As some as you may know I been given a new role of GQ’s in-house therapist and life coach. What an honor! Each month I will be answering questions from their readers and for starters, how to cope with insecurities surrounding a new job. This article is actually a great read if you ever feel anxious or insecure as it has some really cool tips to help you, so if you are struggling or know someone who is, then this article is for you.
Dear GQ Therapist,
I am starting a new job next month, and I’m already anxious about it. I will have more responsibility, there will be more pressure, and I am not sure I can cope with the step up. What should I do?
Dear New Job,
Being anxious about your new job does not sound like fun and I am sure you feel that this is something you should be really proud of, so it’s probably even harder for you that you are in fact feeling anxious. I am here to help you move from anxiety and fear to confidence with six easy tips below, but in the mean time I want you to know that this problem you are experiencing is a syndrome that is more common than you realise. You are certainly not alone.
This syndrome has anxiety as a pre-requisite and fear is the fuel to the fire. So many people feel like imposters to the point where we even have a name for this: it’s called “imposter syndrome”. It can happen to anyone at any time and usually the more responsibility a job holds the more this syndrome works its way around and around the mind. The thoughts range from “I’m not good enough” and “I’ll never be able to do this”, to “I’m going to be found out” or “exposed as a fraud” and the problem is all these thoughts are terrifying and sometimes simply even debilitating. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way…
2. No one is perfect. Learn to take your mistakes in stride, viewing them as a natural part of the process. There will never be the “perfect time,” and your work will never be 100% flawless. The sooner you’re able to accept that, the better off you’ll be. I like to think of life like an athlete; they have to lose in order to learn how to win. They have to make mistakes in order to get better. Start thinking like this and the word failure will leave your vocabulary.
3. Remember that you aren’t alone. Imposter syndrome is common and many people feel like this – entrepreneurs, celebrities and many famous people have it. The thing is, it’s not dinner-party conversation. No one sits down and discusses how scared they are, but trust me those people do exist and they are the ones sitting opposite you on a train or next to you at the pub. They just aren’t telling you. You are not alone and you are not different or less than or not capable. You are real and remember, no one is ever “perfect”.
4. Take a look at all the evidence. Deep down, you already know the reasons as to why you “can” do this job; why you “can” handle responsibility; and why you “can” handle pressure effortlessly. I promise you when you start looking for evidence to back up the positive, you will find it. You just need to look. Start now by recounting your most recent accomplishments. Take a look at everything you’ve achieved, and reflect on all the hard work you’ve put in to get to where you are now. Embrace the fact that you got yourself to where you are. You’ve earned your place where you are today, and it is your accomplishments that are proof of that.
5. An important thing to remember is that YOU got the job. You got it because other people clearly believed in you and your skills. You did not pull a fast one on anyone. You did not lie and cheat your way into this job. Your boss or whoever hired you is likely not an idiot. Don’t doubt the intelligence of those who hired you, they have made deliberate choices based on your experience and potential. You really do deserve to be there.
With effort and mental reprogramming, you can learn to overcome your doubt and celebrate your accomplishments. It’s no easy task, but imagine how liberated you’ll feel once your feelings of anxiety and fears of “getting found out” subside.
You can read the full article in GQ Magazine here