During the early years of my image consulting business, a producer for a nationally syndicated television show invited me to appear on the show as an “expert”. I was excited and accepted the invite. However, I started to second-guess myself and began to fear being on the show. .
I began to wonder whether I was ready for the big league as I had only been in business for about a month. At the time, I didn’t even have a paying client yet! I reasoned that I wasn’t qualified. Afraid of humiliating myself, I called the producer and told her that personal issues prevented me from attending the show. .
I sabotaged my success! The thing about it, as I watched the show I was to be on; I was able to succinctly answer every question that was asked of my replacement. I realized I made the one of the worst mistakes in career. I did a disservice to my business and to myself. The free national exposure would have been wonderful for my business. Because I underestimated myself, I missed a great opportunity.
In talking to others, I’ve found that at some point, everyone has felt like an imposter. And, research has shown that women tend to underestimate their skills. I have met many persons who have also experienced missed opportunities due to negative thoughts and self-doubt.
So how do we overcome our fear and doubts?
How do we forge ahead?
Understand that fear and doubts are simply limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are rules that we’ve internalized from our experiences. It could have originated with labels that others have placed on us. For example, a bright student is identified as a slow learner because she does not perform well on timed standardized tests. She has dyslexia and was never diagnosed. She has simply accepted that she is slow and decided that she did not have what it takes to attend medical school and did not apply.
We unconsciously allow people to label us and when opportunities or experiences are outside the realm of what has become our truth, we may become stuck in our limiting beliefs and so we get stuck in situations that prevent us from moving forward.
(Now I want to add that not all labels are negative and positive labels may actually encourage a person to achieve. For purposes of this post, I am focusing on limiting beliefs).
The way to overcome limiting beliefs is challenge the beliefs. Limiting beliefs are statements that can be changed; rules that can be broken. I have an exercise that I use to overcome limiting thoughts and I want to share it with you. You can access it here for free
I urge you to embrace opportunities and rid these impeding thoughts for once and for all.
What opportunities have you missed due to doubting your qualifications? Isn’t time that you’ve done something about it? Click here