Advice: "I've been selling successfully for 3 years, but I can't shake off my self-doubt. What should I do?"

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Dear Quota Team

I have a strange problem and I’m wondering if you have any advice. I am going on my third year in sales, and I like the job. It’s not something I thought I’d end up doing, but now that I’ve been in it, I can see myself having a very nice lifestyle if I stick with it and stay consistent. 

The problem is my self-confidence. I almost always have doubts. I doubt my own skills, my work ethic, and my abilities to become successful in this career. These doubts only go away after I’ve closed a deal or hit my goal, and even then, it’s just temporary, and the doubts creep back in almost immediately.

Like I said, I do want to stay in this career, but my self-doubt is making this so much harder than I feel it needs to be. I work with people who don’t seem to doubt themselves, they just plow forward, whether they’re successful or not. How can I get rid of (or at least reduce) my self-doubts? Any ideas would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.

Uncertain in New York


Dear Uncertain,

Charlie Chaplin, the pioneering comic actor who, for decades, was literally the most successful person in his field, once told his daughter that throughout his career, he was plagued by self-doubt. Once again: the most successful person in his field was filled with doubts.

If Charlie felt this way, then we assure you that it’s okay for you to feel this way too. The key is that instead of giving into your self-doubts, you need to push through them and, if you can, use them as motivation to work harder and to improve yourself and your abilities. 

The truth is that the doubts might never go away. So instead of trying to fight them off, prove them wrong, over and over again. There’s nothing wrong with questioning yourself and wondering if you can be better. The key, however, is whether you let these thoughts slow you down, or use them to get where you want to go. Good luck. 

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