This post is specifically written to those of you out there that are in the beginning of their career. It is OK to have low self confidence – just not forever.
I often get asked the question:
How do you manage to keep a constant high self confidence level?
I really could not provide a clear answer. At least, not until today. Does it come as a natural thing to me? Have I done something in the past that rewired my brain?
The Story of Low Self Confidence – Starting A New Job
The troubleshooting begins with a story from our everyday life. I have changed a considerable amount of job position is the past few years. The process of integration into a new company can be a daunting feat. A new environment, totally new personalities, specific hierarchy and a unique set of norms that define that organizational culture.
Jumping in, it is only natural to have low self confidence. You do not know anybody, you are unsure of their skills and abilities, but you are also afraid of their roles:
Role, in sociology, the behavior expected of an individual who occupies a given social position or status. A role is a comprehensive pattern of behavior that is socially recognized, providing a means of identifying and placing an individual in a society.
Wandering that unknown environment, we cannot help ourselves, but to indulge in role-trusting. As mentioned above, each person inside that new setting, has some specific role that gives them the right to do certain things.
Well, I learned something very early on – partly because I took an elective course in Sociology and sort of loved it ever since. The real factor for low self confidence in a new setting is:
we blindly believe in the roles everyone plays!
Even worse – we take for granted all that role demands of the one who holds it.
You meet your new boss. You have no way of knowing of judging his/her personality and abilities, so you take for granted what the position boss requires. Hmm – to really become the boss, you must be good?
Continuing the story – you start collaborating and trusting the “system”. You are supposed to be:
- curious (but not too much)
- “yes” man/woman
- grateful for position you have been offered
But I learned that all these characteristics of the “system” are absolutely paradoxical and depressing. Each of us is unique. We all bring something different to the table. Being afraid to speak and act makes us virtually useless on the new job.
Starting out in the beginning of your career you are going to face all kinds of rejections and drawbacks. Not because there is something wrong with you, but because you are way better then them. You are not supposed to know so much, learn so fast, multitask or even have fun!
You are going to be constantly degraded for your years and “inexperience” because no one can really understand your true potentials. This in itself is a paradox. And it leads to your depression.
Soon enough, you come to an intersection:
Everyone around stands for something you find paradoxical. Their sheer number must mean they are right! Low self confidence thrives in this setting. When you do not comply, it must mean there is something wrong with you. The thoughts creep in. Am I good enough? Will I ever be successful? I am young and inexperienced – everyone must know better than me. MISTAKE!
Thinking they are right is going to kill all your hopes and dreams. Living in the past is bad enough. It is even worse when you are not going to accept that you shape the future. You make your destiny. So do what you believe in.
Yes, you are probably going to be marked as a person who is not reliable. You are probably going to try to change a lot of jobs. Each would seem like a dead end. Just remember – persistence is virtue. Persist to achieve what you want and how you want it.
It All Ends Today
If you are reading this far, I am glad to say you are more than ready to change your life. Stop being the black sheep trying to satisfy everyone else. You will grow old by being miserable.
Staring doing something you love today is going to mark the beginning of a new chapter. No matter if it is a new business or a totally new career path, you, and only you will make that choice.
Stick to your vision – all setbacks are just one more gray hair you can look back upon.