Yes, I am one of those parents I am afraid. I didn’t quite make Kent county rugby, so I am inwardly delighted that my 12-year-old daughter Lizzie (pictured) is trialling for Cambridgeshire county netball in early June.
I love encouraging my two kids to push their boundaries in all sorts of areas, but there are times when I feel that it is right to sit back and let them decide their limits.
Lizzie is an amazing shooter (averages 96% accuracy), but she definitely has aspects of her wider game that could be better. She is one of the stars in her town team, who have only been beaten twice this year.
However, to set herself up for a potential knock-back by trying to take the first step onto the “England Pathway” is her decision, and her decision alone.
She wanted to give it a go. Good on her.
Then, soon after, the doubts crept in.
What if they don’t take me – will I have a chance again next year? Do I need to change my shooting technique – I know that it isn’t exactly textbook. Maybe I need to go on longer runs and do lots of press ups and sit ups every morning? What if I get in and my friends don’t? What if I become ill or injured the day before the trial?
If you let doubts linger, they can be debilitating. However, if you choose to address them and work them through in your own way, they can strengthen your resolve.
I shared my thoughts with her when she asked me, while always leaving the choice of not going to the trial this year on the table. I let her know that doubts were an entirely normal part of pushing boundaries and that any new pursuit would contain an element of the unknown.
It was a process that I can see repeating itself for years to come, and it is definitely a process that any job seeker is intimately familiar with.
No one is certain that they will get their dream job.
Dealing with (overcoming or living with) doubts is a key step to interview confidence.
If you don’t doubt the outcome of a meeting with a (near) total stranger then there is something wrong with you, but it is important to focus on the things that you can control rather than those you can’t.
Lizzie can have confidence that her shooting percentage is top class. If they don’t like her technique, then that is up to them. They might decide to take her on anyway and coach her. She is in control of shooting a jaw-dropping 50/50. The rest is up to them.
A job seeker is equally in control of telling their career story and making sure that it is true to themselves. A potential employer will ask questions to ascertain a potential fit – what is important for some is less important for others. If a candidate has no doubt that they have a great story to tell, they have nothing to worry about. They will find the role for them.
Doubts only matter if they are debilitating and stop you from performing at your best.
That is when they are dangerous, and you cannot let them grow.
I know that on the day of the trial, Lizzie will go and smash it. She will deal with her doubts in her own way over the weeks to come, and hopefully they might give her a chance.
Doubts can actually sow the seeds of confidence.
On the netball court or in the interview room.