3 Simple Steps to Turn Self-Doubt into Confidence

How to deal with self-doubt

I know sometimes you doubt yourself.

I know that you loose sleep sometimes when you’re taking on a bigger role at work, preparing an important presentation, or when your back is up against the wall with the looming deadline of an ambitiously large project.

And I know the questions that probably come up in your head.

Can I really do this? What if I fail? What if I make a mistake that cost me my job?

Channeling the Self-Doubt into Something Helpful

So today, I’m going to give you an alternative to help you channel all that self-doubt into something really helpful.

I promise that all your self-doubt can be used to your advantage when you keep in mind just a few points.

Trouble is that people, no matter how introspective or experienced they are, don’t stop to ask how their self-doubt can be used to their advantage when they feel it coming on. They just end up trying to ignore it or fight it.

The average person doesn’t face the big role change or huge presentations every day or even every week, so when there is a biggie coming up it probably takes every ounce of energy and discipline to grind it out and get through it.

But I’d like to change all that for you today.

I’m going to share a technique that worked for me when I was preparing for an important presentation I made a little while back.

I remember feeling sort of lost in space then start questioning myself.  My self-doubt shook my confidence, kept me up at night, and started to zap the joy out of my preparation.  But then, when I worked through the steps I’m going to share with you I was able to refocus and even have fun with the task at hand.

I suddenly felt like self-doubt was an ally…heck it could even be a friend.

I know there’s a lot of face-your-fear and “bust your self-doubt in the mouth” advice out there but these steps are simple, yet give you just enough to turn your self-doubt into confidence and get better results.

The reason I think this is worth sharing is because if it resonates with you too, you’ll be able to call on it when you need it.

And one more point before I share the steps….

A work day without a plan to deal with self-doubt…sucks. It sucks because your self-doubt can run rampant breaking down your confidence, making you question everything you’re doing, and can even result in a total stall out.

And so what I’m going to give you today doesn’t rely on you remembering some long process or drawn out text book strategies.  Instead, I’m providing a short cut to turning self-doubt into confidence in 3 steps.

Here they are:

  1. Recognize the self-doubt
  2. Pay attention to what it’s telling you
  3. Take action

Simple? Yes.

Effective? You bet!

But here’s the thing about these steps. Even if you only get one of the three steps, your work day will be a lot better.

I’ll break down each step for you here.

Step 1: Recognize the self-doubt

Simply put “to doubt is human. Doubt is a basic human emotion that we all feel. Learn to recognize how it shows up for you and you’ll start to feel more at peace.

You can notice self-doubt as that nagging inner voice that says “can I really do this?”.

Or it can show-up physically as the tingle in your chest or the tightness in your back when you think about an upcoming presentation, a complicated project, or even a big tennis match.

Instead of burying it or replacing it with some kind of fake confidence….try embracing it. Turns out, self-doubt even has some benefits:

  • It let’s you know there’s something else to learn.
  • It’s useful for your decision making process because it makes you more aware of the next step.
  • When you express it to others, it helps you connect over a shared human experience.

Step 2: Pay attention to what self-doubt is telling you

Too often when people experience self-doubt it’s leads to negative thoughts like “this is going to be bad for me”.  These thoughts can spiral out of control if left untended.

Instead of defaulting to the thought that this could be bad, consider that self-doubt is just telling you to pay closer attention.  What’s it telling your pay closer to attention too?

  • What can you prepare for?
  • Where do you need to focus most?
  • What should you prioritize?
  • What can you practice?
  • Where can you let go?

Step 3: Take action

Taking action is the final step that turns your self-doubt into confidence.

Once you’ve asked yourself what to pay closer attention to. It’s important to do something with that new understanding.  Instead of investing your time in worry or analysis paralysis, try one of these actions to move you forward and boost your confidence:

  • Learn something new
  • Ask for help
  • Practice the stuff that’s new

And that’s it!

Now if that feels a bit overwhelming to you, I want to remind you that “Rome wasn’t Built in a Day”.  Again, you don’t have to adopt all three steps (although the combination is really potent).  Even taking on one can make a big difference in your work day.

Here’s an exercise for you:

Where in your work are you experiencing self-doubt? Go through the steps above. See how it can increase your confidence level.


PS: Inspired by this article?  Please open your email and send this article to at least 2 friends. It’s inspiring!

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