“You think you know, but you don’t know the half, you think you beat me down, but I’ll have the last laugh, I’ll keep getting up, ‘Cause that’s what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna be the best me, I’m sorry if it kills you.” Mary J Blige, Doubt, from The London Sessions
By: Minda Harts, Founder, The Memo
As human beings, we can be our toughest critic. I have many insecurities, and one of the biggest is self doubt. Am I good enough? Am I capable of pulling this off? Am I smart enough? You name it, it runs through my head daily.
In my career, I’ve worked with some of the wealthiest men and women in the United States. Initially, I struggled internally with this role, because I often felt I wasn’t good enough. I grew up poor. I didn’t go to an Ivy League school. I thought, these people I am working with probably give out free holiday turkeys to families like mine. I stayed in my head. I remember attending my first “fancy” dinner, and not knowing which fork to use.
Back then, I thought I needed expensive, designer things to prove that I “belonged” in that space, and worked really hard to prove I was not “some black girl with no class.” Additionally, I felt a lot of self doubt, because I never saw anyone that looked like me in these positions of wealth and power. So layer that on, and you have a self doubt birthday cake.
I need to admit something important here: none of my clients were saying anything that would make me feel less than. In fact, they always made me feel like I had a seat at their table. This was all in my own head.
How many times do we get in our own heads about our worthiness? Or maybe instead you had/have someone if your life that has indicated that you weren’t capable of doing this or that. Doubt can be self inflicted or brought on by external factors. Either way....STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF!
I always say, “you are your best advocate”, and I truly mean that. How can you be your best advocate, though, if you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities? In my example, I created all of these scenarios as to why I wasn’t good enough. Did you catch that… Why “I” didn’t think “I” was good enough. “I” had to get out of my own way, grab myself by the shoulders, and say, “Minda, you got this. You were built for this. Get ready for whatever comes your way.”
I came across this Mary J. Blige song called Doubt last week. I have been wearing this song out! There are so many great gems about doubt and self love. As women, we tend to take on a lot of responsibilities, and I believe self love should be at the top of that list. If we love ourselves better, we can love others better, and we can love our careers better. They all go hand in hand. The moment I realized that I can only be the best ME, slowly I became more able to push the doubt out of my head.
This article originally appeared December 2016.