5 Things That Will Snuff Out Self Doubt
I’ve given a ton of speeches in my career. For whatever reason, standing up to present in front of people has never bothered me. Until one night a number of years ago. It was a very large gathering of our customers in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. I was to be at the podium in front of over 3,000 people.
I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t a little nervous ahead of time. I’ll admit to a couple of pre-game shots of Jack Daniels to calm the jitters. But it went beyond just jitters. For the first time in a long time important parts of my anatomy were starting to pucker and I actually felt that dark cloud of self-doubt creeping in.
We’ve all been there, right? (Don’t give me that smurkey “No, not me, never” – I’ll strap you to the lie detector). It’s that big presentation your giving, the huge project you’ve been given, the quarterly review in front the CEO and his senior staff, the new job that is a stretch for you.
You begin to feel an uprising of the “you’re not good enough” gremlins. It’s negative self-talk that says you’re not up to the task, you’re not smart enough, not experienced enough. Self-doubt is one of the major obstacles to living the career and for that matter, the life you truly deserve. Self-doubt drags down your spirit, crushes your ambitions, and prevents you from achieving all that you can.
Don’t let it derail you from all that you want to accomplish. Here are some pro tips and deflector shields:
*Focus On All That’s In Front Of You Now – Most of the time, feelings of self-doubt are attached to things that have happened to you in the past when you failed to achieve something. Or, maybe somebody else told you that you were not good enough. Don’t dwell on those moments. Ground yourself and think only about “the now”. Just because you weren’t able to accomplish something before doesn’t mean you can’t do it again. Every day is a new start and a new chance to go for what you really want.
*Trust In You – Stop being your own worst enemy. Norman Vincent Peale said, “What the mind can conceive and believe, and the heart desire, you can achieve.” Have faith that you are just as capable as the next person – because in most cases you are.
*Don’t Eat Alone – Up your social game and spend time with friends, family and close business associates. They’re an invaluable source of strength, reassurance and encouragement. Their positivity, helpfulness and caring can be a huge motivation boost.
*Voice It – Simply voicing your self-doubt to others you trust can often put it in perspective and make you realize how illogical your negativity is.
*Preparation, Preparation, Preparation – Whatever potential obstacle you’re going to encounter, outwit it by being overly prepared. Practice that speech until it’s nearly memorized. Give that board presentation ten times before going in. Study that project you inherited to death from all angles and consult with all your possible advisors. The enormous level of confidence you’ll build up from extreme preparation will keep the self-doubt creatures at bay.
So here’s the net, net – Practice not thinking about or regretting the past. Don’t even look in the rearview mirror of your career or life. Focus on what’s on your plate right now. You have no valid reason for self-doubt. Walk in the room knowing you are in fact as good if not better than others. Trust in that, kick-ass, take names and don’t let any self-doubt obstacles steer you off you’re chosen path or sway you from your dreams.