Once I start working, my whole life will change.
I should already know what I want to do.
I must have a clear idea of what I am going to do.
I need to find my passion.
If I gather all the information, analyse it in detail and make a plan that I will follow – then everything will be fine.
Finding a job is an important step, my whole future depends on it.
To get a job at [insert any employer], I need to be lucky / be the best in the generation / have 5 years of work experience / have advanced programming skills in [insert any programming language]…
You’ve decided that it’s time to get a job, and so you set out to find it, you’re going soon, it’s only a matter of seconds. The days go by and the only step you’ve taken is scrolling through the job ads. Don’t worry – you’re not the only one. In conversations with students who come to me for counselling, we often work on resolving such situations.
The decision is there, but the behaviour doesn’t follow it.
When we talk about what they do when they don’t do the things that would lead them to achieve their goals, I often hear some of the phrases from the beginning of the text. And that’s OK. When we embark on something new, it’s natural to feel insecure. The only question is how we deal with these doubts. We can let them buzz around in our heads and prevent us from achieving what we set out to do, or we can become aware of them and face them.
The second option sounds better, doesn’t it?
How to doubt your doubts instead of yourself?
If you are reading this post, you’re already on the right track.
Step one: Write down your goal
Write down what you want to achieve. It’s okay if it seems unattainable at first, many of the things we use today started out as goals.
Step two: Write down your doubts
It’s important to be aware of the doubts we have and the easiest way to work with them is to write them down. It can be just one or it can be several – the paper doesn’t care.
Step three: Be aware of your feelings
Read through the thoughts from the paper again and think about how you feel when you read them. With each thought, ask yourself how you feel on an intuitive or emotional level. Is it perhaps a feeling of fear? Helplessness? Are you afraid of failing or do you feel that the challenge ahead is too great?
Step four: Doubt your doubts
Now comes the fun part! We often think of our doubts as absolute truths rather than assumptions that we should test to see if they are true or false. Approach this problem like an engineer. Once you’ve put the problem (your doubts) on paper and thus narrowed it down, it’s time to gather all possible information about the problem. It’ll be easy to find some that confirm your doubts but leave those aside for now. Find as much information as possible that doesn’t support your doubts.
For example, if you think you need to have a clear idea of what you want to do, you can talk to other people around you who you think are successful. Did they know exactly what they wanted to do while they were in college? What was their job search process like? How do they know that what they’re doing now is really what they want to do? Do they even know? You can read biographies of famous people and see what their career path was like, how they found the job they are good at and what makes them happy. You’ll probably find over time that most of them didn’t have a clear path, just a general direction. And that direction led them further until they found what suited them.
This brings us to the final step.
Step five: Define the new truth
Now that you know that your original ideas aren’t entirely true, it’s time to choose thoughts that are valid for you.
Following the previous example, this could be a thought like: “I don’t have to have one clear idea, but several possibilities that I can try out to find the one that suits me.”
Choose the thoughts that help you feel safe and confident, that encourage you to keep going even if you get stuck.
If you need help, you know who to call.
These steps sound easy, but you may find it difficult the first time or maybe even the second time you try. If you get stuck, you can always call and ask for advice – we’re here for you! 😊