After hours of battling the demons of self doubt during a sleepless night, I fell asleep peacefully thanks to this thought, ‘leadership requires us to silence our demons.’

A few years ago, after a long journey of self-reflection and soul searching, I discovered that helping others lead positive change is my passion.

After 15 years of managing teams in IT, Communications and Marketing, I decided to pursue my newly found passion and started a leadership consulting business called GIVE Leadership.

I was inspired by the positive results I experienced in the quality of my own leadership and the teams I was leading when I started applying many of the leadership tools I had learned over my career.

I was proud to let others know that I had finally found my calling.

Helping others understand and apply tools to assist, motivate and inspire others, did not seem like work to me. I was finally experiencing what so many coaches and thought leaders advice others to do.

Do What You Love and Never Work a Day in Your Life

This was all great. But I had, and still have, a very good job, and a family to support.

As you can imagine, starting a new business 15 years into a career is risky, complicated, and just plain scary.

Fast forward 3 years and I find myself at a significant crossroads.

After facilitating sessions to hundreds of participants, hosting a long list of episodes for my podcast series called Leading Beyond the Status Quo, and accumulating well over 100,000 views on my articles and curated content, an entrepreneur hunger to pursue my passion full-time is growing within me on a daily basis.

Self Doubt or Clarity of Purpose

Knowing that it will take something substantial to replace my current income, my next goal is producing leadership related shows for television networks.

Becoming a TV producer was my very first career choice before changing direction in my early 20s.

Almost 20 years later, I am looking to connect the dots between my first love and newfound professional passion.

With clarity of purpose and a burning desire to grow the GIVE Leadership Institute into a successful full-time business, the demons of self-doubt visit me frequently.

Whether I am working on a treatment for a TV show, planning promotional tours, or developing strategic plans, these demons keep me awake at night and make me feel like I am crazy to think that I can succeed at doing what I love to do.

They are quite gifted at scaring away my self-confidence and filling me with fear.

Related:  8 Core Competencies Leaders Need to Sustain Performance

As with any challenge, I have a strategy to deal with these demons when they come. Here is my plan of attack:

Step 1. Leverage My Strengths

Through the years, I have taken the strengths finder survey a number of times, and I use my strength themes intentionally.

My first step is to take control with my Command strength theme. Thanks to this strength, I have a strong presence, which is critical as these demons come charging with their negativity.

I quickly leverage my Positivity strength theme to counteract the demons’ negativity. I intentionally start thinking about the exciting results my efforts have yielded to date.

I then leverage my Futuristic and Strategic strength themes to start thinking about the plans I already have in motion and the next steps I need to take in order to continue my momentum.

Writing this article is one of those steps.

 2. Look for Motivation

When it is clear that the demons are hitting me hard and I seriously start thinking about quitting, I boot up my computer and look for motivational content that can help me remember why I am putting all this effort to pursue the career of my dreams.

One of my favorite videos is this one:

3. Envision the Future I Want

One of the reasons that I love the video is that it reminds me to keep doing something I started doing years ago when I was unemployed, envisioning the future that I desired.

After grad school, I struggled to find a job during the tough financial times of the early 1990s.

With my masters degree, I was stuffing envelopes as a temporary employee for close to minimum wage.

This is when I first read The Power of Positive Thinking and started envisioning the job I wanted.

3 years later, my vision became reality, and I was managing a multimedia department for a major corporation.

So here is my three step attack on the demons of self doubt:

Attack Leadership Demons

How Do You Attack Self Doubt?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Al Gonzalez
Al has worked for 16 years helping others maximize the quality of their leadership at Motorola, CBS Sports, and Cornell University. He’s used these experiences to develop trust-based leadership tools for all levels of management.
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