Do you sometimes feel like an imposter at work? Do you second guess your competence or worry that people will eventually ‘see through you’ and fire you from a job that you’re completely overwhelmed by? Take a deep breath—many people feel just as scared as you do, and it’s your confidence (not your competence) that needs a boost. Here are some tips
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Instead of bashing yourself for every mistake you make, or feeling bad because you don’t know the answers, tell yourself: ‘I’m smart enough to ask questions and tell people when I need help.’ Remember that you’re not expected to know everything; you were hired for certain strengths and everything else can be learned on the job. Plus, even the most brilliant CEOS rely on a good team, and so can you! Work with others on things that you’re not too confident about.
Trust yourself—and the person who hired you
The company reviewed many candidates and thought you were the best among them. Trust their decision and know that if you got in there, you belong there. The pressure may be high but that’s part of the territory—you wouldn’t even be in the game if they didn’t think you could take it.
See failure as a starting point, not an end
Don’t think of failure as a dead-end, but an impetus to see a problem or question from another perspective. ‘That didn’t work…what will?’
Don’t take things personally
Women are more likely to take criticism personally and internalize it. Know that nobody is out to get you, and that the one harsh word on your presentation is simply a comment on your presentation—not an indication that you’re stupid, incompetent, or unworthy of the job.
Celebrate your accomplishments
Keep a journal of all the little victories , praise, and positive things about yourself. Turn to this whenever you feel insecure or worn down.
create a support system at work
Office politics and negativity can eat at your self-esteem. Look for positive people in the office and seek their advice and affirmation. This will increase your sense of belonging and also give you a support system when things get tough.
Photo from eliminatingstress.org