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Overcoming Self-Doubt in Mid-Career Success

If you recently got a promotion or got assigned to a complicated project or started a new job, or maybe you've started having thoughts of doing something bigger or challenging yourself to your next big idea, I have some valuable information that can help you navigate the uncertainties and insecurities associated with any new challenge.

At the ripe age of 42, I decided to take the plunge and do the scariest thing imaginable. I waved goodbye to the business I had poured my heart and soul into for a solid decade and embarked on a brand new career field.

Now, let me tell you, this transition was a wild ride filled with more uncertainties than a game of "Truth or Dare." Frankly, I wouldn't recommend this level of madness to just anyone.

So, I mustered up every ounce of courage I had left and pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

And let me tell you, diving headfirst into a new career as a solopreneur was no leisurely stroll through the park. It was a rollercoaster ride of excitement and sheer terror, all bundled up into one big messy package.

Starting? Oh, that was the easy part. It's like hopping on a bicycle with training wheels.

But growing into my newfound freedom of growing a successful coaching practice? Well, that's where things got interesting. It felt like learning to juggle flaming swords while riding a unicycle on a tightrope. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea.

Now, after three years of coaching mid-career professional women, I've been dumbfounded by the number of highly accomplished ladies who grapple with feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and low self-confidence. It's like a secret society of overachievers plagued by the imposter syndrome monster. But guess what? A study from HBR showed that even male counterparts struggle with self-confidence too. So, at least we can take solace in the fact that it's not just a "woman thing." Phew, what a relief!

So, my fellow adventurers, if you ever find yourself contemplating a daring career change or taking a leap into the unknown, keep in mind that you'll experience crazy feelings of self-doubt!

Self-doubt can have a significant impact on your growth in several ways. This is not all but here are the most common:

1. Limited Risk-Taking: Self-doubt often leads to a fear of failure and a reluctance to take risks. This can you from pursuing new opportunities or taking on challenging projects that could contribute to your growth and advancement.

2. Lack of Confidence: When self-doubt is prevalent, it can undermine your self-confidence. This may result in a hesitancy to voice opinions, share ideas, or assert yourself in the workplace. Without confidence, you may miss out on valuable opportunities for growth and recognition.

3. Imposter Syndrome: a feeling of being inadequate and doubting your abilities despite evidence of your competence. This can lead to a constant fear of being exposed as a fraud and a reluctance to seek promotions or take on leadership roles, hindering your growth potential.

4. Limited Networking and Mentorship: Self-doubt can make it challenging for you to engage in networking activities or seek out mentors. You may hesitate to approach others or feel unworthy of forming professional relationships. Networking and mentorship are crucial for career growth as they provide guidance, support, and access to new opportunities.

5. Reduced Advocacy: Self-doubt may make you less likely to advocate for yourself, negotiate for promotions or salary increases, or seek out professional development opportunities. This can impede your progress and limit your chances of advancement.

6. Diminished Ambition: Persistent self-doubt can erode your sense of ambition and career aspirations. You may settle for mediocrity or avoid pursuing your true passions and goals due to the belief that you are not capable of achieving them.

To overcome the impact of self-doubt and foster growth, it is crucial for you to develop superhero strategies to address and manage your self-doubt.

The absolute golden rule to conquer all is embracing your inner superhero... or at least becoming a self-aware ninja. Building self-awareness is an important step in personal growth and development.

I have lined up some strategies and tools for you to cultivate self-awareness and if you do any one of them, trust me you'll be amazed at the person you discover hidden under your disguise.

ONE: Reflect on Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions:

Self-doubt will breed more negative emotions of inadequacy! Take time to examine your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors regularly. Journaling can be a helpful tool for this, as it allows you to express yourself and gain insights into your patterns and tendencies. This is the one way I get my clients to declutter their minds or referred to as a 'thought download' by Brooke Castillo. The easiest and most fun way to do this is to just write whatever comes to mind when feeling stressed and overwhelmed. And when you cannot think of anything to write here is what you write "I cannot think of anything to write" and continue writing whatever the mind offers. You can do this while in negative thought overload or at any given time, impromptu or scheduled. Do whatever works for you!

I highly recommend this strategy (or journal prompts) which I use for myself and with my clients;

  • What am I thinking?

  • How am I feeling?

  • What are my actions while in these feelings?

  • What am I creating in this state?

TWO: Seek Feedback From Others

Ask trusted friends, family members, or mentors for feedback on your strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots. Their perspectives can provide valuable insights that you may not have considered. One of my favorite tools is the VIA Character Strengths Survey which does wonders for my clients.

THREE: Practice Mindfulness

Engaging in mindfulness exercises, such as meditation or deep breathing, can help you cultivate present-moment awareness. By being fully present, you can observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself. I always introduce my clients to practicing mindfulness with this 3-Minute Breathing Space exercise. It's very simple, especially for the first-timers.

FOUR: Engage in Self-Reflection

Dedicate regular time for self-reflection and introspection. Consider your values, beliefs, and aspirations. Ask yourself what truly matters to you and how your actions align with your core principles. If you want to gain clarity on what's important to you at work get my free Your Values At Work Tool when you subscribe to my page.

Trying one tool will create more awareness but attempting all assessments will create greater discoveries. I am curious to learn how these tools worked for you.

And if you think someone else will benefit from these strategies please share this post.

If you would like to book a consultation go to the contact page and fill in the form.

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