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Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy

  • Mike Kaeding

Mike Kaeding

2 min read
Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy

We all feel inadequate more often than we care to admit.

Last week one of my employees shared how he felt inadequate. He felt like he should fully understand the complexities of what he was working on. He felt he wasn’t living up to the job.

This is hard. So, I shared the following story.

A Team of Misfits

Last summer at a company-wide picnic, I told our team that we were all misfits.

Everyone was silent.

They looked at each other and asked, “Did he just insult us?”

I went on to explain that we were all people who needed a chance in life. Our head of IT was a security guard. Our building designer was my waiter. And one of our programmers was a janitor.

We love finding the diamonds in the rough. We love hiring the right person even if they don’t have the perfect resume. But even people who appear to have it “all together” often feel insecure as well.

So, remember next time you feel inadequate, that we all feel like that at times. We are here to help because we want you to be the best you can be!

Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy

Do you know what is super powerful? When the right leader, family member or friend sees your worth. When they see what you can truly become. That can be game changing in a person’s life.

For me that leader was my dad. When I was in high school, my dad allowed me to lead small team in his company. I loved the opportunity.

But my dad did one incredible thing for me.

He showed appreciation for me as a leader in his company. He instilled confidence that I was capable of handling the challenges. Because of him, I believed in what I could accomplish. And that made all the difference.

Think about that for a second.

When we start something new, we feel inadequate. We question whether or not we can do it. We start to doubt ourselves. And when we make little mistakes or don’t quite understand something, we say to ourselves, “Well, look at this, I knew I couldn’t do it.”

You start a negative internal dialogue that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And eventually you fail simply because you lost confidence.

But what happens when a leader you trust steps in and sees your worth? They might see something in you that you don’t even see yourself. That is a powerful moment because it quiets your own negative internal dialogue.

You pause.

And you start to think, well if this authoritative leader sees something in me, then maybe it is actually there. I just have to work hard to make that part of me shine through.

Then that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for the better.

Two Tips

So, all in all, I have two tips for you:

First, surround yourself with great people. When you have the right kind of people around you, they will encourage you. They will see your potential. They will help you become the best you can be!

Second, remember that everyone feels inadequate at times. So, don’t let that stop you. Many other great people struggled with the same feelings. Just remember you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

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