Overcoming Self-Doubt

When you get rejected, how soon do you get back up to face potential rejection again?

I’ve interviewed for the same job in my current company four times.  I was given the promotion after the first attempt, but due to unforeseen events, they decided to focus on my supervisor’s development and got rid of the position.  But I was told that, should they bring the position back, I could always apply again.  And so I have – three times.  And all three times they felt there was someone more qualified.

Three rejections in a little more than a year.  How fast do you get back up?

Brené Brown, PhD., LMSW defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”  Pema Chödrön says, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”  I haven’t found my indestructible self, but I have come to the realization of how strong we can become if we have the courage to be vulnerable.

On my quest of wholehearted living, I have discovered how normal it is to feel shame or fear or self-doubt.  And I get why we would want to cling to our comfort zones or wait until everything is perfect before we try – we don’t want to face the chorus of critics, to be judged.  And when we get rejected, our confidence shakes and self-doubt wants to come out and play.

And if we let it, self-doubt can destroy us because it can lead to feeling shame – defined by Brene as “the fear that we’re not good enough.”

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I’m not sure about you, but for me telling myself stories of how I’m not good enough is second nature.  I become my own worse critic – Why wasn’t I good enough?  What did I do wrong?  Who do I think I am?  Why did I even try again?

We can get so entangled in our own imagination and before we know it we’ve stopped showing up to do our best work, stopped giving our art to the world.  We need to become aware of our stories, to examine what is true versus what is fiction.  And that’s where I am at this moment.

I’m trying to own my story, trying to work through the emotions instead of running away or pushing them down.  I’m sitting with it and separating the truth from the fiction.  It takes effort on my part, on all of our parts, to do the work of owning our stories.

Self-doubt won’t go away with wishful thinking.  We have to face it head on so that we can “discover the infinite power of our light.”




Want to know more about Brene and her research?  Visit her website at brenebrown.com

Here’s an article I read while writing this How to Switch Off Self-Doubt Under Pressure

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