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How I have started to move past my self-doubt

These past few months I have grappled with self-doubt and I have been trying to better understand what drives it.

I think I have finally figured it out:

I spend too much time comparing my current state with the future state that I desire. For example, spending time wishing my last launch had more traction or that my latest project was growing faster. My future vision for myself is heavily influenced by the success of others, but that is rarely a helpful comparison and will inevitably cause self-doubt.

Instead, a helpful comparison is comparing my current state with how far I have come and how much I have learned.

I think by acknowledging our accomplishments, we are able to build self-confidence. It's all too easy to get swept up with wanting more, and not spend enough time feeling good about what we have done.

In the past 2 years, I have:

  • Been promoted to Senior SDE
  • Tech lead & dev manager for a team of 10 devs
  • Quit my job to pursue my dreams of starting a business
  • Built and launched 2 digital board games
  • Grown my email newsletter to over 1k subscribers
  • Met some people I really admired

I feel a bit sheepish typing that out, but seeing it all laid out helps me see the compounding effect of all my daily efforts. Last week I wrote about how I added self-care and consistency to my daily routine.

One of the most important things I've learned this year is how important it is to be consistent. @stephsmith put it well in her blog post, How to Be Great? Just Be Good, Repeatably:

On your journey to greatness, you need to fall in love with the process which includes many local minima and maxima. Staying consistent and pushing through both of these continuously is what will truly differentiate you from those that are simply “good” and isolate you as one of the few that are “great’.

So two "simple" takeaways:

  1. Focus on consistently working on things that will make you proud
  2. Regularly look back and be proud of what you have accomplished with that consistent effort

I would love to hear about what you have accomplished in the last 2 years, please share in the comments!


If you liked this post, consider following me on Twitter: @jstnchu, I share my ideas there before I write about them

  1. 2

    Thank you, Justin. This post was the first one I clicked on on my first visit to this site. I am really trying to embark on a new, independent journey after a 20 year career and your message is the kind I need to hear. Let's move past the difficult thoughts to ones that inspire!

    1. 1

      Congratulations on your new journey, I think you’ll really like it here! IH has been an amazing resource for me!

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