. A presentation that went bad, a job interview that you didn’t land, a partner feeding you negative notions or perhaps a parent who put you down as a child… does any of that resonate with you? If it does, there are a few simple hacks you can master to snap yourself up from under the self-doubt cloud.
Self confidence doesn’t need to be broadcast
Just because you are confident in yourself, doesn’t mean that it needs to be paraded online. Sure, it’s easy to do with the likes of social media and everyone on their phones, but it isn’t necessary. I’ve spoken to a number of women who often confuse the two. As in they “have to” share everything online because they are confident in their work. It’s certainly a fine line, but if sharing online scares you or isn’t who you are – then you can still be confident without doing it. Don’t let that be fuel for your self-doubt.
You’ve come this far
A lot of people I know, women in particular, find themselves questioning how far they’ve come in life. “Have I done enough?”, “I wish I had become more than this by now” are two statements I hear often. My reply to both is much rather the same.
You have come this far already, don’t look back now. There are so many great things that you’ve already achieved in the past, obstacles you’ve overcome, relationships you’ve made or removed and growth both personally and professionally. Surviving the bad times is an achievement too – don’t fall into the trap of thinking they were just a negative experience, they’ve helped you grow and move forward too. Something that I have on my wall is “I didn’t come this far, to just come this far”.
You are not an imposter
This is one that I used to struggle with when I received a promotion or something went amazingly well. I used to think – “How did I do that? Was it just luck?”. I’ve since learned and accepted (which is the hardest part) that I am incredibly knowledgeable in my industry.
When I talk about what I do, I know exactly what I’m talking about. There is no ambiguity, no exaggeration and certainly no backtracking – I am an expert. It did take me a while to accept this, but when I did the self-doubt disappeared as I acknowledged that I did know what I was doing and I was good at it.
If you find yourself nodding while reading this, then maybe that’s how you’ve felt too. Take a moment to sit back and look at all the amazing things that you’ve done, all the people that have come to you for advice, all the years of training and upskilling. You are not an imposter, you are an expert.
This is one I learnt while being a volunteer crisis phone supporter. Self-care is the absolute most crucial part of being able to perform well.
Without looking after yourself, you will be unable to look after anyone else – and that goes for work, family and friends. You’ve probably heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and simply put – it’s true. If self-doubt and a lack of confidence plagues you then perhaps it’s time you take a time out. Reassess why you do what you do, why you love it, why you’re good at it. This time and moments of reflection will allow you to reset and start again in a much better and positive frame of mind about yourself.
If you think self-doubt and lack of confidence is exclusive to you – you’re wrong. It is common and is a feeling experienced by almost everyone. It makes us normal human beings with a desire to improve, so don’t put yourself down if you find yourself in this category. It is however, something that can be trained and managed.
Believe in yourself, there are so many others that already do.
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