Learning Lab: Waiting to Feel Worthy? Knock it off.

3 min. read

You’re not alone in feeling this way – especially when it comes to career moves. Everyone’s story and experience with feeling like they are enough is different:

You’ve spent your entire educational and professional career waiting, just waiting, for someone to find out you’re a fraud. It’s just a matter of time.  You feel you’ve bull-shited your way through life. Perfection is a bitch, but anything less is dogmeat. It stresses you out when you don’t have all the answers. You’ve used up your allowance of “I’ll have to get back to you on that” a good year ago. Your head is in a very weird spot, and to make you feel worse, you are not alone. You smell the hot stink of failure catching up with you, and you’re about to blow that cheese burrito you ate all over boss.

Bring on another caffeinated beverage to keep going after you burned the midnight oil.
You are smart and know you’re pretty good at what you do. But, what if someone points out that it’s still not enough …? What if you completely missed something or got a small part majorly wrong? Who effin’ cares! Regardless, there’s constant pressure (self-induced, most of the time) to make people happy. You’re stretched thin and freakin’ exhausted. You don’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel. The only way out is through the shit – so you grin and bear it, hoping the people around you notice how much you’re working to prove you are worthy.

  • Meet up with two colleagues, at a favorite coffee shop or watering hole (but in a state of complete sobriety).  Since many, if not all people have some level of fear they will be discovered as fakers and frauds, you pretty much can choose anybody.
  • Send them these 15 statements to hold onto and mark up. Ask them to pick five statements from the list below they believe in the most.
  • Review and reflect on the list yourself as well. What do you believe most and why.
  • Discuss these like your career depends on it!
  • What would you change or add to the list?
  • Create your own unique career beliefs list. (Our manifesto can help!)

Chances are, this conversation will help you REALLY realize you’re not alone. Stop intellectualizing this idea that you are enough and choose to believe it. Feel it in your heart!

Your thoughts are messing with you. Don’t believe everything you think.

Don’t spend your life and career believing you’re not good enough. Stop it. Wake up. 

Sure, you’ll have moments. Focus on the here and now. Or on the progress you’ve made.

Make time to dream a little but don’t hang out in the gap.

And, take a couple of antacids just in case.

Follow along here for weekly experiments & career development support.

Or get the book to dive deeper right off the bat!

About the Ladderburner Learning Lab:
In Burn Ladders. Build Bridges. Pursuing Work with Meaning + Purpose, Patterson shares an essential formula for Ladderburners in pursuit of more at work. Chapter 7 dives into two of those skillsets – how to build a base of competence and credibility. This can be done through the Learning Lab – an approach to learning as much as you can about your job, the people around you, what success looks like, and how things really work inside the workplace. Learn more about the Ladderburner Learning Lab.