New Job, New Career, Finally On Your Own
We land a new position, change careers, or finally take the plunge and start that business of our own that we’ve always thought about and for the first few weeks, few months we’re sailing. Enthusiastic beginner they call it. Even though we’re not beginners. It’s the newness. Everything’s shiny. Then, it’s not.
A Bad Boy roars into our thnking. Bad Boys are negative messages, bad tape recordings, in our heads. They’re things we tell ourselves that undercut our success and productivity.
The bad boy here is “You’re a Fraud, a Fake, a Phony.”
Sound outrageous? I’ve seen it happen. I’ve predicted it. I’ve even done it myself.
You’re a Fraud, a Fake, a Phony
It happens about the when we move from Enthusiatic Beginner to Disillusioned Learner. Suddenly, it hits us, what we’re doing is real. We start to figure out the downsides to this new situation. When those two things come together, it’s an open invitation for a bad boy of business to show up.
“You’re a fraud, a fake, a phony,” he says. “Everyone else thinks you know this.”
If we got experience and a track record, we don’t hear him, but if the job we’re in is new or we’re forging a new career, we start to wonder. Maybe he’s right. He’s not.
What’s really happening: Self-questioning is actually a good thing. It’s responding to the reality of the situation. It’s recognition — re cog ni tion — our brain kicking in to the fact that people are expecting us, we’re expecting ourselves, to perform. It means we’re serious about performing.
The problem comes when we decide that the challenge is beyond our skills. Everyone has moments that they don’t feel up to what people think they can do.
The solution is to tell that bad boy tape recording to hit the road. Replace it with a new one. “I have a great skill set. I’ll learn anything else I need.”
The message is we probably shouldn’t decide that we don’t know how to walk until we find our feet. Why do we tell ourselves we can’t do things before we’ve had a chance to finish learning them?
–ME “Liz” Strauss