How often do you find yourself dealing with self-doubt by simply trying to talk it away?
– you’ll be fine
– don’t think like that
– stop doubting yourself
– think positively
And when someone else tells you they are having a crisis of confidence how often do the same thing?
While words of encouragement might help to nudge you (or them) over the line they actually do very little to boost self-confidence. Why? Because it’s doesn’t address the root of the problem.
The reality is that building confidence isn’t about talking down self-doubt, it’s about increasing self-belief. So rather than just dismissing the thoughts or concerns you’re having you really need to consider why you’re having them in the first place. Are they based on fact or just a belief?
Actually, I’ve got this!
When we are forced to step outside out comfort zone it’s pretty common to feel a level of doubt. We might have the skills and experience we need but are unsure how we’ll cope in a new situation. In this case reflecting on similar experiences, speaking to people who know what we’ve accomplished or reminding ourselves of things we have achieved in the past can help boost our confidence.
I don’t got this
On the flip side, there are also times when our uncertainty is perfectly valid. Like when we first start driving a car or when we are asked take lead on something we’ve never done before. Sometimes we genuinely need more experience. More learning. More exposure. And that’s fine. By recognising this is what’s causing us to have doubts we can address the gap and meaningfully build our self-belief.
Be honest with yourself (and others)
So next time you doubt yourself resist the temptation to simply dismiss the concerns out of hand. Instead take the time to reflect on what other experiences you can draw on to increase your confidence, or consider what practical steps you need to take to boost your self-belief.
And the same goes for others. If someone in your team, a friend or even your child expresses doubt take the time to understand if it’s founded. If you know they have the capability help them reflect on the things that should give them confidence, and if you believe there is something they could do to strengthen their skills share some ideas.
Bottom line don’t just disregard the feeling – take the time to understand where it is coming from.