Leadership

Arianna Huffington says these 2 things help her tackle self-doubt

Arianna Huffington speaks onstage during the "THRIVE with Arianna Huffington" panel at The Town Hall during 2016 Advertising Week New York on September 28, 2016 in New York City.
Slaven Vlasic | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Arianna Huffington speaks onstage during the "THRIVE with Arianna Huffington" panel at The Town Hall during 2016 Advertising Week New York on September 28, 2016 in New York City.

If you've ever experienced self-doubt in your career and want to tackle it in the future, Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington has some advice for you: Use laughter and focus on your best qualities.

In a video interview for Amazon, the businesswoman says that every entrepreneur has a certain voice in their head, which she likes to call "The Obnoxious Roommate Living in my Head."

"It's a voice of self-doubt, a voice of self-judgment, a voice that doesn't trust us and questions everything we're doing," says Huffington.

During her early years, Huffington's "obnoxious roommate" had a strong voice and she had to work hard to "evict" that voice from her head.

"I find a sense of humor helps," she says. "I find the other thing that helps is recognizing that voice is not the truth and that voice is not who I am."

Huffington isn't alone when it comes to experiencing self-doubt. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and philanthropist Melinda Gates have also had to overcome this emotion.

In a 2017 Harvard commencement speech, Zuckerberg said that people were interested in buying Facebook during its early years.

While he was against selling Facebook, those around him disagreed and were pressuring him to accept an offer. His refusal led to an internal rift within Facebook's management team and many employees quit.

"After one tense argument, an advisor told me if I didn't agree to sell, I would regret the decision for the rest of my life," said Zuckerberg. "I wondered if I was just wrong, an impostor, a 22-year-old kid who had no idea how the world worked."

Despite his self-doubt, he stuck to his guns, trusted himself and refused to sell. The company is now valued at over $500 billion and the entrepreneur has a net worth of $72.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Gates admits that she's also suffered from self-doubt in a recent LinkedIn post and gives four tips to overcome this negative emotion:

  1. Recognize that everyone experiences self-doubt
  2. Reflect on past successes
  3. Remember you can always improve
  4. Ask yourself where these feelings are stemming from

In her video interview, Huffington adds that you're more likely to experience self-judgment if you're a perfectionist. "The important thing," she says, "is how quickly we course-correct."

Plus, leaving room for mistakes "makes it easier to deal with that obnoxious voice," says Huffington.

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See also:

4 ways you can overcome self-doubt and achieve success

5 Olympians share their advice on how you can exceed your goals

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