You’re not qualified. They’re better off without you. You’re no one special.
That’s the voice in my head. I never feel like I know what I’m talking about, so I’m always questioning myself.
Even when people ask me for guidance because they consider me an expert in something, I still feel underqualified.
Recently that voice has been pretty obnoxious with its attempts to distract me. It’s because a new employee (let’s call him John) just started at my job, and I was assigned to train him. This made no sense to me, seeing as just two months ago, I was the new guy. Plus, I never received any official training, so it’s been a “learn as you go” environment.
During John’s first week, I think I benefited from the training more than he did. I learned a lot about that little voice in my head and all the doubt that it stirs up. Most of its advice is full of holes, so I decided to test out a few techniques to try and quiet it down and cut through the doubt.
Here are the three techniques I used to find some peace while helping out the newer new guy.
1. I stopped buying in to my thoughts.
Much of our thinking is a conditioned response. Similarly to how we automatically run from danger, our thinking also defaults, and without realizing it, we respond to situations with our minds on autopilot.
While helping John, I kept feeling like my help wasn’t valuable and my advice wasn’t good enough. But it wasn’t true—it was just my default way of thinking.
We have to question those defaults and notice when they’re inaccurate. We are qualified. Our life experiences are our qualifications. I’ve learned things over the past few months that I could share with John to make his experience a little less nerve-racking.
We have to pay attention to the moments where we doubt our own abilities and begin to learn to work with it. We can remind ourselves that this is doubt and we are capable of working through it. If we enter a situation with good intentions, we have nothing to worry about. Our thinking is just a distraction.
2. I spoke from experience and asked for help when needed.
No matter what our level of experience, there’s probably someone out there who can benefit from it.
And people appreciate the truth. When we are genuine and honest, it shows, especially when it’s about something that can bring us closer and help us relate to one another.
Throughout the week, I had to keep coming back to the fact that I was also new. I didn’t have a lot of experience, so the things I didn’t know, I admitted it. And together, John and I both spoke up and asked for guidance.
Showing compassion and working together towards a resolution is just as valuable as providing someone with the answers their looking for.
3. I kept it simple.
It’s easy to go overboard, especially when we feel like we don’t know what to say. We end up trying too hard to sound knowledgeable, which can end up complicating things.
I gave John a rundown of our product line while making it sound like I knew all there was to know. I could see that I was losing him. So I decided to switch it up and keep it simple. Rather than making things up, I vowed to stick to the little bit that I knew—no matter how unsubstantial it seemed.
Putting in the effort and showing that we care goes a long way. We don’t always have to be the expert. Providing someone with a stepping stone is usually good enough to get them started.
During my week training John, this is what I learned: we always know more than we think.
Our help and knowledge might be exactly what someone else needs no matter how insignificant we believe it is. And we have to remember that being in the helping business isn’t about receiving praise, doing things to please others or taking things personally—it’s about doing our best to lead each other to a place of clarity.
The more we lend a hand to one another, the more connected we feel with the world. We all struggle through challenges and it’s important that we’re here for each other.
We’re all we’ve got.
Author: Nick G. Mason
Editor: Nicole Cameron
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