Hello there. September is just around the corner so my focus for this months newsletter is on Spring and oh what a spring kinda day it is today. I have just been caught in a hail storm! How can you use September as your month to spring yourself into action and launch yourself into some deeper work. What's been annoying you over the winter months? Is there a nagging problem that is keeping you stuck? Are you really... enjoying your life, your work or do you feel overwhelmed by everything going on around you? Below I will explore a topic very close to my heart, self-doubt. It raises its ugly head quite often and I recognise it for what it is now. This is not easy to do but it is something that I continually work on.
Every time you force yourself out of your comfort zone—whether that’s through trying a new approach to solving a problem, deciding to develop a new skill, or taking on a more ambitious project—you're likely to feel some level of self-doubt: “Will I be able to get the job done?”
The feeling of self-doubt is an act or state of doubting oneself and your abilities, performance, or competence.
Self-doubt is not an uncommon feeling in the workplace: 70% of people are estimated to experience its extreme version, impostor syndrome.
Regardless of its degree and shape, self-doubt can cause harm since we as humans have the need to feel our competence. Our minds like to keep us comfortable so this an automatic response to any challenges we encounter.
The reasons why this need might be unmet vary, but at the core of self-doubt is hesitation and thinking about your performance rather than engaging in the task. To manage the feeling of self-doubt when it appears, Russ Harris (the author of The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt), recommends bringing all your attention to the action at hand.
Today, think about a project or an area of professional expertise where you might experience self-doubt and follow these steps to shift your focus toward action instead.
Step 1: Identify the situation that caused you to doubt your competence. Maybe it’s a project, using a new skill, or being in a situation that is outside of your comfort zone.
Step 2: Identify specific actions you can focus on. Following Harris’ approach would mean not running from the thought or hiding from it or fighting with it as we often do with uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. And not fusing with this thought either. Develop a compassionate stance towards yourself. Know that this voice is going to appear and say to yourself...here's my mind again...here's the I can't do this story...and I was expecting you...thanks mind.
Step 3: When doubt creeps back in, practice shifting back to the actions you thought about in Step 2. Rather than worrying about your abilities, focus on what is in your control: execution.
Tip: Don’t brush away self-reflection. Schedule a specific time for it. In this way, you can use the benefits it provides for growth and to calm your inner voice, saying that there will be time for evaluation.
Enjoy using the above techniques and it you would like to find out more about how coaching can help you with self-doubt please contact me through the button below.