Stephen Woolston

Steve's Articles, Coach and NLP Trainer in Maidstone and London

Fear not—your self doubt is every bit as wonderful as your confidence

You can learn to be at peace with doubting yourself.

A philosophical question for you: do you think confidence means never asking yourself questions like, “Could I be making a mistake here?”, or “Could there be a better way?” I’m just curious.

When I’m in my zone, I stride very confidently in my work and that influences people. Nevertheless, whilst I stride confidently much of the time, I also have periods of self-doubt.

If that seems like a paradox, it’s only because we tend to think of confidence and self-doubt as permanent, fixed personality traits. That’s like thinking a person can only be happy all the time or sad all the time, but they cannot be happy some of the time and sad some of the time.

How crazy is that, right?

Confidence and self-doubt are cyclic, like the weather. They are yin and yang, opposites making the whole.

I actually think confidence and self-doubt are symbiotic, just like sleep is symbiotic with wakefulness: they’re opposites but you need both to function. You can’t sleep effectively if you haven’t first had effective wakefulness and vice versa.

Just as frustration and despondency can simply be one step in the larger cyclical process of getting motivated I think self doubt is just one step in a larger process of performing confidently.

Some of the most confident performers suffer the worst stage fright and some of the best performers are some of the worst self critics.

So fear not. Your self doubt is every bit as wonderful as your confidence.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Steve.