Don’t Let Self-Doubt Stop You

Confidence is not arrogance, bluster, or posing. It’s grounded quiet assurance. Usually those with natural self-confidence had the good fortune to have grown up in an environment where trying new things was encouraged, and making mistakes was simply considered a normal part of learning, not a sign of failure. Those who lack self confidence usually didn’t have the opportunity early on to receive encouragement, make mistakes, and be encouraged to try again.

Self doubt and fear go hand in hand, and together undercut confidence. When we fear we’ll be punished for our mistakes, self doubt comes in to keep us from taking a risk so we won’t get into that position. We subconsciously learn the pattern of self doubt as a kind of protection against failure. Together, fear and self doubt keep us immobile and unfulfilled, and that’s the opposite of what we’re after.

Self-doubt kills. It kills ideas, initiatives, and offerings. It kills motivation. More than anything else, self-doubt slows down what you want to do and what you can do. Self-doubt is the kind of like the opposite of what known as self-efficacy. That’s the belief that you can successfully use your skills and abilities to achieve a desired result.

Greater awareness of how you feed your insecurity may not make it go away, but it will loosen its grip on you. You can then build more security and confidence by actively choosing to attend to, remember, and think more positively about feedback. However, this takes effort and a willingness to challenge yourself.

Confidence emerges from accomplishment. The challenges may be new and seem overwhelming but for most of us, there is something from our past that may give us the impetus to take on something new. A kernel of confidence emerges and so we plow ahead.

Summing-up: Failure comes when we give into defeat. Refusing to give in and pushing forward requires determination. Great leaders are those who leverage failure to achieve success. What we achieve is in our grasp if we are willing to listen to our doubts but not allow them to define us.

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