Workplace Inadequacy

I still struggle with this even after being in the workforce full time now for a decade. Definitely not as much as before, but every once and a while I get the Sunday scaries.

Anxious thoughts:

I will obsessively check my work email for things that I missed, check calendars for meetings I’m unprepared for. 99% of the time I find nothing but that still doesn’t stop the anxiousness or the panic. I’m convinced that I’m going to get to work Monday morning and either A: get fired or B: be told that my work is sub par and people have complained.

Neither scenario has actually ever happened in fact the opposite has happened. In the 5 years I’ve been at my job I’ve been promoted, gotten a raise and this year I got my first Outstanding at my year end review. Obviously I’m doing something right. So why do I still get that overwhelming feeling of inadequacy?

I think a large part of it comes down to my personality, of always wanting to be the best and NEVER disappointing someone. I very much like and respect my boss and the other directors I support and it isn’t so much a fear of failure or getting fired but of disappointing them. However I finally realized one day that these people that I’m so afraid of disappointing have done nothing but sing my praises for the last 5 years, so why don’t I believe them? If they are truly people I respect and who’s opinions matter why don’t I believe them when they tell me that I’m doing great or that I had an outstanding year? I realized it was a bit insulting to them to be like, oh you think I’m doing great? Yeah right you obviously are an idiot and have no idea what you’re talking about, I suck.

Dumb right?

I’ve spent the last year getting over this insecurity and learning to accept when people commending me on a job well done. I’ve put away the tin foil hat of conspiracy theories and have just carried on doing good work and accepting constructive criticism when it is given. You know just without the hand wringing and up all night playing out various scenarios on how I’ll be fired because of this minor thing that was mentioned in my mid year review.

Anyone else deal with feeling inadequate at work? If so how do you deal? If you used to how did you overcome it?

3 thoughts on “Workplace Inadequacy

  1. This is something I have struggled with on and off during my career. It was the worst at my last position because I didn’t have a senior person to partner with and I was supposed to try to travel with sales reps but that required me to market myself as being awesome and someone worth traveling with to help them sell more. But I am terrible are self-promotion. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Meanwhile, my coworker would send out emails to the entire sales force when he helped get a trade done. Just reading those emails made me cringe – I could never ever ever do something like that. But he had no problem promoting what he did.

    These days I feel good at work as I like my boss and trust him and I work with a guy that used to be my boss in a previous role and is my mentor. He’s always giving me compliments so that helps big time. So I am trying to doubt myself less and focus on what I’m doing well. But it’s a struggle as my natural tendency is to think I’m not doing a good enough job. I do keep a folder of positive feedback and I read over some of the emails I’ve received when I need a confidence boost.

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