The Mid-Career GPS Podcast

164: Stop Second Guessing Yourself - 5 Tips to Make Quicker Career Decisions

July 04, 2023 John Neral Season 3
164: Stop Second Guessing Yourself - 5 Tips to Make Quicker Career Decisions
The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
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The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
164: Stop Second Guessing Yourself - 5 Tips to Make Quicker Career Decisions
Jul 04, 2023 Season 3
John Neral

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Ever doubted your professional decisions? It's time to banish that habit for good! I'm John Neral, ready to guide you through five powerful strategies to stop second-guessing and start making decisions with confidence. We'll dig deep into the root causes of your stress and indecision, empower you to trust your intuition, and help you build unshakeable confidence in your capabilities. And if that's not enough, brace yourself for a special announcement about the future of the Mid-Career GPS podcast - it's a game changer!

Moving on, we're going to conquer that fear of failure that creeps in when making pivotal career decisions. Balancing the scales of potential outcomes, assessing risks and leveraging your strengths; it's all part of the process. Step into this journey of learning from past experiences to make decisions that will shape a successful future. And remember, you're not alone - we'll explore how to seek advice from your personal Board of Directors and how their perspective can refine your decision-making process. Get ready to take charge, navigate your career with gusto, and make those decisive moves that define success!

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening to The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.
Please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts here.

Visit https://johnneral.com to join The Mid-Career GPS Newsletter, a free, twice-weekly career and leadership resource for mid-career professionals.

Connect with John on LinkedIn here.
Follow John on Instagram @johnneralcoaching.
Subscribe to John's YouTube Channel here.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever doubted your professional decisions? It's time to banish that habit for good! I'm John Neral, ready to guide you through five powerful strategies to stop second-guessing and start making decisions with confidence. We'll dig deep into the root causes of your stress and indecision, empower you to trust your intuition, and help you build unshakeable confidence in your capabilities. And if that's not enough, brace yourself for a special announcement about the future of the Mid-Career GPS podcast - it's a game changer!

Moving on, we're going to conquer that fear of failure that creeps in when making pivotal career decisions. Balancing the scales of potential outcomes, assessing risks and leveraging your strengths; it's all part of the process. Step into this journey of learning from past experiences to make decisions that will shape a successful future. And remember, you're not alone - we'll explore how to seek advice from your personal Board of Directors and how their perspective can refine your decision-making process. Get ready to take charge, navigate your career with gusto, and make those decisive moves that define success!

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening to The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.
Please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts here.

Visit https://johnneral.com to join The Mid-Career GPS Newsletter, a free, twice-weekly career and leadership resource for mid-career professionals.

Connect with John on LinkedIn here.
Follow John on Instagram @johnneralcoaching.
Subscribe to John's YouTube Channel here.

John Neral:

How often do you second guess yourself? You know you think you're ready to apply for that job, go after that promotion, accept that new job offer, only to find yourself stalled and can't move forward. You worry about whether or not it's the right move and, of course, the last thing you want to do is make a mistake. Well, my friends, second guessing can feel pretty normal and in fact it is. However, it can also be holding you back from the greatness you want to achieve. In this episode, i'm going to help you stop second guessing yourself, or at least cut down on the time you're second guessing yourself, and help you move toward whatever is next for you and your career. Plus, stay tuned because I've got a very special announcement about what's happening to the mid-career GPS podcast. Let's get started. Hello, my friends, this is episode 164 of the Mid-Career GPS podcast. I'm your host, John Neral. I help mid-career professionals who feel stuck, undervalued and underutilized show up to find a job they love, or love the job they have, by using my proven four-step formula. If you're feeling stuck in your career, i've got a free guide on my website. It's called Five Mistakes Mid-Career Professionals Make and Need to Stop Doing. If you're second guessing yourself. Well, these mid-career derailers are things you do not want to be doing. Visit my website at johnnarrellcom and download your free career guide today. Let me help you start building your mid-career GPS to whatever is next for you and your career. Additionally, did you know there's a premium version of this podcast? It's called the Mid-Career GPS Podcast Plus, and bonus episodes drop on the first of every month. This month's topic is all about conducting your check-in meeting. If you're a manager or leader and want some additional help and guidance structuring those check-in meetings with your team members or direct reports and start having better and more productive conversations, you will want to listen to this premium episode. Visit themidcareergpspodcast. buzzsprout. com. Check the show notes. You can subscribe for as little as $3 a month and you will get access to all of the other premium episodes in the catalog Plus. It's a great way to support the podcast so I can continue to deliver this premium content to help you build your mid-career GPS. So thank you.

John Neral:

Today is the 4th of July. Happy 4th of July, happy Independence Day. Whether you're listening this today or sometime later in the week, i hope you are having a wonderful time with your family and your friends. Be safe, be well, be careful. I don't know if you're one of those people that like fireworks or don't like fireworks. They're kind of seem to be very polarizing these days. I think they're nice. I'm not real crazy about the big bangs that happen afterwards, but yeah, they're nice, they're a good part of it. So I'm not sure if we're going to be watching them in person or on the TV this year. I'm not sure how that's going to happen, but whatever it is, july 4th is always an important and grateful holiday. So, thank you.

John Neral:

All right, your second guessing yourself. Why are you doing it? Well, there's a lot of reasons to why you do it And, as I alluded to in the intro, part of it is you just don't want to make a mistake. You may be second guessing yourself when it comes to a lot of professional decisions that particularly obtain to your job, the project work you're doing, your current role and responsibilities, how you're handling certain team matters. Maybe you're having some difficulty dealing with team members who are, let's just say, problematic or challenging, or maybe you're working for a toxic or difficult boss and you're not sure how to handle those type situations. The list, my friends, goes on and on, but one of the things we know is that second guessing is caused by a lack of confidence or it's caused by doubting your intuition or your gut instinct about how to handle certain situations. You may work with somebody and you may marvel at how they just know what to do in the moment. They're so quick, they have the answer and always seems on the tip of their tongue or at their fingertips, and they know exactly what it is they're doing. Experience may come into play here. You know, second guessing is a way that absolutely protects ourselves. But when it's holding us back especially when, let's say, you're sitting in a meeting and you know you've been given feedback where you need to speak up, but at the same time you're like I'm not sure if I'm saying the right thing or I don't want to be repetitive Those types of second guessings, let's drill a little deeper into those.

John Neral:

So I've got five things for you to consider today to help you stop second guessing yourself, and the first one is to recognize the pattern. When do you find yourself doing the same thing when it comes to making a decision? Do you find yourself ruminating or perseverating on making that kind of decision? Do you find yourself repeating the same thoughts over and over and over again that are just difficult for you to make a decision. Typically in a situation like this, there's some kind of stressor or trigger or influencer at play. You have to figure out what that is. Is it a person, is it a thing, is it a circumstance? But the question here is how much are you doubting yourself for questioning whether or not you believe you're moving in the right direction, you're doing the right thing, or saying the right thing in a meeting? There's a pattern that's coming up, and so what I've shared before, on the podcast too, is when we start to dig a little deeper into these things, right? So obviously, the first step here is to identify what the pattern is. The second thing would be to identify what's causing it, and if you're like, well, it's Sheila No offense to anybody named Sheila who's listening right Or if it's your boss, right, why? What is it that they're saying or doing that is causing you to now second-guess yourself?

John Neral:

Number two is about challenging assumptions that often are directly tied into your fear of failure. See, a lot of times when I'm working with people, they'll come to me and say, oh, i'm really worried. Okay, well, they're worried because they care. They're worried about their career path, their promotion potential, their promotion eligibility, if they're going to get recognized, if they're going to be making more money. A lot of those worries stem from the fact that they care. But we got to pull that back and say, okay, what are you actually in control over? So if you're making certain assumptions my boss doesn't like me, the project lead hates me I want you to lean into those assumptions, and if you are listening to this and you are entertaining a job offer, what I want you to consider here is are you thinking more about what can go wrong or what can go right?

John Neral:

Remember that our brains default to the negative about 70 to 75% of the time initially, and so if your brain is quickly getting flooded with all these negative thoughts about everything that can go wrong like, oh my gosh, i'm going to go to this new company and then they're going to lay me off, or I'm going to go into this new job and I'm not going to succeed and they're going to fire me, or oh my gosh, what if the company I'm working for, something great happens to them and I'm no longer there, are you entertaining the things that are going to go wrong, or are you really leaning into the things that may go right, but we can't be Pollyanna about this. We can't think that it's all rainbows and unicorns and sparklers and think, oh, this is great, i'm going to go to this new job. We will always assess risk. So my question to you then is how long does it take you to make a decision? And in making that decision, do you give yourself a timeline like I'm going to sleep on it or I'm going to take 48 hours? Mel Robbins is famous for her 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 decision or action strategy. She'll be thinking about something and she'll go 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and then she goes ahead and does something. Now, i'm not sure that's necessarily going to work here when we're making a major life and career decision about what kind of job you want to take and whether or not you accept an offer, right. But nevertheless, i believe it is fair for us to admit that we have all spent a lot of time in the drama and spent more time wondering how long is it really going to take us to make a decision? So see if there's a way to shorten that window, but still feel comfortable and confident in your decision.

John Neral:

The other thing about second guessing leads us into number three, which is where are you focusing on your strengths? Oftentimes, we hear that we need to be improving in certain areas. Well, what Gallup says in their research, especially with the tens of millions of people who have taken the Gallup Strengths Finder Assessment, is that when you find work that particularly honors the top five or top five strengths out of their 34 workplace skills or strengths that they assess, that you tend to find work that is more aligned to your area of expertise, you are happier, more fulfilled, you tend to make more money right. So what are your strengths? How can you look at your strengths and leverage them when making a decision here? And that leads me, then, into number four gather your information and learn from your past experiences. We all have experiences, and some of them are traumatic.

John Neral:

Maybe you went to go work for a company and six months later, found out you got laid off. Or maybe you made a move only to find out that you worked for the most horrific boss ever. Or maybe you trusted your gut and you assessed all the risks and you took the lead and your career accelerated far better and far quicker than you ever, ever, ever thought it would. Gathering information informs decisions, but usually we don't make those decisions alone. So I wanna ask you, who is on your personal board of directors, who are the people that you trust to go to and seek consultation or advice from on a matter that you find yourself second guessing? And are those people on your personal board of directors? are they helping or hurting you, or are you simply looking for the answer you wanna hear? We have a rule in my household that we don't coach each other unless we ask for it, and my husband came to me several months ago with something he was second guessing and wondering And he asked me my thoughts on it. And so I looked at him and I said do you want me to answer this as your husband or as a coach? Cause I go two totally different approaches. And he's like give me both. And I was like no, no, which one do you want first? And so we worked through that, and being able to talk through some things can be really, really helpful, but always make sure that that person is going to help move you forward as well.

John Neral:

There's a great comment from the author Geneen Roth. She wrote several books about compulsive overeating And in one of her books she talks about an afgo and I'm gonna keep this kid friendly She calls it another effing growth opportunity. Oftentimes we can get ourselves stuck thinking that we're looking for the afgo, we're looking for that. do we really need another growth opportunity Or are we really ready to just play full out and go balls to the wall and let's just make it happen? You have to decide that. That's where your intel helps you. As you gather that information. How is that helping inform your decision? We're all data gatherers. I'm a huge proponent of doing a pro and con list. In my book, your Mid-Career GPS, we talk about how to create pro and con lists, for making a pro and con list For making decisions and then using that with a scoring system to help us look very objectively at how much is in the pro column and how much weight is in the con column. So gather your information.

John Neral:

Lastly, number five is trust, your intuition. When we think about intuition, i want you to consider it is your gut instinct. It is the thing, that inner voice that guides you or tells you If you are a person of faith. Whomever you believe in, you may rely on your faith and you may pray about it to help you make that decision. But your intuition, what's going on in your gut. That is always a factor in how we come to a decision. I have worked with people and know people where they rely very heavily on their intuition and when they get to that decision, there is such peace and clarity about how they want to move forward. I've worked with other people who'll say to me John, my gut's not that great. Okay, when was it? When are you more inclined to trust your intuition? When you think about second guessing yourself, let's acknowledge that you're still going to do it. What I want to offer you today is that there is a way to limit the amount of time we second guess. Tip number one was recognizing the pattern. Number two was challenging assumptions around your fear of failure. Number three was about focusing on your strengths. Number four was gathering your information and learning from previous experiences. Number five was trusting your intuition.

John Neral:

This episode is very relevant because I have been second guessing some things with this podcast. I started this podcast on January 11th of 2021. Here we are at episode 164. To this day, i still love doing this podcast. I get to meet some wonderful people that reach out because of it.

John Neral:

Six months ago, i made a decision to launch the mid-career GPS Podcast Plus. That's the subscriber platform that if you want to support the show, you can do that as well. You get a bonus episode because of it. But I still felt like something was missing. About six weeks ago I had a conversation with someone who is just quickly becoming just a dear, dear colleague. His name is Mac Pritchard. He is the host of the Find Your Dream Job podcast.

John Neral:

I recently interviewed Mac His interview is going to drop later on this month where we talk about the importance of conducting informational interviews to very intentionally grow your network. Mac hosts one of the top-rated career podcasts. We were talking during the interview and the planning call and he said to me so, john, how's the show doing? I said you know, mac, it's doing really well. We recently cracked the top 2.5% of all podcasts that are out there. I am blessed and honored that people reach out to me from the podcast and they say hey, i've been listening for a while. I want to know do you have spaces for one-on-one coaching? Currently the answer is yes, just looking at it as a way to continually grow my business. So Mac said to me so, john, if you want to really help your show take off, double your episodes, and I thought, oh my gosh, i'm only one person, how am I going to be able to do that? And so I second guess that a lot, a lot, and the five tips that I walked you through here are exactly the five things that I did to come to this decision about what's next.

John Neral:

Starting next week, there will be two episodes per week dropped for the mid-career GPS podcast. The plan is, on Tuesdays, you're going to get a shorty episode for me, somewhere in the 10-20 minute mark, featuring a specific tip to help you build your mid-career GPS, and then, on Thursdays, i'm going to bring you an interview with a guest who's got an amazing career transformation story career pivot. They're an expert in the field, sharing some information, but all designed to help you build your mid-career GPS. So I'm excited to see where it goes. I have a timeframe for what I'm going to commit to it as So, right now, the plan is to commit to it from now till the end of the year.

John Neral:

I've got some other resources that are coming in to help support me growing the show and really getting this podcast to get out to more and more people, as I think about how many more people I get to serve through this outreach, so you can help me with that. So, if you want to help share this episode with somebody, share the link to the podcast, tell people about it When you're talking to them. Be like, hey, you need to pull out your smartphone and bring up this podcast because it's really helpful and have them follow or subscribe right there, whatever that is, whatever you're comfortable with. But I am so honored when people share the show and tell other people about it And you are helping me fulfill my mission, which is when I left my corporate job over six years ago, it was because I could help more people outside of that organization than I could inside of it, and you're helping me do that. So thank you.

John Neral:

So happy 4th of July, stay safe, be well. I look forward to seeing you back next week, but until then, my friends remember this We build our mid-career GPS one mile or one step at a time, and how we show up matters. Make it a great rest of your day. Happy 4th of July, take care. Thank you for listening to the Mid-Career GPS podcast. Make sure to follow on your favorite listening platform And, if you have a moment, i'd love to hear your comments on Apple Podcast. Visit johnnarrowcom for more information about how I can help you build your mid-career GPS or how I can help you and your organization with your next workshop or public speaking event. And don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at John Narrow Coaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters.

Overcoming Second Guessing in Your Career
Making Decisions and Trusting Your Intuition