My recent weeks led me to enumerate these 3 ways to avoid feeling incompetent. Lately, the stress of my different roles suddenly made me feel insecure about my skills and performance. For a couple of years now, I believe that somehow (though not perfectly), I have been able to do a lot of tasks and satisfy most expectations of my roles. And so whenever I am faced with a new role, I almost always just accept everything. Lately though, I think I have been biting off more than I can chew. The results: mediocre outputs, unsatisfied peers and loved-ones, and a severely damaged ego. And so I put this list up so I can have something to refer to now and in the future.
1. Reassess your strengths.
No one is good at nothing. I have always been a believer of that. We are sons and daughters of a supreme being and we are of divine nature. That truth alone should inspire us to look into ourselves in a better light. Review your interests, passions and skills. What are you good at? There must be something there. A hint is when you get acknowledgements from people because of something you’ve said or done. I am not saying that we should only rely on other people’s opinion of what’s good about us, but at the very least, we have somewhere to start. Introspection is also vital. As human beings we have the unique capacity to be self conscious – to stand outside of ourselves for a time and reevaluate our core. Have you ever tried to imagine meeting yourself for the first time? What would probably strike you in your first conversation? It’s a fun activity. And it’s a good exercise to start building self confidence and finding one’s strengths along the way.
2. Accomplish something today.
There are days when we just feel stupid and useless. I know. I’ve experienced that a lot. The only way to counter that is to actually attempt to do something and finish it. Do you have a to-do list? Give yourself a confidence boost by checking off at least an item or two from that list. It doesn’t have to be grand. Simple tasks like finally organizing your desktop files or drawer, giving someone a thank you note, or updating your medical record can be counted. No accomplishment is too small. At the end of the day, when you look back and see that you’ve failed your major tasks, you have those small accomplishments to keep you from feeling so down. It’s not everything, but it’s something, and definitely better than nothing.
3. Use criticisms positively.
There will always be critics. No matter how simple your tasks are and how good you think you are at what you do, at the back of your head you are really afraid of people who would say “You could have done it this way” or “This is not good enough”. The hardest part is to reconcile what you and what others believe to be satisfactory. Things will be more difficult and you would feel more incompetent if you believe that comments are given to put you down. More often than not, we can use criticisms to improve the way we work and even our outputs. If you believe that people have good intentions when they suggest improvements, then you will be able to accept and use criticisms to your advantage. Otherwise, you would end up feeling defeated and laughed at. It’s really a matter of perspective.
When I was writing this I thought of the different hats I wear so I hope these things would apply to most, if not all. 🙂 But when all else fails, you can always take a break and get your minds off all the stressful things for a moment. Personally, it helps when I remind myself of this wonderful quote:
“Don’t you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come.”
― Jeffrey R. Holland