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Banishing Self-Doubt Can Be As Simple as Thinking Positive

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

Original content by LINDA SABO 353315

Banishing Self-Doubt Can Be As Simple as Thinking Positive

 By Liz Reyer

RISMEDIA, June 19, 2010--(MCT)--Question: I know I'm good at what I do, but sometimes I just feel over my head. How can I maintain my self-confidence?

Answer: No matter how good you are, nagging self-doubt can haunt you. But you can take steps to keep it at bay or defuse it.

Start by addressing negative inner messages. Perhaps they once served a purpose, preventing unsafe risks. Or they may be echoes from your upbringing. No matter how benign they once were, now they're out of date. Thoughts that hold you back need to be released so you can move forward. But don't beat yourself up. Thinking "I'm so stupid for doubting myself" isn't going to help.

Pay attention, too, to whether your diminished confidence extends to your speech or behavior. Watch for phrases that show unneeded uncertainty ("I'm not sure if this is on track, but ...").

Then focus on the positive, listing the tangible and intangible contributions you make at work. This is for personal use only, so don't worry if it feels like bragging. If it's hard to think of good things, consider what you'd say about yourself if you were describing someone else. Ask other people, or think about what your best friend might say about your skills and the value you bring. This list will be the material you use to anchor yourself in your achievements.

Thoughts are habit-forming. And they affect your external reality. Choosing positive thoughts will make a difference in how you view your performance at work.

It's not as hard as it may sound. The trick is catching it when you're doubting yourself, and replacing your negative thought with a positive. For example, move from "eventually they'll figure out that I don't know what I'm doing" to "I'm in this role because of the value I bring." (It may sound a bit corny to deliberately think positive thoughts, but there's solid evidence of the value of this approach.)

Form a practice of checking in every day to see how well you did. The more light you keep on the topic, the more able you'll be to change the behavior. Look for patterns - certain settings or people who trigger lower confidence levels. Then prepare for them by boosting your confidence in advance. Review your strengths, focusing on those that are relevant to the situation at hand, and be prepared to defuse negative thoughts.

You might make a mistake - a prime trigger for loss of confidence. But an error doesn't equal lack of competence. Be particularly careful not to overinterpret the issue. Move from "I can't do anything right" to "how can I learn from this?"

This isn't to say that you don't have any areas for improvement. Everyone does. However, they don't need to be perceived as weaknesses and don't need to dominate your self-concept. Nor does confidence need to be confused with arrogance.

Your success isn't a fluke, and you're not an imposter waiting to be discovered. Practice believing in your talents, and confidence will follow.

Comments (5)

Jennie Spallone
Coldwell Banker Residential - Arlington Heights, IL

I definitely identify with the concept of working on the inner and the outer you regarding building one's self-esteem. Each day, it's important to nurture yourself with kind, positive words, just as you would for your friends or family members. Like plants, we each thrive on proper nourishment. Unlike plants, we require spiritual as well as emotional and physical nutrition.

Jun 20, 2010 04:57 PM
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA - Eureka, CA
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA

Very good post, thanks for the reblog, another one I missed the forst time.

Jun 20, 2010 05:07 PM
Jennie Spallone
Coldwell Banker Residential - Arlington Heights, IL

Glad you liked it, Dan. What do you do to work on keeping your attitude positive in this market?

Jun 20, 2010 05:09 PM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Jennie - Great post. Thank you for sharing a beautiful blog.

Jun 20, 2010 05:43 PM
Jennie Spallone
Coldwell Banker Residential - Arlington Heights, IL

John, wish I would have worded that blog myself! I am, in fact, a published suspense author! Check out www.jenniespallone.com.

Jun 21, 2010 04:02 PM