Advice from an Astronaut: Dealing with Self-Doubt

All, career


Social media brings people from all walks of life together. And today, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman shared her 140 character thoughts with the world in a live Twitter chat.

Hosted by brilliant women’s story site MAKERS, Cady answered questions tweeted with the hashtag #AskCady. Questions ranged from parents asking on behalf of their curious child, to adults wondering how to fulfill their childhood astronaut dreams — the live chat provided a space in which the seemingly unreachable could be reached.

My question was more of a personal one. I’ve been wondering a lot about how high achieving women reach their ambitious goals. Do they ever doubt themselves like we all do, or are astronauts like Cady selected to be immune to these so-called ‘weak’ traits? If they do, then how do they conquer these feelings of self-doubt to become the astronaut that they’ve always wanted to become?

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So, Cady’s method when faced with self-doubt is one of preparation. Sort of along the lines of the well-known saying ‘fail to be prepared and prepare to fail’. Apart from terrifying me before university exams, this phrase and Cady’s approach is a great way to deal with self-doubt. Knowing you have given it your all makes it easier to feel confident about what lies ahead.

For me though, it can take a little more than that. Sometimes, I may have put 110% into something and still have a speck of self-doubt. That’s when I take a step back, reflect on times I’ve faced and successfully conquered a similar situation and simply believe that I can do it again (also dancing around to my happy song helps too).

How do you tackle those creeping feelings of self-doubt? I’d love to hear how other women and men out there deal with this common, yet rarely talked about subject. Tweet me, or comment below 🙂

– Nikita

p.s thanks to Canadian Space Agency PR pro Magalie Renaud who let me know about this wonderful online event 🙂


2 thoughts on “Advice from an Astronaut: Dealing with Self-Doubt

  1. Great post! Thank you for posing this question to Cady.

    Like you, even when I’ve done everything I possibly could, I sometimes recognize a hint of self-doubt, and in such moments, I divert my attention from the outcome and focus on doing the activity itself, making the most out of each moment during my work. Doing this either brings good results or some useful insights I can improve from. Also, I believe celebrating little wins and being appreciative of your genius at each step can help us deal with self-doubt. We are all born to be awesome, it’s just that we forget about it sometimes 🙂

    Best of efforts for your exams Nikita 🙂


  2. Hi Sankalp, thanks for sharing in your comment! It’s great to hear your view, I agree with celebrating little wins 🙂
    Thanks! But, the exams I was referring to were years ago in university.. luckily no more exams for me!

    Liked by 1 person

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