In life, we are faced with so many different factors and choices. Living in the age of technology, we are constantly fed information. Sometimes it is tough to filter through all that noise to hear our own thoughts, especially the positive ones. When we have been living with self-doubt, those doubting thoughts will be the first that comes to mind when making decisions.
Self-doubt may have been impacting your actions and behaviours consciously or subconsciously. Over time, self-doubt erodes your confidence, makes you more risk-averse and decreases the level at which you can envision yourself taking certain actions. In the workplace, these doubts can also prevent you from speaking up against inappropriate behaviour. It is important to train your mind to become aware of self-doubt so that you can make decisions from a place of confidence, a place of value alignment and what is in the best interest of yourself and others around you.
In acknowledging what self-doubts you live with, you are able to replace these doubts with the truth. For instance, if you believe that you are not a good public speaker and people don’t listen to you, then think of a time when you did give a speech and you received feedback from even one person who resonated with what you said. In undertaking this exercise, you give your brain evidence of the real truth – every time you experience self-doubt, you will remember that another truth exists.
As an exercise, make a list of your self-doubts and then replace them with a truth. This exercise will take about thirty minutes uninterrupted. Allow yourself the opportunity to feel like your best self as that will allow you to be more honest and compassionate with yourself. These truths will then impact your automatic decision-making process. According to researchers at Cornell University, we are estimated to make 35000 decisions daily. Some decisions will be more prone to letting your self-doubt sneak through. By replacing your self-doubt with new truths you will be able to counter the self-doubt.
As Frank Graff writes on his blog, these are certain decision-making styles and strategies that guide the process:
- Impulsiveness — Leverage the first option you are given and be done
- Compliance — Choose the option that is most pleasing, comfortable and popular to others who are impacted
- Delegating — Do not make the decision yourself, but push it off to trusted others
- Avoidance/deflection — Either avoid or ignore decisions that need to be made in an effort to avoid responsibility for their impact or to prevent them from overwhelming you in the moment
- Balancing — Weigh and study the factors involved and then use the information to determine the best decision
- Prioritizing and Reflecting — Put the most energy, thought and effort into the decisions that will have the greatest impact
Self-doubt will sneak in. In those moments, it is important to remember the truths you’ve identified. As with any change of thought patterns, it will take time for you to have an automatic recognition of those moments when self-doubt does sneak in. Just know that you have a solution to counter that self-doubt whenever you need it.