by Matt Alderton | September 11, 2018
Self-doubt -- that nagging, negative voice inside your head -- can tank your career faster than almost anything else. Believe it or not, though, it can help your career just as easily as it can hinder it.

"Even some of the most famous people have suffered from self-doubt," says The Muse contributor Regina Duffey Moravek. "There's plenty of great advice on ways to conquer it. But -- bear with me here -- it actually has some benefits if you learn how to think about it the right way."

It's just a matter of changing your perspective. If you think about it, for example, self-doubt can motivate you to keep learning and growing.

"Doubting yourself every once in a while makes you want to continue to better yourself -- for example, questioning a skill you have and deciding to take a class on it or being unsure about a strategy and asking your co-worker for advice. Without it, your skills and knowledge would stagnate. There's nothing like a little self-doubt to spur you to put in more effort, try harder or pick up some extra training to stay fresh," Moravek says. "This ultimately makes you feel confident, sets you up to move forward in your career and, better yet, opens doors that can lead to the discovery of a new field you might enjoy."

Self-doubt keeps your ego in check, too -- which is a good thing. "You're human, which means that you're aware that you're going to make mistakes and not know certain things. And that self-awareness and honesty makes you someone people can trust, count on and feel comfortable working with. After all, no one wants to hire a narcissist," Moravek continues. "Self-doubt also encourages you to see all sides of a situation -- you're willing to consider options outside your expertise and thus able to make smarter decisions. Think about it: When's the last time you ran an idea by your boss or colleague just to be sure it was a good one? Did that conversation help you to refine and perfect your idea? Chances are it did -- or at least forced you to ask yourself more questions and try different paths."

So next time you doubt yourself: Don't run away from the negative feelings; run toward them, and use them to your advantage.

More Tips:

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.