Are you a doubter? I am a worrier but I am also a doubter. I doubt myself all the time, both professionally and personally. Not sure what it is and why I do it but there is a constant nagging doubt of whether I am good enough, whether I know what I am doing or whether I even should be doing it.
Work is probably the biggest doubting area that I have. I have, from the outside, what appears to be a very successful senior career with a large multi-national and am considered a strong consistent performer. Well that is what my performance reviews say. Unfortunately the little voice in my own head says something different and I think I am not alone in this.
Women are the worst at doubting their abilities and doubting whether they are worthy of the position that they are in. Sometimes I sit on calls and meetings with my mind constantly going around and around and the little voice saying ‘make sure you listen and keep nodding so they think you know what they mean’, ‘they all think you are not good at your job’ and the worst on ‘one day they will find out I have no idea what I am doing’. Everyday I am worried they will find out and that will mean the end of it for me.
Do men feel the same? Do men have the self-doubt that I feel? Lots of men I know when in the position of a potential new role grasp the opportunity with both hands and see it as the just reward for what they have been working towards ‘i have been recognised for my work! It’s going to be a steep learning curve but I can do it’. Most women I talk to question themselves and their abilities with a certain trepidation “can I do that job? will it show everyone that I am not as clever as they thought I am? do I have the skills or can I even learn them?’. Shows just how different we are…
But is this all in my head or is it something that I can train myself not to feel? My work history says all in my head and I am able to consistently deliver to a high standard. And I even have that in writing. But that doesnt stop that little voice from constantly telling me I am not good enough.
It’s one thing I am trying to instill in my children, all of them. They are good at what they do but that they also can not be perfect at everything. It is a tough lesson to learn in an educational environment where 100% is the best result and coming first is winning. One thing I did listen to in those thousands of hours of meetings is ‘don’t let perfect get in the way of great and great in the way of good’. In the old days, being good was exactly what you were meant to be.