Hey you, yes – we are talking to you!
At some point in our lives, every one of us will find ourselves in a pit of uncertainty and doubt. For some of us, this will only happen at one point in our lives. For others, we will approach this mind set many times throughout the years. It can be a difficult and devastating downward spiral, resulting in depression within yourself, trouble in your relationships and stagnancy within your career.
Relationships and personal life aside, we are going to focus on the career aspect of living with self-doubt. You need to believe in yourself in order to do well and advance in your career. This may come across harsh, but self-pity will get you no-where. As Winston Churchill said, ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going’.
Everyone goes through bad times, it’s just that some people know how to handle the bad times better than others. It could be anything number of things that has triggered this feeling of uncertainty within you- not getting that promotion, not hitting your sales target, missing an opportunity to better yourself in your career. It can seem like it is the end of the world, but trust me, it isn’t. When you realize this, and you learn how to deal with failures and think positively, you will become a better and stronger business person. So how do you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start believing in yourself?
At first, you may not see how this can help you become an empowered person, but believe me after a week of practicing gratitude every day you will notice how it can help you to see and think differently. When we are not thinking positively, we see only our fears and failures, and become stuck. By practicing gratitude, you will be able to see these situations in a different light, seeing them more clearly and with new solutions to any problems. Being grateful for what you have will help you to see the good in those around you, and the good in what you do. You will learn to deal with problems in a different way, by learning from them, not by dwelling on them.
You can begin practicing gratitude by trying to pay a little more attention in your everyday life- notice the little things that you take for granted, smile at people, answer the phone in an elated manner. Keeping a gratitude journal is also a great idea, as it will prompt you to really think about what you are grateful for.
As human beings, we tend to focus on the bad, not the good. We are forever beating ourselves up about what we should have done differently, what we could have had, how someone else is getting better results than we are. This kind of negative thinking is not beneficial to you or what you do in any way. Instead of thinking negatively, think positively. You may not have aced the interview, but at least you got to interview stage. You may have been in the same position at work for the last fifteen years, but at least that means that you are doing a good job and have not been replaced!
Additionally, praise yourself for your wins. Every time you do a good job, each time you succeed in something- no matter how small- celebrate! I do not mean for you to show off- no one likes a cocky person- but acknowledge your achievements and let yourself be happy and be proud. Know that you are great at what you do. You need to learn to trust that you are doing the best job that you can. After all, within your career you need to have others believing in you, otherwise you will never get anywhere. As Jon Bon Jovi said, ‘Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?’.
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By implementing these simple and achievable changes in to your everyday life, you will be feeling a lot more confident in yourself and your abilities. However, confidence alone is not going to help you move forward in your career, and if you stay feeling stuck in your career for too long you will have those dampening thoughts of failure soon creeping back in. Put your new power of believing in yourself to good work, and take your career to the next level with these three actions.
Your education is crucial to the advancement of your career, so make sure that you are as educated as your possibly can be. It is great if you have a master’s degree in your field, however institutionalized education is not the only way that you can improve your knowledge of your career subject. Take on night time courses and additional training. Invest in literature related to your career, and ensure that you are always read up on the latest movements of your industry. In addition to being educated, you also need to make yourself the best employee that you can be- go to workshop days and learn about management and leadership, and move with technology, always seeking out the latest advancements and implementing them in your own work.
To be in line for a promotion, you have to be known by those people who are above you in the workplace. If they know who you are, they will become more aware of the great work that you do, and remember you next time there is an opportunity for promotion. Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you. Attend every event, volunteer where you can, be present at all office parties and know the names of all of your bosses. Make as many connections as you possibly can and this will show that you are a valuable and proactive employee. In addition to networking in person, you should also be networking online through social media. Create a twitter account and become active in the online community, and create a professional and stylish LinkedIn account to connect with other members of your industry. Basically, make yourself so well known in your workplace and in your industry that you are noticed, appreciated and understood. When you make a move to step up the ladder, or move to a new workplace, you will have all the necessary contacts already in place.
If you feel that you do not want to leave your current employer but you do want a change of scenery, and there is no room for moving up the ladder at present, then move sideways. Stay in the same company, with the same pay grade, in a different role. You will benefit from the excitement of the new position in many ways, as not only will the change keep you on your toes and interested, but it will also strengthen your skills, experience and resume.
Believe in yourself, work hard to change where you are in life and you will achieve your goals. Never give up and never doubt yourself- it can be a long road, but it will all be worth it in the end.