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Confidence in the Workplace - Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Why is it so hard to believe that we are good at what we do and perfectly qualified to be doing it?

It’s something that happens to the best of us. A new position, a tough client, competition in the workplace, something comes in and challenges us. There are positive ways to handle the challenge, but there is something deep inside that reaches up to our minds to infiltrate, saying, “maybe you just aren’t cut out for this”. I’ve seen this happen to entrepreneurs and felt it as an entrepreneur firsthand and it is NO JOKE!

Why is it so hard to believe that we are good at what we do and perfectly qualified to be doing it?

Sure, I’ve felt confident in my skills at work. I’ve been validated by my peers and mentors in the workplace. All of that is beneficial and empowering, but it’s not the rule by any means. 

When everyone in the workplace is striving to improve and is ambitious, it can feel tense and frustrating. How are you supposed to stand out and make a name for yourself? How can you trust your coworkers if you all are after the same prize with only one winner? The corporate world has created the vicious monster of cutthroat workplaces.  After working in a place like this, it can be especially difficult to believe that your employer or team has your best interests at heart. When we enter the world of entrepreneurship, however, the same issues are still present. There are folks cheering you on for taking the courageous route and starting your own business, there are the competitors that feel like a looming giant immediately, then there are the voices inside your own head questioning you. 

Something that we’ve recently been talking about at Kaizen-Life is knowing the WHY behind your work. It’s been on my mind and as I think about different scenarios related to work, I can see its importance even more!  

Even if you’re not looking to start your own business and are working in the corporate world, you must know why you show up to work every day. Sure, there’s the paycheck, but you should break it down even further than that. To find joy and reach above the toxic environments we are sometimes placed in, we need to know why we are here. Do you work so that you can travel? Keep that goal right in front of you. Have the pictures of your next destination pinned in your office. Do you work to support your family? Keep them front and center in your mind for the rough moments. Anything that keeps you on that tedious drive to work every day can be part of your why. When you know the reason for working the job you do, your confidence automatically spikes! 

Next, you need to set yourself up for success. If there are areas where you are lacking, delegate some help or set aside time dedicated to that specific area to focus and improve. If you know that certain coworkers or teammates are hard to handle, show up prepared. (In whatever way works best for you! Push through the uncomfortable to create an unlikely friendship, or just be kind and avoid them when you can). The only way to acquire confidence is to appear confident. If you plan accordingly for big presentations or meeting new leads, you’ll be set up for success! 

Finally, turn off those negative thoughts! Something that I’ve been working on in the new year is not allowing those things I think about myself cloud the things that I know to be true about myself. In the instance of work, I would take the parts of me that say, “you’re not cut out for this, they should be hiring elsewhere” with, “I have the experience and talent they are looking for; I am well suited for this work.” It has been immensely helpful to me and my own personal confidence. It’s amazing what happens when you don’t even allow those thoughts to manifest in your mind! The minute I feel negatively about myself, I change the subject. As stated before, people gain confidence by choosing to be confident. 

So, while these tips may not completely negate your imposter syndrome, I certainly believe that you will not notice it as much!

When we believe in our why, when we set ourselves up for success, when we choose to believe in our skills, we GROW.

If you have been experiencing a lack of confidence from day to day at work, I want to encourage you that doubt is not going to help! Shift your focus and remember what is driving you.  


- Abigail Alano