Success 2.0: The Psychology of Self-Doubt

    enMay 22, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Turning Self-Doubt Into an Ally for Personal GrowthAcknowledge and understand self-doubt, use it to motivate and challenge ourselves, learn from mistakes, and overcome doubts with persistence and self-belief to achieve great things.

      Self-doubt can affect anyone, even those who are successful and accomplished. It can have a negative impact on our mental health and wellbeing. However, by acknowledging and understanding our doubts, we can turn them into allies. We can use them to motivate ourselves, challenge ourselves, and improve our performance. It's important to remember that we are all human and that we all make mistakes. We should not let our doubts hold us back or prevent us from reaching our full potential. Instead, we should embrace them and learn from them. With hard work, persistence, and self-belief, we can overcome our doubts and achieve great things.

    • Overcoming Imposter Phenomenon in Any Profession.Imposter feelings are common among accomplished individuals. It is important to recognize and acknowledge these feelings, acknowledge our successes, and seek validation from ourselves, rather than external sources.

      The imposter phenomenon is when accomplished and intelligent individuals feel intellectually fraudulent, and doubt their own competence in spite of their accomplishments. It is common to experience self-doubt and wonder if they are living up to the lofty expectations of others. Even people who are admired by their friends and colleagues, like Viola Davis, can still have imposter feelings as they see their own flaws and mistakes. Imposter phenomenon is a complex issue and can affect anyone in any profession. It is crucial to recognize and acknowledge these feelings, and try to overcome them by acknowledging our successes, and seeking validation from ourselves rather than external sources.

    • The Inner Demons that Successful People FaceSuccess does not guarantee immunity from self-doubt. Recognize and address societal pressures and seek support to overcome doubt. Celebrate achievements as evidence to combat self-doubt.

      Self-doubt is a common feeling that many successful people experience, regardless of their achievements. It is rooted in societal views about their race, gender, and body shape. Trying to be perfect to satisfy others' expectations and prove oneself can contribute to self-doubt. Maya Angelou, a well-known poet, had self-doubt despite achieving at the highest level. Self-doubt is similar to conspiracy theories in that both can cause confirmation bias, making it harder to accept evidence contrary to one's belief. It is essential to recognize self-doubt and seek social support to overcome it. Achievements should be celebrated and used as evidence to fight self-doubt.

    • Overcoming Self-Doubt and Negative ThoughtsRecognize negative patterns of self-doubt and actively work towards combating them by seeking feedback, practicing self-compassion, and reminding ourselves of past achievements.

      Many successful people doubt their abilities from time to time, which is why it's crucial to recognize the negative voice in our heads and understand its origins. One possible cause of self-doubt can stem from not receiving feedback on our intelligence during our upbringing, leading us to internalize the idea that we may not be that smart. Being our own harsh critics is also a common phenomenon where we subject ourselves to scrutiny and criticism we would never dream of aiming at other people. It's crucial to recognize these patterns and actively work towards counteracting them, whether it be seeking feedback, practicing self-compassion, or reminding ourselves of past accomplishments to combat feelings of fraudulence.

    • The Imposter Phenomenon: Self-Doubt in Accomplished Individuals.Despite being prevalent across genders and races, the imposter phenomenon can negatively impact academic performance and self-esteem. Recognizing and challenging self-doubt is crucial for continued success.

      Many accomplished individuals, particularly women and minorities, experience the imposter phenomenon - the feeling of being a fraud or imposter despite evidence of success. While it was originally identified in high-achieving women, studies have found it to be prevalent among both genders and all races. However, the implications of these feelings can differ; women may be more negatively impacted in terms of academic performance. Additionally, highly competitive environments may exacerbate feelings of self-doubt. Despite these shared experiences, individuals should recognize and challenge their self-doubt in order to maintain self-esteem.

    • The impacts of competitive environments and excessive praise on self-doubt and mental healthEducators can create a supportive and encouraging learning environment by being aware of how competitive environments and excessive praise can affect self-doubt and mental health, especially among minorities.

      Competitive environments can lead to imposter feelings, which result in self-doubt and stress. Over-inflating a student's sense of accomplishment can also lead to self-doubt. Students may feel like they are falling short when they don't meet the expectations set by excessive praise. This self-doubt can be even more pronounced among minorities due to stereotype threat. Self-doubt can have an impact on mental health, leading to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Being aware of these issues can help educators create an environment that is supportive and encouraging while still remaining grounded in reality.

    • The Imposter Phenomenon: Combating Self-Doubt for Mental HealthCombat imposter phenomenon by reminding yourself of your accomplishments through tracking metrics of publications and recognition. Don't let self-doubt hold you back from opportunities.

      Imposter phenomenon can cause depression and anxiety which is prevalent among women and BIPOC individuals. Self-doubt can affect mental health and make us underestimate our skills, leading to missed opportunities. However, it is essential to combat such feelings and make room for the gift of self-doubt. One technique to reduce self-doubt is to remind ourselves of our accomplishments. Psychologist Kevin Cokley suggests stalking oneself and looking up metrics of publications and accomplishments to remind oneself of the hard work put in and the recognition received. This could work as a cognitive behavioral therapy intervention to counter the negative self-beliefs and address imposter feelings successfully.

    • Strategies to Combat Imposter SyndromeKeep a work diary to document successes and promote transparency to prevent imposter syndrome. Recognize setbacks in perspective and build relationships to sustain long-term performance. Being intentional about documenting successes and being open about mistakes can help assuage feelings of imposterism among individuals.

      To combat imposter syndrome, individuals can keep a work diary to document their successes and organizations can promote transparency and vulnerability among managers and supervisors. It's important not to blow setbacks out of proportion and draw global conclusions. Instead, setbacks should be seen in perspective as just having a bad day or week. Interventions like those designed by Greg Walton can help marginalized groups, such as black students, feel less vulnerable to threats and build relationships that sustain long-term performance. It's crucial to be intentional about documenting successes and not minimizing or marginalizing them, as they can be impressive in the aggregate. Being open about mistakes can help assuage feelings of imposterism among individuals.

    • Overcoming Failure and Impostorism through Growth and Hard WorkFailure does not define one's worth. Embrace mistakes as opportunities to grow. Work hard, be prepared, and let your work speak for itself. Even successful people experience insecurity. Use insecurities as motivation and stay dedicated to your craft.

      Failure is not indicative of one's worth or potentiality. It is important to reframe mistakes as an opportunity for growth rather than internalizing them as a reflection of personal incompetency. Hard work and over-preparedness can help overcome self-doubt and feelings of impostorism. It is crucial to understand that even the most accomplished individuals have experienced failure and insecurity at some point. Michelle Obama's approach of working harder to let her work speak for itself can be an effective way to address feelings of impostorism. Lastly, it is possible to use insecurities as a driver for motivation and to maintain a sense of humility and dedication to one's craft.

    • The Power of Self-Doubt in Fueling Greatness and Maintaining HumilitySelf-doubt can be a driving force in achieving greatness and staying motivated. It also serves as a vital tool in preventing overconfidence and maintaining humility, promoting personal and social growth.

      Self-doubt can fuel greatness and help maintain humility, and having a bit of self-doubt can save us from really bad situations such as unnecessary wars, among other things. It is important to not feel overly confident in ourselves in ways that are unhelpful and unhealthy. The need to be humble and have feelings of self-doubt can be helpful to stay motivated and hungry to work hard to prove oneself. It is possible that greatness is being driven, at least in part, by the fuel of self-doubt. In a world without self-doubt, hubris could get in the way of our ability to make reasoned and reasonable decisions. Therefore, being humble and maintaining self-doubt can be beneficial to personal and social growth.

    • The Importance of Balancing Self-Doubt for Mental and Physical HealthSelf-doubt can serve as a friend or an enemy, depending on how we use it. We need to find a balance and use it wisely, without compromising our wellbeing, as demonstrated by the example of John Henryism.

      Self-doubt can be a good thing when it motivates us to achieve and excel, but it can also harm our mental and physical health. We need to find a balance and use self-doubt in ways that don't compromise our wellbeing. The example of John Henryism reminds us that achieving incredible feats of accomplishment can harm our health. It's important to take care of ourselves and not be complacent. Self-doubt can be a friend when it keeps us motivated, but it can also be an enemy if it leads to self-harm. We must use self-doubt wisely.

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