Aplomb
(Doubting Self-Doubt)

Self-Doubt is even more problematic than regret. A negative and disabling story, self-doubt robs us of the courage to attempt possibilities we have envisioned or shrink from opportunities others want to extend us that we don't believe we are capable of.

 

Because self doubt is such a natural part of facing uncertainty, it isn’t a sign that you should stop, but rather the territory that requires triage, a digging deeper to that place inside yourself that believes your offering is worthwhile. We name this tool “aplomb” because it’s such a great word, coming from the French for a plumb line, denoting steadiness, confidence, poise. When something is done with “aplomb” there is self-assurance, even nonchalance. 

 

Aplomb is about going rogue on self-doubt, a proverbial spitting in its face and trying anyway. In moving towards our self doubt head on we shoot the clay pigeon of it and it either proves to be true (giving us the freedom to move on to other things) or we achieve what we believed was impossible and conquer our fear of failure.  

It's a "graduate level" frame because coming up against self-doubt under conditions of uncertainty is doubly hard. When we are feeling anxious, it's easier to bow out than push against its crushing defeatist effects. In reality, uncertainty is the perfect time to test our limiting beliefs rigorously. Otherwise, the uncertainty of whether we could do it or not lives on.