01 Jun

The Hack for Self Doubt

It is normal to feel self-doubt. No matter how much you’ve been thru, you will still feel a lot of self-doubt when you take on a new challenge.

When I took up Engineering, I told myself “I cannot finish this. I am not good enough in Math.”
When I got hired in P&G, “I am not smart like the other people here.”
When I was assigned to US, “I am not mature enough to lead people older than me.”
When I moved to Puregold, “I am not gritty enough to effect change.”
Nowadays, “I do not have the skills to be an entrepreneur.”

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT

Self-doubt is hard to overcome. Some say you should “Fake it till you make it” by looking at the mirror and telling yourself repeatedly that you are great:

“I am good in Math.”
“I am as smart as other people here.”
“I can lead people older than me”.

But I find this hard to do – because I know I am faking it, and it feels too inauthentic.

I found a different hack to overcome self-doubt.

FOR NOW

I simply add “For Now” to my self-doubting thoughts.

Instead of saying, “I am not good enough to apply for a new job.”
Say instead: “I am not good enough to apply for a new job, FOR NOW.” Then you go ahead and focus on becoming good enough.

Instead of, “I am not good enough to be an artist” say, “I am not good enough to be an artist, FOR NOW”. Then go and keep practicing.

Instead of, “My situation is hopeless”, you say “My situation is hopeless, FOR NOW.”

Instead of, “I don’t have what it takes to lead this company.” Say, “I don’t have what it takes to lead this company, FOR NOW.”

WHY IT WORKS

  1. You accept that you are limited – which is very empowering because acceptance is the first step to improvement.
  2. Then, by adding “FOR NOW”, you also accept that things are never permanent, and that given time and effort, your limitations can (AND WILL) go away.

All the things in the past that I had self-doubt on eventually got conquered thru time, effort and lots of help from other people. And it helped then that I stuck with the belief that my limitations are only temporary. Because limitations really are temporary.

And now, as I try entrepreneurship, self-doubt is here again. And though I accept that I do not have the necessary skills to be an entrepreneur, I also accept, that it’s just FOR NOW.

Whatever self-doubt you have that is crippling you, please know, that the limitations you see are only there, FOR NOW. So when self-doubt hits you, remember to say:

“I am  {insert your self-doubt statement here}, FOR NOW”.

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