I’ve worked long and hard my whole life. And I continue to keep on hustling because I’ve got ambitious goals. I’m committed to inspiring people to lead wherever they are in life and with the tools they already have at their disposal so that they can advance to their next level.
I want to help people like you feel with every bone in their body that they are leaders, and totally deserving of that title, regardless of what your inner critic says.
Thanks to my many years of hustle, I’ve had the pleasure of helping many Everyday Leaders (as I call those who learn to work with what they have to lead from where they are) get to the next chapter in their professional journey.
BUT. Yup–there’s a but.
Despite my commitment to my goals and my hustle and my many achievements, I am still a frequent victim of self-doubt.
There isn’t a speaking engagement that goes by that I don’t question why I was asked to do it.
“You want me? ME? Are you sure? You don’t mean some other Jacqueline, do you?”
While I’ve learned to silence my inner critic over the years through a lot of practice and trial and error, I still struggle with self-doubt from time to time and I know that so many other Everyday Leaders do as well.
What I also know is that both you and I have the power to overcome self-doubt. In fact, we have exactly what we need within us and around us to do it–we just need some guidance, a little faith, and a good helping of practice to conquer self-doubt when we feel it creeping in.
So how can you overcome self-doubt? The following three tips will help you get started. These three tips are what I’ve used on countless occasions to help me silence my inner critic and overcome self-doubt.
But remember–it’s all about practice. You can’t use one tip once and never again and expect change. You need to work at overcoming self-doubt. It’s a monster that needs to be tamed, but you can do it; you can train yourself to subdue it.
Overcome Self-Doubt by Normalizing Self-Doubt
While self-doubt can be monstrous–ramping up your anxiety, skyrocketing your stress levels, and hindering you from moving forward–it is also a totally normal thing to experience.
That’s step one in overcoming self-doubt: you need to acknowledge the self-doubt demon–aka your inner critic–and you need to treat it like any other normal occurrence in your life, like the fact that you eat breakfast everyday or that you wash your hands.
No matter how hard we try, we may never completely rid ourselves from our inner critic, but we can build up our inner strength so that we are well-fortified when self-doubt chooses to attack.
In order to guard against self-doubt, we must acknowledge that it exists and that its commonplace. In doing so, we lessen our inner critic’s power because we decide to refuse to treat it as something that deserves our special, undivided attention.
It’s our responsibility to manage our self-doubt–and manage ourselves–but it is not our job to feed it by giving self-doubt all the space, attention, or time in the world.
You experience self-doubt. I experience self-doubt. Everyone at some point in their lives experiences self-doubt.
It’s no big deal, really. And so we need to stop making our self-doubt the center of our attention. Because it’s not special–it’s a commoner that lives among all of us.
Sure, self-doubt can feel scary, but it’s significantly less scary when you realize that everyone walking this Earth has dealt with it.
Overcome Self-Doubt by Kicking Procrastination to the Curb
Yet what many of us may not know is that procrastination is often an extension and perpetuation of self-doubt–it’s self-doubt’s right-hand man, in many cases.
By procrastinating, we are often looking to delay a particular task but in doing so, we are also giving our inner critic time to breath.
We open ourselves up to damaging thoughts like, “It’s not going to be good enough anyway so why finish it?” and “What will other people think of me?”
Thoughts like these can propel us further into procrastination and deeper into the abyss of self-doubt.
But how to cure procrastination? It’s easier than you think. You just start doing what you need to do.
As you get to work, self-doubt might send ripples of uncertainty and anxiety through your body, but these waves will subside and you’ll find you’re sailing smoothly through your task at hand as if it wasn’t a roadblock in the first place.
Overcome Self-Doubt by Tracking and Celebrating Your Best Moments
In addition to normalizing self-doubt and kicking procrastination to the curb, I practice best moment tracking to help overcome self-doubt.
So what is best moment tracking? It’s keeping track of your good days (such as in a planner specially designed for keeping you organized) so that when your self-doubting bad days creep in, you have a solid record of the true you.
Track what makes you shine. Track what makes your heart sing. Track accomplishments. Track warm and fuzzy moments. Track skills and talents. And even track mistakes that you’ve learned from.
The whole point of tracking your best moments is to celebrate yourself–because guess what? You’re already great! Let me repeat that again: you’re already great.
It’s our job to manage where our minds drifts off to and to remind ourselves of our greatness and what we’re truly capable of. While others might assist us with these tasks from time to time, we are the ultimate owners of our mood, behavior, and our life.
We need to be able to help ourselves–to value ourselves–if we want to get to our next level as leaders.
Even if you haven’t achieved all of your big, hairy, audacious goals yet or even conquered your to-do list for today, you’re already great.
You’re good enough–great, in fact–just where you are right at this very imperfect moment because you’re uniquely you.
So track all of this wonderfulness that you’ve got inside of you so that you can come back to it whenever you need it, especially when you need to overcome some pesky self-doubt.
Jacqueline M. Baker
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