“ I’m not qualified for that job.”
“A client like that would never hire me.”
“What will people think if I fail?”
How often do these sorts of thoughts cross your mind? If you are like most people, probably pretty often. It’s thoughts like these that hold us back from achieving all that we are capable of.
I see too many professionals, executives, and all around smart people afraid to take risks because they feel that they are not “good enough” or are afraid of failing. There’s a name for this, and it’s referred to by psychologists as self-handicapping. Studies show that individuals who self-handicap are actually more likely to fail.
If you fall into this category, it is imperative for your success and happiness that you break this bad habit and change your attitude. Ask yourself – if you don’t believe in yourself, why should someone else believe if you?
Women, in particular, are afraid to apply for jobs unless they believe they are 100% qualified. But the fact is that most job descriptions are not always well thought out and duties are really fluid. Having experience with every bullet point in a job description isn’t what will get you the job, it’s your aptitude and attitude.
When these self-handicapping thoughts enter my mind, I pause for a second and think, “why am I telling myself no? Let them tell me no.” This mantra has served me well and allowed me to partake in fantastic experiences that never would have happened unless I took a chance.
Many of us have it ingrained in our psyches that we have to get all the answers right. Because of this, it’s difficult to make a decision or try something we are not fully confident in. We have to actively work at being optimistic and overcoming these fears. So take a chance and pitch your idea to that client that is a reach, apply for that job you’ve been dreaming of, or take a chance and start something of your own. Remember, if you don’t even try, you’ve already failed.