First and foremost you need to believe in yourself and trust in your abilities. Does that mean you won’t second-guess yourself from time to time? Of course not! Second guessing just means you want to insure you do it right and playing devil’s advocate with yourself is healthy, to a point.
Believing in yourself means to trust your OWN judgment and believe in your training and education. The best leaders know they don't know everything. They are constantly trying to improve and refine their leadership ability and skill.
A huge part of believing in yourself is always saying, "today is a new day!" Yesterday is over; win, lose or draw, it's done. If you made a less than desirable decision yesterday or made a great one, that day is done, it's time to press on!
Here's a good activity ...
Keep a running log of events and compile an after-actions review (AAR) for yourself every few days or after key events
Don’t make this lengthy ... simple three pluses (areas to sustain) and three minuses (areas to improve) are all that’s needed
If you over complicate this list you will become over whelmed with either over-ego or over-anxiety
If you dwell in the facts of a good or less than desirable decision the next day you will consistently attack your belief in yourself
Use what you've learned (both positive and negative) to ignite your new day
Now, HOW do you believe in yourself? It starts with how you feel. “A good day starts with good PT!” PT in the military term for "physical training", and by getting out there nearly every day doing something physical will naturally produce the proper endorphins in believing in you.
Also, become technically and tactically proficient. Know your work from the detailed standpoint (technically) and then must be able to execute that work (tactically) in a timely manner.
It comes down to you, how you feel about yourself and your abilities. By doing PT, training yourself both technically and tactically, you are strengthening your decision-making ability and will be able to make a decision based on what you know and your experiences.
Finally, your instincts have to be based on doing it right. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it sounds like a shortcut, it probably is. Use your instincts to learn from your pluses and areas to improve to make a sound and timely decision. Your instincts, your “gut,” use this to drive your leadership in the right direction.
Note: I use the term "less than desirable" decision because a "bad decision" in my terms is only when it costs a life, limb or eyesight. Keep this in mind and keep this in perspective.
The take away:
Trust in your abilities and your training. Remember training is a life-long process!
3 sustains and 3 improvements per event in your leadership log
Don’t let the highs get to high; or the low’s get to low