What if you are scared you are not good enough at your work

I think we all sometimes have this nagging feeling that we could do a better job. We’re all sometimes scared we’re not good enough. Work is very demanding, and we want to be good. Maybe there’s also competition between colleagues, maybe you have targets to meet.

But sometimes feelings of insecurity become a problem. You might get anxious and you might not sleep so well because of it. Or you keep postponing things you really need to do, because you are scared they won’t be good. That’s an awful situation to be in.

This is what you can do:


1. Make peace with your inner critic


So who is telling you that you are not good enough? I bet it’s not your boss or your colleagues. I bet it’s this nagging voice in yourself, telling you that you could be better. So what could you do to get rid of this annoying voice that is making your life miserable? The answer might be surprising: don’t.


If this inner critic were a person? What would happen if you tried to get rid of this person and ignored him when he talks? People don’t like to be ignored. So if you ignore him chances are, he would talk louder and louder, more and more, in order to get heard. A similar thing might be going with your inner critic.


So maybe try to make peace with him?


But how do you do that? Well, start with listening. Not all he says might be annoying nonsense. And when it is, realise that he is only trying to do his best. Thank him politely for his contribution, but tell him that right now his advice is not so useful.

Living in peace with your inner critic will save you a lot of energy that you so badly need for other things.


2. Aren’t you, just maybe, a little hard on yourself?


Most of us are hard on ourselves from time to time. It helps if you realise what’s going on: you're not a bad person, you’re just being hard on yourself.


It works even better to change perspective. How would things look from your best friend’s perspective? She might say things like: “You really didn’t have time to think that decision over, so no-one would have done this right, under the circumstances”. If you’re really into this, you might even have your imaginary best friend write a letter to you.


3. What if it’s just true?


Let’s face it - maybe there are things in your work that you’re not so good at? It’s better to be realistic about it. Like with the inner critic, it’s so much easier if you don’t fight it. And there probably are many practical solutions for it:

  • Maybe there’s a way to be better at this particular thing. Ask a colleague how they do it. Take a course.

  • Ask for help. It’s not the end of the world to admit that you can’t be good at everything. Ask a colleague for help. Talk with your boss about it. Maybe there is someone else who could do this. And you can focus on what you’re really good at.

Do you need more?

Feelings of uncertainty or even imposter syndrome can be really really stubborn. Tips in a blog can be a good start, but coaching really can make the difference. Did you like this blog? I coach people around these kind of feelings and about other problems at work. Why not have a look at my website fromsurvivingtothriving.nl or contact me for a free coaching consultation?


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