Self-doubt – the most paralyzing feeling and crippling roadblock within your career. Self-doubt is something that everyone experiences whether it be when you are just starting out in your career, whether you are 8 years in or even if you have 20 years of experience. It can either hold you back for the rest of your career or be your greatest achievement when you overcome it.
There are times in my life where I have asked myself some of the following questions:
- Who am I to think that I can be a successful marketer that develops amazing award winning campaigns?
- Who am I to think that I can lead people and have them respect me?
- Who am I to think that I can start a blog and actually think that people will read it?
- Who am I to think that I can mentor someone and that I can make a difference in his or her life?
- Who am I to think that I can achieve greatness?
I can keep going on and I am sure that you also have a list of ‘Who am I’s?’ The cold reality is that people will try to hold you down. Maybe you look too young or are too short or too tall or you don’t have the required education or English is your second language or maybe you don’t have enough experience. Maybe all the chips are stacked against you but when you are down and self-doubt has consumed your everyday thoughts, just please do me a favour and ask yourself one important question:
Who are you not to achieve greatness?
No matter how many chips are stacked against you and no matter what curve balls life is going to throw at you, you have to believe in yourself first because if you don’t, than no one else will. Heart, passion and the motivation to get up every time you get knocked down will help you overcome self-doubt. You have got to want it so bad that you will stop at nothing to make your dreams come true. You have got to always get up and keep moving forward. Yes you will fail. You will stumble in a presentation, make a big error at work or a marketing campaign will go horribly wrong but dust yourself off, learn from the experience that life has given to you and just go forward and don’t look back.
In this world, intelligence, charisma and leadership are looked highly upon but one that gets overlooked time and time again is persistence. Persistence in climbing that corporate ladder, in taking that job you felt you weren’t ready for, in taking that speaking engagement when you were scared to death and in having the courage to leave your comfortable cushy job to accept one that is difficult and demanding but so rewarding.
It is easy to go on the path that everyone is going on and hide yourself in the sea of humanity but it takes someone really special and unique to go on the narrow pathway, carve their own way and overcome self-doubt to achieve their greatest potential.
I love this quote from Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I would love to hear your story on overcoming self-doubt and defying the odds. What advice do you have for others?