Although many career-related articles cover the external factors that influence the job search, we understand that the internal battles faced can have an even more profound impact on your success. 

One of the most crippling is self-doubt. In the extreme, self-doubt can limit your opportunities by reducing the positions you pursue, and chronic negative self-talk can spill over into other aspects of your life. When you overcome self-doubt, your well-being improves, and you allow new opportunities to unfold without fear.

Before we discuss how to get overcome self-doubt, it’s important to recognize what self-doubt does to our brains. 

Self-doubt can impact your mental and physical health. Unlike love, affection, and curiosity, self-doubt is a learned behavior and comes through negative self-talk such as:

  • “I’ll never find a job I like.”
  • “I’m not good enough to apply for this job.”
  • “There is no point in trying. I won’t be chosen for an interview.”

Statements like these may seem harmless, however, when internalized, they can wreak havoc on your daily thought process and impact your choices.

Your brain will respond to the kind of stimuli you provide it with most consistently. Therefore, if you feed your brain with self-doubt, you begin to believe these false statements. This negativity can decrease your motivation and derail your goals, particularly during stressful times in life like a job transition.

Learn how to get over self-doubt as you apply for new remote positions by following the simple, yet effective tips below:

  1. Identify Your Pain Points: One of the first things you can do to overcome self-doubt is to pinpoint what your feelings are attached to. Where do you experience doubt in your skillset? Do you have doubts about your career choice? By taking the time at the outset of a remote job search to unpack where your doubts lie, you can take control. For each doubt, you identify, decide if there is any truth to it. If there is, then develop a plan to address or remediate the problem.
  2. Remember Your Accomplishments: When negative thoughts threaten to ruin your day, the best way to overcome self-doubt is to take a moment to remember your past accomplishments. Think about the last time you felt proud of your work or the last time you received a compliment on your skills or abilities.
  3. Remind Yourself You Are Not Alone: Doubt can convince you that you are the only person in history who has felt insecure about their chances of success. Keep in mind, no matter how talented, accomplished, or respected you are in your field, everyone has moments that test us and cause us to wonder, “Can I really do this?” and many face imposter syndrome! Take comfort in that fact and use it to gather your courage to pursue your dreams. 
  4. Build a Strong Support System: Everyone needs cheerleaders in their corner. When you aren’t at your most confident or you experience rejection, having friends there to remind you of your positive qualities can do wonders. You could also consider joining an online community or finding an in-person group that offers support or social networking for job seekers. This is a great way to confirm that you are not the only one going through the struggles and insecurities that accompany a job transition.
  5. Let Go of External Expectations: One of the major contributors to self-doubt is an overload of external expectations. Carrying the weight of other people’s wants in your life will distract you from your own goals. While friends and family may want the best for you, they cannot complete the tasks you must undertake to succeed. To overcome self-doubt caused by the expectations of others, remember that when it comes to your career, you are the only one who should set expectations for your performance.
  6. Forgive Your Past: If your self-doubt is rooted in past mistakes, it is crucial to forgive yourself for these missteps. Often when you feel stressed or fearful about taking on new opportunities, your mind will slip into “Worst Case Scenario Mode.” Forgive yourself for what was and thank yourself for the steps you’ve taken to rectify your mistakes. Learning to move on and look ahead is how you build strength and use mistakes as opportunities for growth and advancement.
  7. Set Short-Term Goals: Since self-doubt can be caused when you feel overwhelmed, setting goals is a preemptive strike. Try setting small, manageable short-term goals that you can track over a month or two. Make sure they fit in with your schedule and that you don’t pack too many tasks into a short timeframe. Use a vision board or calendar to set one or two goals per week. Possible goals for jobseekers include:
    • Attend a professional development webinar
    • Meet one new business contact
    • Spend one hour reading a book about your industry
  8.  Always Celebrate Small Victories: When you want to stay motivated and overcome self-doubt to pursue your career with confidence, acknowledge your strides every step of the way. When you mark off a goal on your list or complete an extensive job application, congratulate yourself by taking yourself out, indulging in an activity you usually don’t have time for, or simply giving yourself a pat on the back.
  9. Practice Positive Self-Talk: Positive affirmations can counteract negative thoughts and help you form a habit of thinking positively even when your job search isn’t going as planned. Overcome self-doubt by writing down three or four statements you can repeat to yourself whenever negative thoughts creep up on you. Affirmation suggestions include the following:
    • “I am creating my new reality daily.”
    • “I am grateful for the opportunities I will encounter.”
    • “I have all the skills I need to succeed.”
  10. Get Some Exercise: At the first sign of self-doubt, boost your mood with movement. You can do something as simple as taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood or sign up for a community exercise class like Zumba, kickboxing, or yoga. Make exercise a regular part of your routine to keep your motivation high and remain energized while you pursue your next career opportunity.

Although it is difficult to keep going when you experience doubt and it’s easier said than done, the best way to overcome your insecurities while searching for a job is to continue to do the things that scare you. 

Taking calculated risks and pushing through feelings of unworthiness will result in the best possible outcomes. If you take a risk and it doesn’t go as planned, at least you can feel proud that you tried. 

In contrast, if you do not take the plunge you may never know what could have been. Today is always the best day to step outside your comfort zone and apply for a new position! You can start today by looking through Chameleon’s job listings.