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Is your self-doubt taking over your career?

25th March 2024

Have you ever seen a job advertised that instantly got you excited and you thought, Yes! I seem to meet the requirements! This job is made for me! I’d love to do that!  Only to have those bright ideas interrupted a few seconds later by more gloomy reflections like Oh, I don’t think I’m ready, I’d never get it, I’d be no good!  Then… before you know it… you’ve talked yourself out of exploring more, and scrolled right past your potential dream role?

Unfortunately, this is a story that is all too common.  Throughout my career, I have seen countless amazingly talented people doubt themselves and fail to see what they were truly capable of. Instead, they let the “mind monkeys” take control of their life so they miss opportunities and keep playing small.

The impact of a few negative thoughts on a person’s career trajectory is huge, but thankfully it doesn’t have to be that way! 

Today I want to share a process to help you take back control of your thinking and find the courage to get out of your comfort zone and go for it.

Step 1:  Start paying attention to your thoughts.

It’s time to get conscious of the stories you are telling yourself with regards to ‘going for that job’.  Over the next few days, pay attention to the predominant thoughts that are repeating in your mind and keep a note of any that are negative, unhelpful and disempowering.

E.g.       “There’ll be so much competition, I’d have no chance!”

              “I’m terrible at interviews, so there’s no point!”

We don’t need to judge these thoughts, just be aware of them.

It’s important to know that 95% of our thoughts are the same as the day before, so the way we think is simply a habit.  Thankfully we can break old habits and create new ones!

Step 2:  Ask yourself “Is it true?”

Review your notes and pick the first negative story you have identified. 

Now ask yourself, “is it true?”. 

Then ask yourself again, “Is it really 100% fact?” 

Consider the possibility that this is simply a limiting belief, assumption or generalisation that is not based in fact.

E.g.  ‘There’ll be so much interest, I’d have no chance!’ is an assumption.  You have no way of knowing exactly what all the other applicants are like, or exactly what the panel will want.’

‘I’m no good at interviews’ is a belief.  Maybe you had a bad experience once or twice, but that doesn’t mean it would be the same every time, in every interview.

Consider this:  if it’s not a fact, then why are you letting it dictate your life?

Now repeat this step until you have reviewed all the stories and thoughts you identified.

Step 3.  Remind yourself of all the skills, strengths and experiences you have to offer.

Remember, there is not one other person that can offer the same blend of motivations, personality traits, behaviours, skills, strengths and experiences as you – so let that empower you. This is your USP!

Brainstorm all you have to offer and reflect on what a catch you would be to this employer. 

If you struggle to come up with a lengthy list, think about what your best friend would say on your behalf and let the positive vibes flow.

Step 4.  What practical actions can you take?

Instead of feeling disheartened and helpless write down a list of all the things you can do to give yourself the best chance of succeeding.

E.g. Find a mentor or coach, research the role, update and optimise your CV, practice interview questions.

Feel your confidence soar as you take action and ‘control the controllables’!

Step 5.  Get some perspective.

Even if things don’t go your way, think about the possibility for positives and opportunities that applying could provide.

E.g.  You could have a great learning experience, valuable interview practice and make new connections!

Doors could open… even if not the one you expected!

Step 6.  Visualise your life.

Consider what it would mean to you if you were successful and got the job.  How would your life change?  How would you feel?  What would be the benefits?  Take the time to reflect on these questions and find ‘your why’!

Now imagine scrolling past the advert and NOT applying for the role.  Fast forward five years… How does your life look now?  Do you have any regrets?

Remember: “Fear is temporary.  Regret is Forever”

So, the next time you are scrolling through a list of job adverts and that special one catches your eye… don’t be so quick to rule it out.   

You are in control of what you do next.  Consider the possibilities if you went for it. Dig deep, find the courage to believe in yourself and take the leap!

Who is Cara Quin?

Cara Quinn, a dynamic Career & Mindset Coach and certified NLP Practitioner, founded Stellar Impact with a mission: to empower individuals with the confidence, skills, and strategies needed to conquer fears, pursue dreams, and unlock their true potential. 

With over two decades of experience in corporate recruitment, Cara intimately understands the profound impact that negative thinking, low confidence, and Imposter Syndrome can have on a person’s career trajectory. Having triumphed over these challenges herself, Cara seamlessly blends her unique skillset to offer transformative workshops and coaching services. By equipping individuals with practical knowledge and tools, she guides them to overcome obstacles, cultivate confidence, and achieve unstoppable success. 

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