Actually, the title above is really a rhetorical question.
Because I suspect no matter how fabulous you are and good you are at what you do, a little bit of self-doubt creeps in every now and again. That, on occasion, the “feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something” wanes for you, too. And typically, at the oddest of times.
Can you relate to this, despite having a track record of skills, knowledge and experience proving otherwise?
Recently, I had a crisis of confidence.
And it caught me completely off guard. Though, I guess I should have anticipated it given the business changes I’m preparing to make and the ensuing questions I’m asking as a result of.
In those pieces, I shared the respect I have for the power of questions, answers and the pause in between. Today, I want to turn your attention to this:
Especially if they are of the type that signal you’re up to something transformative. If they are questions that reflect you’re taking steps in the “right” direction. All this creates the perfect environment for discomfort to surface. And this is when self-doubt creeps in.
This is when the initial question/s you’re looking to answer begets others that end up prompting you to question – everything.
Handling the Whisper
If you know me, you know I’m a fan of actually leaning into moments like this. Because I don’t believe it ever helps to avoid or to suppress the discomfort. It’s an opportunity – an invitation – to tap into some wisdom.
Therefore, the next time you have a “crisis of confidence” moment, here are a few suggestions to help you navigate your way through to the other side:
Be honest with yourself about what you’re feeling.
It took me a few days to put a name to what I was feeling, but once I did, it helped to call it out for what it was. The way I see it, acknowledgment is the start of reclaiming your power and your confidence.
Share it with your crew
Let others, whom you trust, know what’s going on. Not so they can superficially puff you up, but so they can remind you (sometimes with visual evidence as was my case) of your skills, knowledge and contributions — of the good you’ve done, are doing, and are working to do. As important: so they can remind you that what you’re feeling is often natural when you are recalibrating and stretching.
Plus, this is a great way to get out of your head.
There is insight to be discovered when you have a crisis of confidence. (At least this is what happened for me.) And I do recognize the irony in what I’m about to suggest given that questions are the likely culprit for dips in one’s confidence. But, ask (more) questions.
However you process feelings, beliefs and thoughts, now is the precise time to lean into that method so you can learn what you need to learn.
Tap into your why
Remind yourself of your why — why you’re doing what you’re doing, or why do you want what you want. As well as who and what is meaningful to you.
Do something, no matter how small the action may seem. Taking action is an energy and mood shifter. Plus, it provides emotional strength as you work to rebuild your confidence.
Dips in confidence don’t auto-magically disappear. You have to work with them and through them. In other words, it’s best to go with the flow. That means you have to embrace (and not resist) the experience.
The other side
Perhaps it’s just semantics. But now that I’m on the other side of my crisis of confidence, I’ve been noodling on whether one actually loses confidence, or if it is more the case that one loses their connection to it. It’s a subtle, but worthy difference to explore, I think.
Again, the above are a few suggestions for navigating your way through and to the other side of self-doubt. I came up with them after dissecting what I did:
- Once I figured out what was “off,” I named it.
- I shared my feelings with members of my “cabinet.”
- I journaled (writing, if you can’t tell, is how I process events, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, meaning and expectations).
- I ran (my go to for almost everything), and I made the choice to share my story here with you. Sure, I was able to naturally weave it into this month’s theme about questions. But it may very well be the case that you’re reading this in the thick of your own crisis of confidence, and feel alone. You are not!
- I didn’t rush the process to feeling better and confident again.
What I like about what I’ve shared is that they feel like a genuine way to reconnect with your confidence – rather than trying to force a new sense of confidence. The way I see it, the latter is a setup for even greater disappointment.
My crisis of confidence was triggered by decisions and steps I’m taking to grow my business. And a book idea, the scope of which scares me.
The trigger or source of yours, when it happens, may be work related, too. Or, maybe it will be related to money moves you’re making. Or, maybe it will be connected to the current state of our politics or economy.
Here’s my point: You can have a crisis of confidence about matters that are in your direct control, as well as those less directly in your control.
When it comes to the latter, what matters is whether you did all you could to make a difference.
When it comes to the former, what matters is how you handle reconnecting to what you know deep down inside to be true, and that I am here to remind you of: You got this.