Dealing with DOUBT as a leader

June 8, 2022

leadership skills

A conversation I find myself having with lots of clients is around doubt. Doubting the feelings that we’re having as a leader, doubting whether it’s okay to want the things we want, and that we want things done in a certain way and doubting whether it’s okay to have that feeling. Additionally, is it okay to actually do something about those feelings?

As you grow a business you’re naturally in hustle mode, doing lots, if not all, of the things. Often you’re doing a bunch of things you’d rather not have to keep doing. So you get to a point where you know you don’t want to do all of that anymore. So you start to question –

  • Do I still need to do that?
  • Do I still need to do it that way?
  • Do I still need to do that at all?

Because you notice these feelings you’re having aren’t sustainable. You don’t want to keep feeling like this with this level of frustration or overwhelm. So it becomes exploration of permission –

  • Is it okay to not want to do this anymore?
  • Is it okay to not want to feel like this anymore?
  • Or is this just one of those things in business that you’re meant to accept? It not feeling great.

So we need to learn how to break through those questions, overcome all the doubt and start trusting ourselves again.

So to give ourselves permission to do things the way we would like, we need firstly to have an understanding of self.

  • What is your style?
  • What do you like?
  • What don’t you like?
  • What triggers you?
  • What do you need and what do you not need?

And then once we know this about ourselves, the second element comes into play when we’re dissecting and shifting from that space of doubt to the permission space.

Now that I know myself, how do I ask for what I want and need in a way that makes me feel good? Or more to the point, doesn’t make me feel like a bitch.

How do I gracefully ask for and have a conversation about what is going to make me feel great? In a way that leaves me and the person receiving the ask both feel really good about it.

Through the process of peeling back the layers, asking the questions, leaning into the feeling, you’ve shift away from, do I have the right to feel this way? You shift into a solutions focused mode without the emotional blame and labelling and start focusing on the ways that are available to solve the problem, whilst your team get what they need from you in a way that also feels good to you and allows you to be in your flow as much as possible.

So suddenly – through this understanding of self and giving permission – you’ve shifted from feeling doubt about all your frustrations with your team to accepting your feelings and focusing on the solutions needed to solve the situation in a way that feels good to you and gets your team member the information they need also to succeed.

By giving yourself permission to analyze your feelings, you’ve equally uncovered and shown to yourself opportunity where somebody else can support you

There’s no right or wrong, but it is the exploration of what you’re feeling, and you can’t explore what you’re feeling unless you have given yourself permission to feel those things. So permission to feel now, next step, let’s explore and dig around deeper into the specifics of what am I feeling? Why am I feeling it? What am I worried about? So you can really get to see the heart of your uniqueness and what you actually need.

Permission to feel what you’re feeling, permission to want it to be different, permission to not need to do things in a certain way, and permission to lean into what you want and to explore your own appetite for what support looks like, what feeling safe looks like for you, what control you want to keep about the details in your business or release about the details of your business.

So as the leader of your business, you get to set up systems and processes to support you and systems the function of your business in a way that helps you thrive. You also get to hire the people who want to work in that way too. Then as you and your business evolve, you get to reassess the way you’re working and explore if a new way of doing something feels like a better fit. And being unattached and not letting it be personal. This is the way I need the business to operate for it to feel really great for me as the CEO.

Peel back the layers and look for the specifics within the feeling and ask yourself, is there a system or process that could be put in place to give me the safety and sense of the control around this bit?

And can I hand over the rest? And if I was to do that, would I feel more positive about this thing or the way we’re doing this thing?

I feel like this conversation is one we need to keep having. We need to give ourselves the permission to feel the feelings about the things we’re doing and to lean into how we would like it to look different. Then we need to explore the actions we need to take to shift it from here to there, without the doubt.

**Want to dive deeper into dealing with doubt as a leader – tune into my Big Dreams Great Teams podcast ep here


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