Do you feel like you are constantly second guessing yourself? Unsure of what to do at every turn? Are you often undecided about making big decisions especially when it affects other people? Then you might be suffering from self-doubt.
Often times, even the most competent and intelligent people tend to have moments of doubts about their abilities. However, when this becomes so recurrent that it begins to affect every area of your life, there just might be a problem.
As a professional woman of color in the work place, you may find this to be more frequent especially when you are in a field that has very little participation from women of color. In such situations, it is important to take some time to understand exactly how you feel and try to solve this using the steps listed below.
- Acknowledge your position and actions
The first step to solving a problem is to accept that there is indeed a problem. When you take a moment to self-reflect, you might be able to spot what exactly causes this destructive pattern. Also, this moment of self-reflection helps you understand that for you to have risen to your current height or position then you must be good at what you do. Think back to your small and big wins, reflect on your moments of victories, contributions and accomplishments. This helps boost your self-esteem and realize that the only approval you need is the one that comes from yourself.
- Envision yourself as a leader
Regardless of your exact position in the team, always see yourself as a leader. When you portray yourself in this light, you begin to exude the confidence that a leader should embody. Make a list of all the inspirational female power figures in your field and start trying to nurture their positive attributes that you value.
- Learn to fail forward and draw knowledge from your mistakes
One of the biggest reasons why people have this debilitating lack of self-approval is as a result of their past failures. When you are constantly fixated on the wrong you have done in the past, you begin to wonder if you are indeed good enough to handle the next task. Sadly, this becomes a toxic cycle that keeps you from further achievements. Instead of letting this self-doubt ruin you, try to understand that everyone makes mistakes. Huge ones at that. Learn to take a moment to see what went wrong and run a diagnostics of what could have been done to prevent the failure. Just like a game of basketball, the only way to win is to get your head back in the game even if the opponent has an upper hand.
- Find your own truth and go easy on yourself
Do not let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough. Practice positive self-talk and affirmations. Hone your skills and keep working on yourself. While self-improvement may be great, getting the right mindset helps you put things in perspective. Do not judge yourself with negative thoughts and be your own cheerleader when you win anything.
- Stop comparing yourself with others
It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. Most times, the residual hit your self-esteem takes from comparing yourself with people in other areas of life can even extend to the workplace. That celebrity with the perfect hair, skin or voice has her own battles. While it is great to have role models, try to understand that we are all unique and come with different abilities/strengths.
In order to find the approval you need, you must totally fall in love with yourself and understand that you are enough just the way you are. Work at getting better at your weaknesses and get used to celebrating the small victories!