Building Confidence: Leveraging Product Mindset 💪, Brag Books, and Gratitude 🥰 用產品思維、Brag Books 及感恩的心累積自信來源

Karen Hsieh
6 min readJan 8, 2024

中文請往下

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Self-Doubt is Normal 😌

In my career, I’ve met many talented individuals, myself included, who often don’t realize how capable they truly are. They work tirelessly, aiming for perfection and sometimes burning out, driven by the fear of missing out (FOMO) and a desire to gain recognition from their company. However, even without external doubts about their abilities, they still feel they’re not good enough.

“Most of us allow far too much self-doubt into our lives.”
—
ideas.ted.com

I frequently find myself wondering, ‘Why do I seek support from others?’ or ‘Why can’t I complete this task within a week as expected?’ I even question myself, ‘Why did I take a wrong turn, leading to needing guidance from my manager?’ These thoughts are common and deeply influence our mindset.

The study of self-doubt isn’t new; it has been a research topic since at least 2012.

“Self-doubt is a state of uncertainty about anything concerning ourselves. It could be regarding our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, opinions, decisions, self-views, or any ‘truth’ we hold in our minds. Overall, we may feel unstable and question our self-competence.”
—
Braslow et al., 2012

This issue has long been prevalent, affecting a diverse range of people.

Face it with a Product Mindset 🧠

Navigating emotions, particularly self-doubt, can be tough. Instead of ignoring these feelings, handle them with the same approach used in product development. In product design, we don’t make assumptions about user needs; we gather data, talk to users, and test our hypotheses.

Apply this methodology to self-reflection too.

The double-diamond process, common in product development, involves identifying problems (product discovery) and creating solutions (product delivery).

Double-diamond from Product board

Consider this process for personal growth. Begin by questioning the root of your uncertainty. For instance, when you think, “Why do I need support from others?” follow these steps:

  1. Observation: Acknowledge your self-doubt. ‘I doubt my abilities; I don’t feel competent enough.’
  2. Defining the Problem: Identify what specifically you doubt about yourself. Remember, this is just an assumption to validate.
  3. Gathering Data: Reflect on past achievements related to this doubt.
  4. User Interviews: Get feedback from colleagues or mentors regarding your skills and contributions.
  5. Analysis: Evaluate the data and feedback. Consider, ‘Do I truly lack skills, or are there specific areas to improve?’
  6. Testing Assumptions: Challenge your initial belief by setting achievable goals in the areas you feel deficient.

Use Brag Book 🌟 to Review Accomplishments

Beyond reviewing work history, a brag book is a powerful tool. It’s a personal record of achievements, positive feedback, and successful moments, serving as tangible proof of your capabilities.

My coach, who taught me so much, introduced me to the “Brag Book.” She asked me to list 50 things I’m proud of, big or small. 50 seems a lot. It’s a belief from her that I have so many accomplishments. When I spent an afternoon in a coffee shop reflecting, I found I had more than 50 items to be proud of. The thing doesn’t need to be big like winning an award. Instead, record the thing that you feel fulfillment or accomplishment. This exercise was incredibly rewarding and became a habit. For instance, a thank you DM “Thanks for organizing meetups that I’m related to most of the questions speakers mentioned.” was a highlight 💜 that boosted my day.

It’s too personal to share my brag book here, but I’ve logged 232 items in two years, averaging something that makes me happy every three days.

My Brag book

Whenever self-doubt arises, I review my brag book to remind myself of my accomplishments, reigniting my confidence.

Explore More Assumptions 🤔

When addressing these doubts, consider various factors:

  • Is the task new to you or the team?
  • Does it require teamwork?
  • Have you underestimated its complexity?
  • Are there changing requirements from stakeholders?
  • Are other high-priority tasks taking precedence?

Remember, it’s not always about lacking skills. 🙅‍♀️

This is a practical method to dive into problems. Explore the reasons that cause the problem. It will require you to observe, think critically and challenge more possibilities.

Arm Yourself with More! 💪

I’d like to share two mindsets that help me combat self-doubt:

Gratitude Improves Self-Confidence 🌟

Studies show that gratitude enhances self-esteem and self-confidence. When I’m more positive, I feel less anxious and happier, leading to better self-esteem.

Experiencing gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation tends to foster positive feelings, which in turn, contribute to one’s overall sense of well-being. Therefore, gratitude appears to be one component, among many components, that contributes to an individual’s well-being.

Search “gratitude and well-being” in Google

I learned about this in The Science of Well-Being course on Coursera in 2020. I use Notion to create a daily diary, and reflecting on gratitude is a part of my routine.

My diary template

Just a minute of gratitude reflection each day can significantly boost happiness 🥰.

Embrace the Growth Mindset 🌱

Understanding the real reasons behind seeking support is key to overcoming self-doubt.

For example, I used to think my English wasn’t good enough because I’m not a native speaker. Recognizing that language proficiency isn’t limited to native speakers led me to practice more. My journey in improving my English writing reflects this mindset.

Let’s Deal with Self-Doubt Together 💪🌟

I hope this article resonates with you. Be kind to yourself, and let’s tackle this challenge together.

🤩 I’m happy to hear how you do data or products. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn Karen Hsieh or Twitter @ijac_wei.

🙋🙋‍♀️ Welcome to Ask Me Anything.

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總是覺得自己不夠好,正常現象 😌

我遇過好幾位有潛力的同事,有時我自己也這樣,經常不知道自己的能力。他們很努力的工作,想要盡善盡美、有時用力過猛造成身心俱疲、有時對資訊焦慮,也希望能被公司認可。即便沒有人懷疑過他們的能力,但他們總是覺得自己不夠好。

“Most of us allow far too much self-doubt into our lives.” — ideas.ted.com

我常常會問自己,「為什麼我自己搞不定?總需要別人協助」或者「為什麼無法在本週內完成?」有時也質疑自己,「為什麼會搞錯方向,還需要主管來糾正我?」這些念頭很常發生,且會影響情緒。

自我懷疑的現象在 2012 就開始有學術研究

“Self-doubt is a state of uncertainty about anything concerning ourselves. It could be regarding our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, opinions, decisions, self-views, or any ‘truth’ we hold in our minds. Overall, we may feel unstable and question our self-competence.” — Braslow et al., 2012

這個狀況在很久以前就有,且影響多數人。

用產品思維來面對 🧠

面對自我懷疑有點難,比起忽略它一直沈浸在這個情緒,試試看用產品開發的方式來思考。在規劃產品的時候,我們不會假設自己是使用者,然後就覺得要什麼,而是會蒐集資料、跟使用者對談來驗證假設是否正確。

把這個方法也應用到對自身的觀點上。

下圖 double-diamond 流程,在產品開發或設計中很常被使用,建議規劃時思考問題釐清(product discovery) 以及構想解法(product delivery).

Double-diamond from Product board

把這個方法也用在自我成長上。可以從挖掘你的自我懷疑開始。例如,當我們想到「為什麼我自己搞不定?總需要別人協助」,試試看以下步驟

  1. 觀察:察覺你開始自我懷疑了,「我開始懷疑我的能力,我真的做得到嗎?」
  2. 定義問題:確認一下你特別懷疑自己什麼。記得,到這一步都還只是假設,需要驗證。
  3. 蒐集資料:尋找過去完成的事情,協助判斷對自己懷疑的能力是否真實。
  4. 訪談:問問你的同事,或主管、mentor, 是否你的能力跟貢獻真的不足。
  5. 分析:參考蒐集到的資料跟訪談結果,再重新思考「我真的缺乏某個能力或者某些部分待加強?」
  6. 驗證假設:假設你發現真的有某個能力待加強,設計幾個方法來提供並驗證這個能力。

用 Brag Book 🌟 來檢視過去成就

除了看過去工作表現來檢視過去成就,Brag book 是很棒的工具。指的是一個個人紀錄成就、正面回饋以及成功的精彩時刻,可以證明你的能力。

這是我的教練教的。她要求我要寫下 50 件我覺得自己做的或感覺很棒的事情。50 件事看來不可思議,其實是她相信我有這麼多事可以寫。也真的我花一個下午在咖啡廳想一想就寫完了,而且我才發現原來我遺忘了這麼多美好的事。紀錄的事情不用得要大到像得獎之類的,只要你覺得有成就感、覺小確幸的就可以了。這個回憶起美好事情的感覺太棒,因此變成一種習慣。例如,當我收到有人私訊我:感謝你主辦許多交流,我對分享者討論的議題都非常有感。真的可以開心一整天 💜。

有點太過私人無法將我的 Brag book 貼在這邊,但可以分享一下,我在兩年內就紀錄了 232 個讓我覺得感動、有成就的事,也就是說我每 3 天就有一個成就。

My Brag book

每次當我覺察到我在自我懷疑,我就回去翻這本 Brag book, 然後提醒我「嘿,有這麼多成就,你沒這麼差啦~」

探索更多假設 🤔

當發現這些自我懷疑、無法將事情完成的時候,不只認為自己能力不足🙅‍♀️,多探索一些可能

  • 這是你第一次或整個團隊第一次做這件事?
  • 是不是做這件事本來就需要團隊合作?
  • 是不是一開始錯估了事情的複雜度?
  • 有沒有在中間需求改變了?
  • 有沒有其他更緊急的工作插隊?

在挖掘問題時,探索更多假設滿有用的,深入探究可能造成這個問題的原因是什麼,不要只想到一個,然後就覺得就是它了。這需要你多觀察、思考深入並挑戰更多可能。

再給你更多工具 💪

我想在介紹兩個心態對我面對自我懷疑有幫助:

心懷感謝會增加自信 🌟

研究顯示心懷感謝會強化自我看待及自信。當我越正面看待自己,會更少焦慮並更開心。

Experiencing gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation tends to foster positive feelings, which in turn, contribute to one’s overall sense of well-being. Therefore, gratitude appears to be one component, among many components, that contributes to an individual’s well-being.

Search “gratitude and well-being” in Google

2020 年,我在 The Science of Well-Being course on Coursera 上學到心懷感謝。我用 Notion 自動建立每天的日記,並在中間保留一段是提醒自己想一下今天想感謝哪些事情或人。

My diary template

小小一分鐘的提醒,再回想的時候就產生大大的喜悅🥰。

擁抱成長思維 🌱

當你透過上述產品開發的思考,蒐集資料、分析並對你的自我懷疑提出新的假設,是讓你不要沈浸在自我懷疑,而是清楚地面對問題,幫助成長。

當你自我懷疑時,如果停在難過、挫折,無法再成長。讓我們換個想法:假設我能力不夠,是哪裡不夠?真的不夠嗎?如果是真的,我該怎麼提升。換個心態就感覺不一樣了吧~

例如,我過去覺得我英文不夠好跟我是不是英語母語者有關,既然我不是,那我做什麼沒用。當我發現想要說好英語,跟是不是母語者無關後,我就願意做更多練習,也就是這篇提到,為何我開始改以英文寫作。

讓我們一起面對自我懷疑 💪🌟

如果你對這篇文章有感,曾經也有過類似狀況,希望能幫助到你,正面看待自己,讓我們一起接受自我懷疑並面對它。

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Karen Hsieh

Product Manager driving growth and team empowerment with a user-centric and data-informed approach, aiming to pave the way for profitability.