Do you ever feel like you might not be the best person for the job?
Do you sometimes worry that people will find you out and realize that you aren’t smart enough or knowledgeable enough or skillful enough for the job?
Do you sometimes get distracted by the fear that people are thinking that you are the wrong person for the job? That they are wishing they had a different boss, coach, project manager?
When that fear that you aren’t quite good enough comes up, what do you do?
When I am in the grip of that fear I can tend to push myself too hard, trying to be perfect. I can become preoccupied with scanning for signs that people are judging me and finding me wanting. I can ruminate over and over on the 1 piece of negative feedback I was given after a workshop and ignore the 99 pieces of positive feedback.
Apparently, I am not alone. Most of us have this fear at some time. It even has a psychological name – Impostor Syndrome. You can take a test here to see how bad your ‘impostor syndrome’ is. It is particularly common in high achievers. Which is oddly reassuring!
If you look at your ‘I’m not good enough’ thoughts, then you might just realize that, to a degree, these thoughts are actually right. There are almost certainly people who are more skillful than you at your job. They might even be sitting in the next cubicle to you.
What would happen if you accepted the fact that you probably aren’t the best person for the job?
Sit with that question for a moment. See what turns up for you.
Perhaps your focus might become about growth, on becoming better rather than being the best? On admitting mistakes and the gaps in your knowledge and asking for help?
You may also notice that you have one big advantage over the person who is better at this. You are there, and they aren’t.
So what is the best way to deal with the fact that you probably aren’t the best person for the job?
1. Accept it – it may well be right. And however good you get, those thoughts are likely to turn up now and then.
2. Get present – you are the person on the spot. So make sure you take full advantage of that by bringing your attention to what you are doing.
3. Develop a growth mindset – it isn’t about being the best. It is about getting better.