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Overcoming a financial advisor’s internal self-doubts [Cedrick Cruz]
Overcoming a financial advisor’s internal self-doubts [Cedrick Cruz]

Mar 25 2024

Overcoming a financial advisor’s internal self-doubts

Cedrick Cruz shares the strategies he employs to overcome career anxiety.

Topics Covered

Despite being a young and thriving financial advisor, Cedrick Cruz, a one-year MDRT member from Mandaluyong City, Philippines, acknowledges facing frequent bouts of self-doubt. He had a rocky start to his current career, as he let go of his previous job in marketing to join the financial advising industry during the pandemic. As the breadwinner of his family, this posed numerous uncertainties. With his warm market and immediate circle dealing with financial difficulties, he faced a series of disappointments, from lukewarm prospects to rejected proposals and canceled policies.   

These challenges made him question his skills and abilities. As the world emerged from the pandemic, Cruz was able to establish his footing. However, his career anxieties remained. Despite his numerous achievements in the past year, Cruz feels anxious about the new year ahead, wondering if he can surpass his previous success. Seeing his peers and colleagues perform better adds to the pressure, making him feel left behind. “There were many moments when I was not performing well because of self-doubt, which is when I realized I had to change my mindset.” 

Maintaining a positive attitude amidst setbacks 

Maintaining a positive attitude despite setbacks has been pivotal for Cruz. He recounts an instance when he lost at least three potential clients, resulting in a decline in his persistence rate and rendering him ineligible for specific incentives. Such experiences, compounded by challenging interactions with demanding clients, stirred feelings of inadequacy. “Besides losing these bonuses, having difficult clients is one of the surefire triggers for self-doubt. You start questioning whether you’re good or credible enough to gain their trust and confidence.” 

Cruz initially grappled with these emotions but eventually recognized the need for a shift in perspective. Through conversations with his teammates and introspection, he reframed setbacks as opportunities for growth. “While I might not have gained something, I did not lose anything. They’re just incentives.” This change in mindset empowered Cruz to strategize more effectively and enhance his client engagement approach. 

Having “Me Time” and celebrating small victories 

Cruz emphasizes self-reflection and nurturing personal growth habits. Activities such as walking, listening to podcasts, and reading books allow him to have moments of introspection and cultivate a positive headspace. “Mindset is everything. I overthink a lot, which creates problems even when there are none. Whenever I’m about to meet high-net-worth clients, sometimes negative thoughts take over. ‘What if my client thinks I’m incompetent? Or what if he thinks I’m not smart enough?’ These thoughts trigger my anxiety.” Introspection made him realize that overthinking is the root cause of his self-doubt. Now, before he faces a client, he boosts his confidence by being his loudest hype man with positive self-affirmations such as “Yes, you can” or “You’re a winner, Cedrick.”  

He celebrates small wins and acknowledges his strengths and capabilities to boost his self-confidence. He typically rewards himself by going to the mall, trying out a new restaurant, or purchasing something helpful in his practice. He believes in manifestations, setting targets, and envisioning the rewards after accomplishing these goals. “However, sometimes, I experience ‘impostor syndrome’ when I feel like I don’t deserve to celebrate my achievements.” Cruz practices delayed gratification in these moments.  

Embracing the Whole Person concept 

As a firm believer of MDRT’s Whole Person concept, Cruz strives to achieve a healthy lifestyle, maintain firm and fulfilling relationships, and improve his spiritual life. “I make sure to allot time for myself, my family, my friends, and my spiritual life.” He enjoys dancing, going to the gym, and playing with his dogs. Socializing with friends serves as one of his coping mechanisms when experiencing self-doubts. Cruz emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and self-improvement. “Investing in my education and skills development builds confidence in my abilities to better serve my clients by staying updated on industry trends and best practices.” 

His solid support system, such as his family, friends, partner, teammates, and managers, guides him whenever he doubts himself. “Sometimes, it helps when others tell you ‘You’re doing all right. Just stay the course.’ That’s why a strong support system is important. You can’t do it alone.” Cruz recognizes the value of expanding his network and seeking mentorship from experienced professionals. “Having a mentor provides valuable insights and guidance, especially during challenging times. They offer unique perspectives based on their experiences, which help reduce our blind spots.” 

While self-doubt may be a common challenge for many financial advisors, mindset shifts, self-care practices, a robust support system, networking, mentorship, and continuous learning help us navigate uncertainty and achieve our goals. 

Contact: MDRTeditorial@teamlewis.com