We all have moments of self-doubt. You’ve taken on a “quantum leap” career opportunity; you’ve been asked to lead an initiative with very little knowledge, familiarity, or resources; you’ve got a new boss who questions everything you do; or you’ve dropped the ball on something significant with huge business or financial implications. Whatever it is that’s deflating your self-confidence, try applying one of these tips to gain perspective:
Think about past successes. Focusing on past successes conjures up the feelings you experienced at that time. How did those achievements make you feel? Emotional Intelligence research tells us that your thoughts align closely with your self-perception and thinking about your professional and personal successes enhance your self-image.
Don’t dwell on failure. Allow your failures to become your “teachable point of view” and share your learning with others. I can remember an instance early in my career when I experienced what I call a significant misstep. My boss at the time simply said, “Don’t tell me what happened. I want to know what you learned from this, how you plan to fix it, and how you will ensure it doesn’t happen again.” Since that time, those are the three things that I communicate when things go wrong.
Put a hold on humility. We all have “negative tapes” that play in our head when we are feeling vulnerable. Try replacing the negative tapes with affirming narratives. Kick humility to the curb for a moment and give yourself permission to relish in your achievements and improve your self-talk.