Starting a new job or career is like walking into the unknown. The unknown is uncomfortable and unfamiliar. For most, it is innately intimidating. Be fearless and be encouraged. It is all in how you view and handle it.
The more you know who you are and your capabilities, the more confident you will be among the unfamiliar. Bad news? Confidence comes with experience. Good news? You can fake it until you make it. Disclaimer: When I say fake it, I do not mean go out and get any job for which you do not have hard, soft, or transferable skills.
Seek out what you know or have interest in and at least have passing skills to manage your work reality while learning on the job. Being unprepared alone will tank your confidence and expose you. It will be impossible to keep up with what is expected.
If you are having a tremendous amount of difficulty in your job or field, it is already a clue that it may not be for you. You may not want to hear it (most people don’t), but it is true. Do not be one of those who follows a path that someone else has planned for you or that you have planned for yourself because your friends or someone you want to emulate went down that route. That job, that path, may not be for you. Do not force it. If it is right, it will be easy.
Over the years, I learned these lessons the hard way. Rediscovering, loving, and embracing my individuality have made all the difference in interpreting them and using them as guidelines to build confidence. Now that I am older and more experienced, I walk in humble confidence.
It is not about them. It is about getting your mind right and loving who you are, when and where you are. Once you hone your skill sets and know what you can offer, it is all about your perspective. Believe your hype! It is not as difficult as you think. YOU are the “value-add”. Keep repeating it until you believe it and it will be true.
Here are some tips for boosting your confidence:
- Work is work. Perform to your best ability but understand that it is not life or death. If you are fortunate, you will find work in the area you are purposed, which will immediately boost confidence and prevent meltdowns.
- Change your mind about the unfamiliar and new beginnings, and then change your mindset.
- Tune into your channel. Find out who you are. Explore and discover your individuality. Reconcile and love what you find.
- Think divergently. Master the concept for presence of mind as well as immediate and absolute recall for highest and best performance.
- Understand you are not in competition with anyone but yourself. Do not let anyone make you feel otherwise.
- Give yourself a break from expectations and perfectionism. They cause performance anxiety and lead to disappointment.
- Identify colleagues and mentors who are willing and able to help you through your journey with no expectation.
- Have faith. Reaffirm yourself daily and do not worry about seeking approval or accolades. They will come.
- Do not be afraid to redefine yourself if the fit is not a good one. There is nothing wrong with changing course. Just keep connecting the dots and you will find purpose.
Above all, your health and sanity are the highest priority. If they are not well, you are not too good, and confidence is irrelevant.