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3 tips to overcome ‘New Role’ Imposter Syndrome

Have you got new role imposter syndrome (‘IS’)?

Congratulations, you’ve got a new role! Maybe it’s the promotion you’ve worked so hard for. Or perhaps you’ve finally managed to pivot to the industry you’re *really* excited to work in. You’ve celebrated, cracked open the champagne and done your victory dance.

And then, all of a sudden, here comes the anxious wrench in the stomach. The tightness in your chest. The voice that says things like:

wow, you really managed to fool them didn’t you” or

they’ve made a massive mistake giving you this role” or

there’s no way you’re going to measure up to what’s expected of you” or

you can’t do it, you’re just not good enough”.

There’s the IS monster again, sucking the joy out of your success.

The good news? You don’t need to resign yourself to it. New role imposter syndrome is a very natural response to a new challenge and you can move past it.

Here are my top 5 tips for starting your new role from a place of empowered self-belief.

Tip 1 – Connect to the part of you who knows you can do it

How can you do this? By re-living key memories of when you achieved something you were proud of.

This exercise is particularly powerful if the relevant memory is a time when doubted whether you could it at first (for me that’s my maths GCSE and my driving test!)

When IS is running the show, it’s important to strengthen resourceful emotions such as courage and self-belief. To get back in touch with these feelings, settle yourself in a comfortable space, close your eyes and ask yourself: if I could think of the strongest example of when I felt really proud of myself, what would that be?

Allow an example to bubble up in your awareness, then step into the shoes of you in that memory. Drink in all the positive qualities of this memory – what can you see? Hear? Feel in your body? What did you believe about yourself at the time? Really enjoy resting in this space and embodying this state of pride and/or courage.

You can repeat as many times as you want with different memories and write down your insights for extra impact.

Tip 2 – You don’t need to feel confident to be competent

Confidence comes as a by-product of experience, making mistakes and taking action. It’s not a pre-requisite to starting new things.

When you were a child, you didn’t wait to feel confident before you learned how to ride a bike. As adults we often wrongly assume that we should feel confident before we have any experience of the new challenge.

Why on earth would you feel confident doing something you’ve never done before?

Let go of the pressure of ‘needing to be confident’ and instead remember how courageous you are. All the obstacles you’ve overcome in your life have honed your ability to be brave and deal with new situations. You can do it.

Tip 3 – Stop comparing

Drop the stories you’re making up about the experience, competence, and qualifications of other people. They have no relevance to the quality of your thoughts, decisions and the ‘you-ness’ you bring to your position.

As a new starter you probably will be less qualified, less experienced and less knowledgeable than your peers or bosses. Don’t compare yourself to them. You have no idea of the struggles, failures and disappointments that have got them where they are today.

I know, I know. It’s all very well saying ‘stop comparing’. But how do you do that?

Ask yourself: how can I serve this role to the best of my ability?

Focus on your unique strengths and gifts that will support you in performing this role at your best. If you give all your energy and attention to answering this question, you simply won’t have the bandwidth for comparison.

What do you have instead of experience or qualifications?

As a new starter you can enjoy the gift of a learner’s mindset. You’re someone who isn’t constrained by pre-conceived ideas of ‘how things should be done’. You’re a fresh pair of eyes and as such you’re far better place to inject the creativity, enthusiasm and energy that may not have existed before.

Even amidst the natural fear that comes with a new challenge, make the most of this opportunity to start a new chapter afresh. This is an exciting phase to make a new role your own; to be more of who you’d like to be at work. Make the most of it.

If you want to start your next role feeling as calm and confident as possible, you’re welcome to book in for your free call, where we can explore how you can transform your feelings and performance as a new starter.

22 December 2022