Sometimes you're down, sometimes you're not at your best. Sometimes you're just not feeling it, and usually, it's happening in between your ears. Of course, sometimes, it's our body that doesn't follow, but most times, it's in our head. And most things that are holding us back are not only holding us back in our life, they are holding us back at work as well. Welcome back to the Confidence at Work series. Keep reading or watch the following video for more...
The first part of the series was about increasing confidence. We went over the first part of my audit to do so. Now, the second thing that we work on in my audit is how to decrease and transform negative self-talk, how to decrease self-doubt and how to get rid of the imposter syndrome that goes with it. Let's look into it.
This week also happens to be Father's Day week. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers reading this and especially to my dad! I know you are reading this dad! This blog is about some of the many things that my father taught me. He actually had my brother and I sit down in the living room and listen to Og Mandino cassette tapes. I know, I know, it ages me. Some of you don't even know what a cassette is. So, I memorized the lessons from this international bestseller, The Greatest Miracle in the World. Og Mandino conveyed four big lessons, and my father used to always repeat them to me. These four lessons just happen to apply very well in the context of decreasing our negative self-talk, our self-doubt, and our imposter syndrome.
#1. Count Your Blessings
Know and count your blessings. What are the things that you are grateful for? What are the things that you already have that you are thankful for? Listen to your own self-talk. Identify exactly what is going on. What are you saying? "Oh, I'm an imposter. I don't belong here. I don't like my job right now." Well, what is good about it? What is good about you? What are you good at?
This actually starts with understanding the stages of learning, because if you look into where you're at in the four stages of learning, that will give you an indication on how far you are from being comfortable with this new thing. Because usually, when you feel like an imposter, when you have negative self-talk, it's not in every area of your life. You are mostly a confident person, but with that new computer system, you're not. Or with this specific person, or with the new boss or with the VP or with this big client, you're not.
The first stage of learning is Unconscious Incompetence. You're not good at it, but you don't even know that it exists. So before they installed this new computer system, it was not even a thing, right? Then they brought it in, and now you're still incompetent, you're still not good at it, but you're at stage number two, you are now Consciously Incompetent, because you know that it's a thing. Just like before this video today, you may not have thought that you could change your negative self-talk. Now I'm telling you, yes, you can change that. Stage number three is Conscious Competence. That's kind of cool, because now you know that it's a thing, you know how to do it. You might have to refer back to your cheat sheet, but you're consciously competent until you can become unconsciously competent. That's where you don't even have to think about it. Just like when you drive back home after work and you're like: "Oh, how did I get here? Okay, I was not even paying attention." It's competency at an unconscious level. You don't even have to think about it.
When you are facing imposter syndrome, try to identify: Is this because you are going through the four stages of learning and you're not at this stage yet, that you are comfortable? And know that you will become comfortable, because you will get to stage four eventually. You just need to keep at it and keep persevering.
#2. Claim Your Uniqueness
Claim your uniqueness, your superpower. There's something about you that is unique. There's something about you, that skill, that way that you have to do this thing that you're really good at that is unique to you. Work on those skills, work on those strengths and use them. Invest in professional development, attend workshops, training sessions, online courses... Acquire all these new skills and the knowledge will help you boost your confidence. Therefore, this will definitely help you lower your imposter syndrome.
Identify what you are already good at as well, not just the things you need to work on or learn. It will give you that confidence in your own abilities.
#3. Go the Extra Mile
Very often, people that are perfectionists or people that are competitive and like to achieve really high standards are more prone to imposter syndrome, because if they don't win, if they're not number one, they will feel very bad about themselves, even though number two is really, really good.
Let's say you plan to exercise seven days a week. You go four days and you feel like a loser. Well, four days a week is really good, but because of this high achievement, that idea of perfectionism, you just don't see it. That may have an influence on your confidence, or your negative self-talk...
...So go the extra mile. What I'm saying here is do a little bit more than what you know you're capable of and compare yourself to yourself. Don't compare yourself to others. Know that high achievement and perfectionism can be a great thing in small doses. Do what you know you can do best and a little bit beyond. And if you reach that, you'll feel good about yourself, because you do a little bit more than what you know you're capable of, so you take yourself out of your comfort zone.
#4. Use your Power of Choosing
Use your power of choosing, even if sometimes, it's very tempting to choose negative self-talk, to choose to self-sabotage or to choose to pass the ball to somebody else at work. Instead, choose how you want to think about it, because your thoughts matter. Choose to see what is happening as something good. Even when you fail, choose to learn from it and to move forward. Choose enthusiasm instead of fear.
In your prefrontal cortex, all emotions are created equally. Your brain doesn't know the difference between anxiety or excitement. So choose to be excited, be curious, be enthusiastic when facing the test that is being presented to you. Try saying: "Oh, I wonder how I'm going to get better at this. I wonder when I'm going to reach the fourth stage of learning. What am I learning from this? In a year from now, I will be really good at this. I wonder how I will look back at this event here or this challenge and think, oh my gosh, I totally nailed it. I I'm really good at that." Use your power of choosing wisely.
Happy Father's Day, everybody, and remember to count your blessings, claim your uniqueness, go the extra mile and use your power of choosing.
And of course, thank you Dad for the countless hours listening to Og Mandino together. You are such a role model for me and I know that whatever I do, you are there as my biggest fan! I love you dad! Je t’aime Papa.
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Check out some of my previous blog posts...
What to Do When Your New Boss Hates You
If It Stinks...
I Was Lying! - Pet Peeves