Self Doubt at a New Job - It Is Normal to Be a Bit Scared?

Written by: Meenakshi Joshi – M Sc
(Psychology)

Last updated date : June 09, 2022

Table of Contents

Self Doubt at a New Job – It Is Normal to Be a Bit Scared?

  1. What is Self Doubt?​
  2. Self Doubt about a New Job
  3. How to Get Over this Fear?
  4. Summary

Think back to when you were learning to cycle! You must be scared and excited at the same time. The same goes for starting a new job. When we are going to start a new job. self-doubt can creep up on our minds. When we start anything new, we feel scared about the new thing we are doing. Am I doing the right thing? Will I be able to do it? It is normal to doubt yourself at a new job.

Chapter 1:
What is Self Doubt?

Self doubt is a feeling or thought that makes you believe that you are not “good enough”. It makes you believe that

  • you cannot do something
  • you are not that capable
  • whatever you do will go wrong
  • you will fall short of what it takes to make it big
  • you will make errors and mistakes
  • things will not turn out the way you want them to
  • things will go bad
  • you do not deserve good things

This self doubt will show when you start a new job. Let’s see how it affects you when you are about to begin a new job.

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Chapter 2:
Self Doubt about a New Job

Ms. J is starting a new job. She previously used to work as a bank teller and has now been promoter to bank manager in a new location. However, this new location is in a different city. So, she has shifted to a new city for this opportunity. Ms. J is very happy and excited about this new role but at the same time, she is scared and anxious as well.

This mixed feeling is because of her self doubt which is showing up more as she is about to start a new job. She has always been a little unsure about herself. She is not very bold and confident as a person. But her self doubt is causing her anxiety and she is questioning whether she would be able to take on this new role.

Some things that can cause Ms. J or anyone such anxiety are

Doubt about your capabilities –

You feel that you may not have what the new job or role requires and hence you have self doubt about doing this new job well. It might be because in the past you have received negative feedback about your work. Also, your understanding of your ability makes you feel that you won’t be able to take up this responsibility.

For example, Ms. J might feel that a manager needs to multi-task. As a manager, her main job would be to troubleshoot any problems that might come up and to manage people. However, she thinks that she is not capable or does not have these skills. She cannot think on her feet and all through her life people had told her that has poor problem-solving skills. These thoughts can make her self doubt her abilities to fulfill her new job role properly.

Anxiety about new things –

Some people cannot accept change quickly as they are super comfortable in their routine space. They do not want to leave their safe and comfort zone. And they have to, then it causes them a lot of stress. Thus, a new job can feel like a big change and can cause a lot of stress. You fear what the new role would be, how the people at the new office will be, will you be able to get along with them, who will they judge you, will you have a good boss, etc. These questions can cause you to get worked up about this new venture.

So, for Ms. J as well starting a new job in addition to shifting to a new city can cause a lot of stress and self doubt. She has to move to a new place, set up her house, start fresh from scratch in a new city and also start a new job with a bigger role. All this can be very overwhelming for her and can cause her to doubt if she can do all of this.

Your past experiences –

There are times when you know that you cannot do something because you have not been able to do it in the past. We cannot overcome our past and all the fears and doubts our past brings with it. So, you might have self doubt about a new job because your experience with starting a new job has not been pleasant. You might fear that just like you failed in the past, you will fail now!

Your fear of failure and thus disappointing yourself and the people you value makes you feel doubtful about how well you will be able to handle things in the future.

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Chapter 3:
How to Get Over this Fear?

It is normal to have fear about starting something new. But you need to overcome this fear as it can hold you back in life and affect your self-confidence. So, here are some tips to get over your self doubt about starting a new job.

  1. Calm down! It is okay. You need to relax and stop overthinking this. You need to the breadth and take some time to relax.
  2. Accept that you are about to start something new. Do not question why you got this job. Just accept that you have this wonderful opportunity that you help you progress in your professional life.
  3. Tell yourself that things will be okay. Your self-talk should be positive and optimistic. You need to tell yourself that you deserve this new job and that you will be able to do it properly.
  4. Practice meditation or relaxation to calm your nerves.
  5. Sometimes self doubt hits you at certain moments. If you can distract yourself and stop that thought, then you can manage your anxiety. So, try to catch yourself when you start thinking such thoughts. You can distract yourself by thinking about a happy place or singing a song.
  6. Get to the root cause of this fear and try to change the way think about it.
  7. Get professional help for your self doubt if you cannot handle it on your own.
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Chapter 4:
Summary

To conclude, you will have some anxiety and self doubt when you are at a new job. This is quite natural. It is okay to be a little nervous but if this fear is stopping you from moving ahead, then you need to work on it. Some anxiety is understandable and even helpful so that you do not get overconfident. But if it causes you distress, then you need to take notice and learn to deal with it If you need help to work on your anxiety and stress, then do visit our Courses page. You will find a lot of excellent courses that you can take up which will help you to work on yourself. So, do take up a course with us and start working on yourself!