Photo courtesy of Brooke Lark at Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Brooke Lark at Unsplash

You can have days when you feel on top of the world, flying through your to do lists and feeling like you could achieve anything but there are days when you feel like you are out of your depth, don't know what you are doing and worried in fact that you aren't up for the job.  Does that ring true for you?  

Chronic self doubt is labelled as Imposter Syndrome and it can have a real impact on your mental health at work if left unchecked.  You may secretly have these feelings now and then or you may have them running through your mind each day at work.  You may not confide in your boss as you don't want him or her to know that you feel this way and you don't want it to affect their opinion of you, but trust me they may not know but there are reasons why your boss loves you doubting yourself and here's why:

1.  You work harder than anyone else

There is no off button.  You go above and beyond to "prove" that you are good at what you do, even if you don't believe it.  You over compensate and therefore you do way more than others to make yourself feel like you are adding value.  Your boss loves that you have this can do, will do attitude and what that means is that they get more for their money.  

2.  You don't negotiate for a pay rise

When we have low self worth and have doubt about our own abilities, we are highly likely to accept what is being offered in terms of salary and benefits.  What I have noticed from years of working in HR is that people who have more self belief are likely to ask for a pay increase and are more likely to get one as they are persistent and they don't take no for an answer.   Please note self belief does not mean competence.  They are also much more likely to negotiate when going for a new job too and will walk away from something that doesn't match up to what they believe they are worth.  

3.  You can't say no to extra workload

Your boss loves the fact that no matter how much work they pile on you, you take it.  Again this is going back to you trying to prove your worth so you don't say no.   You consider telling them that you can't do anymore but before you know it you have taken on some more work and you are not even sure that it is what you should be doing but you are unlikely to say anything.  You get your head down and get the work done at the detriment on your own wellbeing and work/life balance.

4.  You are unlikely to leave

When you doubt your own abilities then you are less likely to put yourself out there to find yourself a new position.  In fact the thought may fill you with dread, so your boss benefits as they are not likely to lose you anytime in the near future.  They value you and the work you do and would genuinely be lost without you as you do so much and they would struggle to find a replacement like you.

5.  You make them look good

Oh yes you do.  You are eager to please so you do any of the work they put your way (you may beat yourself up in private) but you always deliver and therefore to their boss, they always look good.  They may even get the praise for the work you create as you are not likely to let people know that you are the one creating this great work.

Now I am not for one minute saying that your boss doesn't value you as it is highly likely they do (even if they don't tell you) but can you get your boss to still love you without putting your own wellbeing and money in your pocket at risk?  Here are some tips to get you going:

- Start to recognise your achievements.  Realise the good work that you produce and the value that you add to the business.  Take time at the end of each day to acknowledge your achievements so you can recognise the impact that you make.  This will also help when you ask for that pay rise as you are showing evidence to why you deserve one.

- Set some healthy boundaries.  It may feel really awkward to start but where can you create a better work-life balance?  It could be making yourself less available in the evenings and early in the morning.  You will create great work if you have some down time to recharge your batteries.  Trust me, you will create better quality work and you will have an improved mindset if you allow your mind and body to rest.

- Recognise your talents, skills and knowledge.  Oh yes you have lots but you don't recognise them.  Start to keep a log of everything that you are good at.  Log great pieces of work, compliments you receive. Anything that builds your own self belief.  This will also help if you decide that it is time for a career move or asking for the pay rise.

- Challenge your own beliefs.  Self doubt is created when we have beliefs about ourselves that are untrue or are no longer serving us.  Find someone to help you work at changing your beliefs at a sub-conscious level as this is what will help to change your mindset about yourself.  Creating more empowering beliefs will help you to recognise your own worth and this is turn will assist you in saying no, standing up for yourself and asking for that pay rise.  You can ask for it if you believe you deserve it right?

- Commit to personal development.  There may be areas that you do need to work on so figure out what they are and commit to putting in the work.  It is not your employer's responsibility to develop you, it is up to you.  So decide what you want to develop and make it happen.  Again this could also help if you decide to go for a promotion or make a career move.

Putting these things in place doesn't mean your standards of work will drop, but the amount of work that you are willing to do may decrease.  Do more by working less.  But even working at a slower pace you will still be doing a great job.  In fact I guarantee you will even deserve a pay rise for the work that you do.

If you want any help around this subject then you may like to explore working with me on a 1:1 basis.  If so, then click here to book a non salesy, no obligation discovery call with me and see whether we could be the right fit to work together.