We recently wrote about that voice of insecurity that comes into our heads when we are experiencing self doubt. We all know that voice. Some of us hear it more often than others, but we have all heard it… the voice that says you aren’t good enough, you aren’t ready, you are going to under-perform.
In the recent post, we gave two strategies to control that voice… to be prepared, and to stay focused on the task and not the outcome. Those are the ones that work best for me. And I also shared the fact that I had gone to someone I trust, my wife Emily, to get another perspective and to get my head quieted. She knew exactly what to say, as she always does.
This post was one of our most popular of the last twelve months. We heard from lots of readers, several of whom wanted to know more about the idea of going to someone else for advice and counsel when feeling that moment of intense self-doubt. So here we go… a few more thoughts for you!
Sharing that level of vulnerability is risky. You have to trust that person an enormous amount. You have to trust that they won’t judge you, that they won’t share it with someone else, that they won’t somehow use the information against you someday. And for all of these reasons, and others, you have to choose that person very carefully.
Should it be a colleague? Of course it can be. But the professional relationship dynamic can make the conversation about your insecurity very risky. Will the person you are speaking to share your insecurity with another colleague? Will it be used in a professional evaluation some day? Will the information be used when making the choice for the next opportunity?
Should it be a person from outside your professional life? That might be better in some ways, but not in others. Perhaps this person will not be able to relate as much because they don’t understand your professional life as well. Perhaps their advice won’t be as detailed or as valuable?
I am not saying “don’t trust a colleague,” and I am not saying “your friends and family won’t give good advice.” I am saying that each has pros and cons. And the most important variables are that the person has to know you well, and there has to be a remarkable level of trust.
I am blessed with having a spouse, colleagues and members of The Latimer Group’s Board, all of whom are trusted relationships. I would not hesitate to share my insecurity with any of them. But these are long-cultivated relationships, built on mutual trust.
The whole point of today’s post is that quieting that voice inside your head certainly requires specific strategies on your part. But it also is far easier to manage with people in your life that you can speak to. If you have those people in your life, cultivate it. If you are not sure, think hard about who can be your counsel in moments of self-doubt. And if you can serve the same role for them, it is even easier to create the proper dynamic.
Good luck, and have a great day!