Recently a customer made me feel like I didn’t know enough. She had lots of burning questions which I couldn’t answer right away.
In my coaching practice this comes up so frequently: feeling inadequate at work.
I’ve felt this way a lot years ago, when my confidence was 0. It caused me to resent coworkers and get into arguments. I had no other defenses, no other means to process how unworthy I felt.
When I got off this recent call, I noticed the feelings coming up. Disappointment in my inability to help. I let her down.
It didn’t feel good, but I wasn’t upset either. I didn’t push the feelings away. I thought to myself, “This is a normal reaction. Humans want to be of service. If I can’t help someone or answer their question, it’s normal to feel inadequate.”
So, I allowed myself to feel that way. Denying it would not change anything. I went outside to eat my lunch and be in the experience of disappointment.
Because I had no shame around feeling this way, it was easy to see what I could do next: ask for help.
One of the biggest reasons we feel inadequate (at work or in relationships) is due to a lack of communication around needs and expectations.
That’s exactly what was happening here, but I couldn’t see it because I was part of the misunderstanding. I talked with my boss and immediately saw the disconnect. They were a new customer. I was new to this project. We had our own expectations and I just needed to clarify our process in our next meeting.
It takes time and patience to learn how to communicate properly. We’re not all taught how to do this. And at work when we deal with different personalities, cultures, and priorities, it requires an extra level of care and perseverance.
I’ll admit I was initially dreading calls with this customer because their demeanor is so different from mine. But now I feel confident to establish better rapport through clear communication. I’m not dreading it at all. In fact, I’m excited to improve this relationship! I was disappointed when our next call got rescheduled. I want to take on this challenge! I know I can do it!
What about you, Friend?
What do you take away from this story? Are there aspects of your job that leave you feeling inadequate? Are there feelings you’ve been pushing away? Where could more communication improve your professional or personal relationships?
If you don’t know where to start, I always recommend starting with yourself. Establish your own communication practices like daily journaling or intention setting. Check in with yourself throughout the day just to see how you’re feeling. The more you get comfortable with yourself, the easier it will be to apply with others.
For more real-life stories and guided exercises to improve your confidence and appreciation of self, check out The Worthy Woman Handbook. This book contains the practices I incorporated to go from resentful, disconnected and unhappy to confident, joyful and secure in my ability to handle anything.
“In a culture where we are often reminded of our limitations, Jessica reminds us of our possibilities! This book offers exercises and questions to guide us in getting to know ourselves better and appreciating who we are; flaws, AND wholeness.”
– Amazon reader review of The Worthy Woman Handbook
To awakening your communication powerhouse!