Author’s note: I was reading through our blog archive very early one morning recently, and I came across this post. I wrote this in the fall of 2020 during the depths of the health crisis, and with a controversial election looming. It was timely, for me, and based on the reaction from our audience, for others as well. So I share it again with you today. Even though it was first posted only a few months ago, I think it merits another day at the top of the list. If you missed it the first time, I am confident you will find this helpful. And if you read it the first time, read it again, as part of your effort to control that voice of doubt.
That little voice inside your head, the one that tells you aren’t good enough… do you know that voice? Do you ever hear that voice telling you to question your own value or qualifications? Do you ever hear that voice whispering sour questions to you? I hear that voice, and I am sure most of you do also. It is the voice that whispers (or in my case, screams) doubt, and pushes you to question yourself. And in the coaching that I do, helping people control that voice is among the most important and frequent roles that I play.
Projecting confidence and conviction when you speak is a critical element of persuasion. If you want me to believe in the project, your team, your product/service, or whatever it is you are talking about then you need to show me that you believe it. If you can’t show me that you believe in it, then why should I? And demonstrating confidence is a lot easier if you actually believe it.
So, anything that might get in the way of your projection of confidence is something that we need to eradicate, like an ugly weed in your garden. But that voice in our head is the weed that keeps coming back, over and over and over. So how do we get rid of that voice?
I get asked that question all the time. And I am not sure there is a surefire way to make that voice of doubt disappear. I am 51 years old, and I have been battling that voice for most of my life. Making it go away is probably not happening at this point. But what I have gotten really good at is controlling it. Eradicating it is no longer my goal. Controlling it is. And that is the advice I give to everyone who complains about their own voice of doubt.
The easiest way to control that voice is to make sure there are other voices to listen to… voices that remind you that you are qualified and that you should be confident in yourself or whatever you are speaking about. If you have a constant voice of doubt inside your own head and you have no other voices to listen to, then the doubt will be really loud. But if the voice of doubt is just one of several voices that you can listen to, you now have a choice. And we are on our way.
I always advocate, for my clients and myself, for having other people in your life who can remind you of the reasons why you should be confident. And the more often you hear from those voices of confidence, the less likely you will be to listen to that voice of doubt.
Is it simple? No way… that voice of doubt is insidious. And controlling it is a constant battle. It takes regular reinforcement. So make sure you have voices in your life, perhaps a family member, a close friend, a trusted colleague, who can be those voices of positive reinforcement. And over time, those external voices can also help you develop another inner voice, one of confidence that can battle that voice of doubt for airtime.
You’ve got this. I believe in you. You should too.
Good luck, have a great day, and stay safe.
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