Part one: 3 Ways Highly Successful People Handle Self-Doubt By Melody Wilding, LMSW

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Think about the last time you felt fear and anxiety take control of your day.

 

Maybe it stopped you from speaking up in a meeting because you felt like your opinion wasn’t worthwhile. Perhaps a simple email took you hours to write because your inner-critic kept telling you it wasn’t good enough — that you weren’t good enough.

 

Despite a track record of accomplishments, many high-achievers struggle with thoughts that they are a fraud and that they are incompetent.

 

This psychological phenomenon, known as Impostor Syndrome, can show up in many areas of our lives, including at work in the form of:

 

Downplaying promotions
Declining new responsibilities
Assuming you’re not sufficiently qualified for your job

 

While no one is immune from self-doubt, it actually impacts high-achievers the most, and in my experience, this battle with the inner-critic is one many successful people share — yet one we don’t often talk about it.

 

The Truth About Self-Doubt

Fear of failure is a universal human emotion, experienced by some of the world’s most successful people

 

Maya Angelou once admitted:

 

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

 

Leaders from virtually every industry have spoken about feeling undeserving of success, including Neil Gaiman, Sheryl Sandberg, Emma Watson, and even Albert Einstein.

 

So if you are dealing with Impostor Syndrome, know that you are not alone. While it’s true that self-doubt can be toxic, what’s more problematic is the fact that we never learn to deal with this normal, expected emotion in healthy ways.

 

In my TEDx talk I shared a simple two-step strategy highly successful people use to overcome self-doubt. The secret is approaching uncertainty as a skill, and embracing a growth mindset that it’s something you can get better at with time and practice.

 

You can watch my talk for the full details, but here are a few tips to get you started.

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