"See that big clock down there?" said the security guard, pointing the way down the long service road that ran alongside a huge great building. "Turn right there, take the elevator up to the sixth floor, and you’ll find it."
Sounded easy enough, but it wasn't. After 14 years as a journalist, this was to be my first ever shift at a national newspaper, a job I'd wanted to do for as long as I could remember.
I looked up at the big clock, emblazoned with my new employer's name, and took a deep breath. I stepped into the elevator and pressed "six."
But as it lurched upwards, I couldn't seem to turn off that voice in my head telling me, "You’re not good enough. You'll never match up to these people working here. Just go home and do something else – anything else."
I almost didn't get off when those doors opened. But I did. "This is your chance," I told myself, "You've trained for this, you're good enough, you can do it."
As it turned out, I could, and did, do it for the next 17 years. Yes, it took a while to get to grips with the processes, the IT, the characters, and the culture, but that's the same in any job.
I guess it's natural to have a moment of doubt when you take that great leap into the unknown: a feeling new managers know all too well.
Industrialist and inventor, Henry Ford
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right."
Aside from learning new skills and procedures, managers need to build a successful team and maintain good relationships with their team members, all while in a new position of greater authority. Not to mention making a good impression on the C-suite.
All these new pressures and responsibilities can be daunting, to say the least, and make any new manager lose faith in themselves.
Fundamentally, what you'll need to succeed in all of the above is a combination of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-efficacy. Let's face it, if you don't believe in yourself, your team and the people around you probably won't either.
So, what are these magic ingredients for successfully overcoming the challenges that a new role can throw at us?
And that's worth doing for a myriad of reasons. According to a 2022 study, high self-esteem "helps individuals adapt to and succeed in a variety of life domains, including having more satisfying relationships, performing better at school and work, enjoying improved mental and physical health, and refraining from antisocial behavior."
Thankfully, there are plenty of strategies you can use to boost your self-confidence, -esteem and -efficacy. Ones that will help you to perform to your potential as a manager, new or otherwise.
Looking back, when I stood in that elevator, my biggest barrier was myself. As soon as I got out of my own way, I had a chance. Make sure you give yourself one, too.
To learn more about boosting your self-esteem, -efficacy and -confidence, check out our supporting resources:
The Highs and Lows of Self-Esteem
The Power of Self-Confidence
How Self-Confident Are You?
"Mental health issues make people feel uncomfortable. I'm not talking about people who suffer them, I mean the people who don't." - Keith Jackson
"Jordy was a retiree who had been out of the workplace for 10 years, But George had a gut feeling that Jordy was the right person for the position. So he asked him if he'd consider returning to work."
"The main value I cherish is a feeling of belonging, closely followed by a sense of purpose. I also need to feel I add value and receive value, not necessarily in equal measure but it's important." - Sarah Harvey
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