6 Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt to Help Your Job Search
Self-doubt is something that can affect all of us at different times in our lives. This goes for the most confident people in the world to the people on the opposite end. Everybody doubts themselves and their abilities in certain situations that they go through. You might be doubting yourself to the point you are making decisions based on what others want of you, not what you want for yourself, or even second guessing yourself based off other people’s perception of who you are and what you are capable of doing. Like I said, we have all been there and unfortunately there will probably always be particular situations where self-doubt might become a problem in your life.
If you are constantly doing this, do not beat yourself up about it. We have been subconsciously influenced by society to think less about what we can do and to limit ourselves. We have been told our abilities should match what we think of ourselves, but that should not be the case regardless of what anyone has told you. Whatever level of self-doubt you may have, the good thing is there are ways of dealing with it and changing your perception of the issue. Below are six simple things you can start practicing today, but in order to see a significant change, you have to consistently practice these methods over time.
No. 1: Identify why your doubting yourself and face it
You might be doubting yourself for a various number of reasons. You could be telling yourself “What if I fail” or “What are people going to say if I mess up” or “What if no one likes my ideas.” Anything along these lines is reason for self-doubt because, as humans, we naturally want to feel included and wanted by others. One of our greatest natural fears is being ostracized and banished from a group. Identify why you are doubting yourself and change your view of it. Instead of saying “What if I fail,” start saying “What if I succeed!” Instead of, “What are people going to say if I mess up,” say “What are people going to say once I reach my accomplishment!” Alter your view of self-doubt and believe everything you do will result in your success. Know what your doubt is and face it.
No. 2: Figure out your “why” and how it is bigger than you
If you are trying to do something remarkable, you have to of course step out of your comfort zone. With this comes self-doubt because there is uncertainty and unfamiliarity outside of your comfort zone. One of the best things you can do to overcome this uncertainty is figure out your big “Why.”
Answer the following questions: What makes you do what you do? Why do you want this so bad? What is accomplishing your goal or overcoming your self-doubt going to do for your life? Whatever the answer to these questions, it has to be bigger than you and more meaningful than just doing it for yourself. Something has to motivate you beyond belief. You have to be able to look self-doubt in the face and still push through it because that’s how strong your “why” is.
No. 3: Negate the negativity, and promote the positivity
Examine your environment. Be aware of the information and knowledge you consume and the people you hang around. Is it mostly positive or negative? Are the people around you lifting you up and helping you accomplish your goals, or are they putting you down and holding you back from your dreams? If being successful and reaching your dreams mean enough to you, then you’ll remove any negative influences from your life. Things that don’t help you are always hurting you. Observe your current environment and see if you need to make changes to it.
No. 4: Remember, people really don’t care that much about what you do or say
At the end of the day, the honest truth is people outside of your immediate circle really don’t care that much about what you say or do. If you fail or mess up, so what?! Life goes on and nobody will even remember you failed. People have their own lives, agendas and priorities. When I started my first business, it fell through and I had to give it up, but I never had anyone come up to me and say, “Hey, Malcolm you suck because you failed.” I just kept pushing on, tried to innovate and figure out what I did wrong. I moved on and so did the people who were initially interested in what I was doing.
Always know that people don’t care when you fail. They usually only care when you’re successful and then they want to know how you did it.
No. 5: You only need permission from yourself
You do not have to please anyone in this world except yourself. I constantly reiterate that no one is living your life but you. You’re the only one that has to deal with the consequences at the end of the day, so make sure you are pleasing yourself first. Your talents, gifts and skills are unique to you and you can do with them as you please. You don’t need permission from anyone else to succeed, fail or even to try for that matter. Set your own expectations for yourself and don’t live up to anyone else’s standards for you. It is your life, so do what makes you happy.
No. 6: Move, exercise or do something to change your state
One of the easiest ways to alter self-doubt in your mind is to simply be active. Whether it is for 15 minutes or an hour, do something that changes the state of your mind to motivate you. Working out and being in motion sends off endorphins from your brain. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and make you happier. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine which relaxes you and helps you be more productive. So, get up and get active!
These are just a few ways to get over self-doubt. There are multiple other ways to defeat it, but the key is to be consistent with whatever methods you choose to use. Never forget that your past failures and things you have already done do not define who your are or what you will be in the future. Your abilities and talents are there, all you have to do is believe in yourself. You have the power to literally change the way you think about yourself and what you are capable of doing. Belief will always be the number one factor in determining if you will reach your dreams or not.