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A little doubt can go a long way

Having that little question mark hovering quietly in the back of your mind can keep you focused on real, obtainable achievements

Self-doubt, to be precise. We've all experienced it before - some of us more than others – and usually when undertaking a new venture or commitment, like starting a new job or course of study. You know – that little voice inside your head that says Can I really do this?

We also seem to think that those who are successful in their craft can somehow truck along without ever questioning themselves. And then we're all surprised when they admit to human frailty.

For example, Australian rock legend Paul Kelly often doubts his own abilities, stating that he feels "like a total beginner. I don't feel like I have got it nailed yet." Yes, Paul Kelly said that. The same Paul Kelly who's just come away from this year's Country Music Awards in Tamworth with another award.

But although it can feel scary, a bit of self-doubt is generally a healthy thing. As long as you recognize it for what it is and basically keep it in its place, rather than let it affect your confidence. It can help keep things real. Having that little question mark hovering quietly in the back of your mind can keep you focused on real, obtainable achievements.

Clearly, self-doubt is a real human emotion. It affects the great and the small alike. When you hear of a great admitting to it, I believe you can really take heart. It's great to know that you're not alone, but even more importantly, it's great to see that you can recover and progress. If Paul Kelly really doubted himself, then there'd be no more Paul Kelly songs to listen to and enjoy, and be inspired by.

The take home? If you've just enrolled in a TAFE NSW course and you're entertaining some private doubts, don't worry – it's a normal human response and you're in good company. Congratulations on starting the next chapter of your life. You've made the decision that a TAFE NSW qualification is going to help you get ahead and win that job, or improve your career, or even put you on the path to a new one. I believe you've already made the most difficult decision.