Diane von Furstenberg is a Belgian fashion designer who has built her namesake company into one of the most recognizable in the world.
Furstenberg has been listed as the world’s 68th most powerful, received an honorary doctorate, and been president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America for years.
Confidence should come easily to someone like this, wouldn’t you think?
But Furstenberg does not see herself this simply. She believes she’s a constant work in progress and says successful people (like herself) probably feel like losers at least once a week.
Furstenberg said she feels self-doubt continually. What does that look like in her life?
“Oh, just, you know. You feel like a loser, you wake up and you doubt. So my trick is, I look in the mirror and say, “If you doubt your power, then you give power to your doubts.”
Can you relate to Furstenberg?
You’re not alone. Even successful business owners grapple with self-doubt. Sometimes this can be a good thing, keeping you humble and helping you soberly evaluate limitations.
But for the most part, self-doubt is a form of sabotage that keeps you from fulfilling your potential. Successful people aren’t immune to uncertainty, but they refuse to let it derail their goals. Want to overcome doubt and achieve what you’ve set out to accomplish?
Here are several ways to combat that accusing voice:
When inner doubts creep in, deal with them immediately.
Don’t let paranoia spin out of control or imagine worst-case scenarios. Talk back to that doubtful voice with phrases like these:
“No. Stop. I’m not listening to this.”
“I know where this train of thought leads, and I’m not getting on!”
“I’ve been successful in the past, and I will be again.”
As Steven Pressfield says in Do The Work! Overcome Resistance And Get Out Of Your Own Way,
“The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”
One way to squash doubt is to deal with it straight on.
What personal deficits or situations trigger your insecurity? If it’s a lack of skill, seek specific training. If it’s uncertainty about a decision, get counsel from other experts in your field. If it’s fear of the unknown, find coaches or mentors to walk you through this stage of uncertainty.
If you compare yourself to others, you will usually lose.
In today’s connected generation, usually your perspective of others is only the highlight reel, and certainly not the struggle or discipline it took to build success. Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to YOU. Look at how far you’ve come, the progress you’ve made toward current goals, or how you’ve overcome obstacles in spite of hardship.
While the input of others can be helpful, confident leaders trust their own instincts.
We all like a pat on the back, but in seeking continual validation, you erode vision and weaken faith in yourself. When tackling a big project, get input initially, then trust your gut and make decisions that feel right to you.
Having confidence in yourself is the best way to sharpen your unique voice.
Say no to accusation, confront anxiety triggers, and avoid putting too much weight in others’ opinions. Overpower doubt so you can maximize your potential.