Is Doubt Limiting Success?

Inaction breeds doubt and fear.  Action breeds confidence and courage.

-Dale Carnegie-

Another opportunity is here to present a topic that is essential in the field of investigating, auditing, and definitely interviewing.  Any topic I address is targeted at our work life, but the applicability of this topic and most I write about transcends our entire existence.

Everyone experiences self-doubt from time to time. It’s part of life. We are faced with obstacles throughout our work and personal life that must be faced and overcome. The important thing is that when you experience self-doubt, you handle it in the right way. This will ensure that you can overcome it and get back on the road to success in no time at all and without unnecessary detours and losses. Keep reading to find four ways to deal with self-doubt when negative thoughts arise.

  1. Resolve Not to Compare Yourself with Others

Often, thoughts of self-doubt come when you compare yourself to someone else.  There is nothing positive that can come from those comparisons.  Resolve in advance not to let this happen.

When it does (which it probably will sneak in at some point), remind yourself that you aren’t the other person. They have a journey completely different from your own.  They have a different skill set, different strengths and are unique.  But so are you.  Look at how far you’ve come on your journey. Your journey is yours and yours alone.

In interview training so many attendees want to see videos of interviews, often times I believe to copy the technique viewed.  The techniques I teach will work, but in every case, you need to take them and make them your own, injecting your own special skills, approach and personality to the mix.

  • Remember the Past is the Past

Many people experience self-doubt when thinking about or languishing in the past. Whenever the past comes up in your mind, remind yourself that it is over and done with. If you dwell on the past, it will make self-doubt worse.  Instead capitalize on it, learn from it, and adjust your approach.

Look towards the future and all the plans you have instead. It can also help to list all the things you are grateful for in the present, many of which are probably adjustments from past mistakes.

I have done interviews for over 30 years in the investigative and audit arenas.  I have never completed an interview that I was satisfied with.  Not that they went bad, but there were things that occurred (in the past) that could have been handled better or approached differently.  We should all have that capacity to look back and make corrections to course that will alter the present and the future.

  • Remind Yourself that Failures are Lessons

Everyone will have failures at some point in their life if they are honest. This is inevitable. When you experience a failure, you will likely have some thoughts of self-doubt. That is normal.

Don’t let these get you down. Instead of focusing on the negative, resolve to focus on the positive. Run through the lessons you have learned to feel confident you won’t make the same mistake again.

It is all about adjusting and adapting which I talk about a ton in the interviewing realm.  Coupled with that is the subject of planning.  That planning facilitates the ability to adjust and adapt.  Planning includes reminding yourself of mistakes and faux pas that need to be avoided and the corrective actions that need to be taken.

  • Have a Support System

There is nothing worse than experiencing self-doubts and feeling alone simultaneously. You should do everything in your power to have a support system in place when these doubts start to creep in.  This is something that it appears has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have become much more self-sufficient, or I might say loners.  This is not good when it comes to investigating, auditing, and interviewing.  Collaboration makes us much more effective and less likely to experience losses and self-doubt.

The support system doesn’t have to be physical. It could also be a forum or an online support group. Either way, it should be someone you trust to talk to when the going gets rough. But in any case, planning and strategizing should occur as to what that support system will be. They can help remind you of what an amazing person you are and the journey you’ve embarked on to get where you are.

In the interview room, that support system should be your secondary.  Do you have a secondary?  If not, why not?  If you do, is it someone you know and work with repeatedly?  Do they understand your strengths and your weaknesses?  Are they prepared to rise to the occasion and support you in the interview?  

This area of support systems is one where I wish leadership/management would invest themselves to build teams and success.  Unfortunately, too many leaders/managers are solo-operators and don’t understand, appreciate, or respect the great value in team building and support system creation.

Overall, battling self-doubt when it pops up is never easy, but is absolutely essential to address and overcome. If you follow the four suggestions on this list, you will find yourself well-equipped to deal with self-doubt when it does arise. Before you know it, you’ll be back on your way to achieving your dreams as your confident, unique, and amazing self!

Planning and strategizing are essential on this subject as is a topic I covered a few weeks ago; good communication.  That good communication results in the subject being addressed completely, honestly, and by a team of colleagues that you trust.  Another important question is are you one of those colleagues that can be trusted to those around you.  We can’t expect them if we can’t be one.

Having that good communication and being the one people can turn to builds your reputation and thereby your credibility.  This builds “team” and minimizes individual self-doubt. 

Anderson Investigative Associates is positioned to custom-tailor training to your specific needs.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss the above issues of dealing with self-doubt or any training need, please reach out.  I’m here for you. Additional issues pertaining to interviewing, auditing, and investigations can be found in other blogs and videos that I have produced and are contained in most blocks of instruction that our company presents.

If you have additional questions, comments, or have an interviewing topic you would like me to address, give me a shout.  In the meantime, be well, stay safe out there, and start effectively addressing self-doubt and put it in its place.

Mark A. Anderson

Director of Training and Development

Anderson Investigative Associates, llc

114 Loucks Avenue

Scottdale, PA 15683