When Self-doubt Can Actually Be Good to Your Career

Are you plagued with self-doubt? Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Self-doubt is often associated with low self-esteem and the lack of belief in your abilities, instincts, and choices you’ve already made. There are many great tips on ways to overcome it. But, it actually has some unexpected benefits if you learn to see it from a different perspective.

Here are 5 ways how self-doubt can be beneficial to your career.

1. Self-doubt increases self-awareness

Having self-doubt increases your self-awareness as you develop a sharp realization of your personality, including your own strengths and weaknesses, your ideas and beliefs, your feelings and your motives .

With that, you tend to notice the tiniest details about yourself or surroundings that most people overlooked. Hence, the moment you realize something is off in your career, such as you’re in a wrong role or you’re uncomfortable with the management style, you get to take actions to fix it. You might resign and look for a better job. Or, you choose to talk to your boss about a better career progression, which may include getting a promotion. Either way, you wouldn’t have improved the situation without a little self-doubt.

2. Self-doubt helps you to reflect

It’s important to always reflect on ourselves and understand why we did what we did. And that self-awareness and honesty makes you more trustworthy, reliable and easy to work with. After all, no employer wants to hire a self-centered person in the company.

Self-doubt also helps you to analyze a situation more holistically – it keeps you focused on the bigger picture. How so? By reflecting on yourself and consider options outside your expertise and hence able to make better decisions. Think about it: When’s the last time you ran an idea by your colleague or boss just to make sure it was good enough? Did that discussion help you to fine tune your idea? Chances are it did, or least forced you to reflect on your initial thoughts and ask more questions. Indirectly, it keeps your humility in check too.

3. Self-doubt encourages lifelong learning

Some self-doubting every now and then makes you want to better yourself constantly. For example, wondering if you should take the night class to enhance your skills or being unsure about a proposal and asking your boss for guidance. Without that self-doubt, your skills and expertise would be stagnant. Sometimes you just need that little push to put in more effort and work harder.

As time passes, your confidence level would increase gradually. This sets you up to progress further in your career or better still, leads you to a new field that you might like.

Want some tips on changing career? Read this: Your Career Didn’t Go as Planned? Here’s Why It Could Be a Good Thing!

4. Self-doubt can create transparent conversations

If you’re doubting yourself at work. it could be a sign that you should have a chat with your boss about your career plan, your current workload, or your overall job scope. Maybe his expectations on you is too much to bear or said something in a meeting that discouraged you. By initiating an honest and transparent conversation, your boss will see that you’re trying to face your issues and you need his advice to improve and move forward.

5. Self-doubt promotes collaboration and team work

What would you do when you are not sure if your ideas are good enough? Most people would sound the idea to their boss or colleague to see what they think and see how to fine tune it. It shows that self-doubt actually encourages us to collaborate indirectly as we tend to involve more people in the thinking process instead of trying to solve every question alone.

Ask yourself this: did you go into a new hobby, a new job, or a project with 0% doubt that you could do it? Not many of us did. It’s totally okay to doubt yourself sometimes, and knowing that as a fact will help you to assess your career goals better. So, next time when you aren’t confident with decisions, don’t be overwhelmed by it but use it to your advantage instead.

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