How Self-Doubt Can Help With Your Career Choices
If you’re struggling with bouts of self-doubt, you’re not alone. Pretty much everyone has come across in some form or another. You probably want to do everything in your power to get rid of it, right? After all, it’s not exactly the most pleasant feeling in the world. But believe it or not, that self-doubt can be useful for your career trajectory. Keep in mind that this is referring to a healthy amount of self-doubt. If it’s too excessive, these points don’t really apply here. But a little self-doubt can definitely be helpful in the long run. So, without further ado, let me show you the many ways it can do just that.
Table of Contents
1. Self doubt can push you into learning new skills, and improving your old ones
Self-doubt often consists of you questioning whether your abilities are up to scratch. And as I said before, that can lead to a lot of unpleasant feelings. Often, these feelings can spur action, which drives us to work on our abilities that we’re insecure about. If you didn’t doubt yourself, you would feel no need to really improve yourself.
I’ll give you an example. When I was in grade six, I had to give my first oral presentation. I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t prepare for it well. As you can imagine, I ended up getting a low score. It knocked my self-confidence a fair bit, but it did spur me to do better next time. I worked hard and honed in all the skills necessary, and when it came to doing my next presentation, I got top marks. If it weren’t for me doubting my oral presentation skills, I would never have done better.
2. Self-doubt can lead you to a better job
When you develop a negative mental state once you start a new job, or even after working at the same job for some time, that voice in your head might be telling you something important. That being, you might be in the wrong role, and that you should be looking for a position that’s more suited to you. That way, your self-doubt can lead to smarter decisions on your part. However, some of us believe that the job we have currently isn’t right for us because of a perceived lack of ability, even if that’s not necessarily true. This is known as the ‘impostor syndrome’ and can distort our way of thinking. This is one of those times where self-doubt crosses the line and becomes harmful. It just goes to show how important it is to discern the difference between helpful and harmful self-doubt.
3. It makes you appear more personable
When there’s self-doubt, there’s self-awareness. And when you have self-awareness, you appear a lot more modest to the people you come across in your career. Believe it or not, people are a lot more likely to trust you and see you more as a team player. After all, someone who is able to take constructive feedback and wants to improve themselves is very much desired in the workforce, since it encourages hard work and honest discussion.
4. Self-doubt gives you a challenge
What do I mean by this? Well, usually, when we hear that negative self-talk, it is in the face of adversity, or in other words, something that challenges you. But if it weren’t for you doubting yourself, you wouldn’t necessarily perceive it as a challenge, would you? It would just be like any other task. Accept those negative feelings as merely a by-product of you putting yourself out there. Of course, you still need to discern the situation to see whether your doubt is warranted here (refer to point 2). If it is, then pushing yourself is probably not the best idea. But if you feel you’re in a healthier position and that you’ll learn something from pushing onwards, then challenge yourself! It won’t just develop your skills, but you as a person.
The trick here is to do something about your self-doubt. If you want to make use of it, you need to act on it. If you avoid confronting your self-doubt, then it could grow into an even bigger issue and won’t be beneficial to your career at all. So, there’s no need to always view self-doubt as a bad thing. It’s a very normal thing to experience, and in the right circumstances, it can steer you towards the right decisions career-wise.
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