One Great Strategy for Overcoming Self-Doubt

The process is in the acronym — S.T.O.P.

Jim Farina


Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

Suppose you come across a posting for your dream job at your dream company. It’s a position that checks all the boxes and sounds perfectly suited for your skillset, with plenty of room for future growth.

You update and polish up your resume, draft a passionate, kick-ass cover letter, and send your application. You get an invitation to come in and chat with team members.

At first, you’re ecstatic. You’ve been dying for this opportunity. Then, for no apparent reason, dread sets in. As you begin reading over the job description, the responsibilities suddenly feel daunting.

You begin doubting your ability to pull it off, even though you’ve spent years preparing for this career. Then you ask yourself, “Am I really cut out for this — am I worthy of this opportunity?” Overcome with self-doubt, you find yourself feeling defeated. You’re unable to imagine a way forward.

There’s an exercise that can help. It uses the acronym: S.T.O.P. Try going through these simple yet effective steps when you begin noticing the feeling of self-doubt creeping through your mind.

S: First, say the word “Stop” It will help interrupt the negative spiral and initiate the process.

T: Take a breath. Or take a few breaths which can help slow your racing mind and calm your nervous system. It will allow you to approach the moment with equanimity.

O: Observe — step back and take notice of what’s actually going on in your mind and body. What are you thinking — what are you feeling. Try to understand where your self-doubt is really stemming from.

P: Proceed with power and intention. Let’s go back to that job opportunity and the daunting prospect of an interview. After employing STOP, maybe now you can shift your focus on the skills that make you perfect for the gig.

Remind yourself about the challenging conversations you’ve had in the past — remind yourself that you did okay. And you can do the same here too. Maybe it will require doing a little more research on the company.

Or perhaps it requires a little more preparation for the interview. It’s all constructive…