Overcoming New Role Fears


Here are a few thoughts to alleviate the challenges everyone finds within themselves as they step up to a new responsibility.

Above all, remember, selection processes are, in the main robust enough to see through candidates who aren’t up to it. So, you’ve been chosen for a reason! Trust the process - and build your resilience to the Gremlin who tells you otherwise!

Here are 10 reflections which might help.

  1. Notice Your Successes

Fearing not being up to a promotion can make anyone overlook their own accomplishments. It's crucial to acknowledge and celebrate successes, both big and small. Daily recognition of your even-small achievements boosts confidence and reminds you of your capabilities, helping to alleviate self-doubt.

  1. Be Objective

Strive to evaluate your performance objectively. Avoid excessive self-criticism or self-doubt. Don’t overthink things. Take a step back and analyse your work from a third-person standpoint. What would someone watching see and hear? This allows you to identify areas for improvement without being overly self-critical, fostering a healthier mindset for growth.

  1. Listen More than Talk

Effective leaders actively listen to others' perspectives. By prioritising listening over talking, you show you value the input of your new team members. This not only helps you gain valuable insights but also demonstrates respect and inclusiveness – even the beginnings of togetherness. By listening attentively, you can gather information, make better decisions, enhance your leadership skills and show them you value them too.

  1. Be Curious

Cultivate a curious mindset. Embrace a willingness to learn, explore, and seek new knowledge. Being curious helps you stay adaptable, open to change, and continuously growing. Curiosity encourages you to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and expand your understanding, enabling you to lead with confidence and adaptability. It also shows you appreciate and acknowledge the insights and experiences of others too.

  1. Be Vulnerable

Embrace vulnerability as a strength rather than a weakness. Recognize that it takes courage to admit when you don't know something or make mistakes. Being vulnerable fosters authenticity, builds trust, and promotes a mutually-supportive work environment. Embracing vulnerability enables you to learn from others and cultivate stronger relationships. And it shows you are like them and aren’t perfect!

  1. Ask for Help

It's okay to ask for support when you need it. Seeking help doesn't indicate incompetence but rather a commitment to growth and collaboration. Recognize that nobody has all the answers, and by reaching out for support, you can tap into others' expertise, gain fresh perspectives, and achieve better results collectively. Whilst also building their self-esteem and confidence. And at the same time, encourage collboration.

  1. Only Need to Know

Recognize that you don't need to know everything. Striving for perfection can be paralyzing and hinder progress. Instead, focus on being credible by acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for your new leadership role – different from in the past. Prioritize what is essential and relevant, and be proactive in being curious enough, seeking the information you require to succeed.

  1. Set Firm Boundaries Early

Promotions can be an opportunity to reset and start again. Implementing what you learned in past experiences with a clean slate. One of the most important is to establish clear boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance, because fear of not meeting expectations might lead to just working harder, which rarely works sustainably and can can be detrimental to your well-being. By setting personal and external boundaries, you can protect your personal time, recharge, and maintain productivity and effectiveness in your leadership role.

  1. Delegate to a Plan

Effective delegation is crucial for leadership success. Trust your team members and assign tasks according to their strengths as well as their development needs. Clearly communicate goals and expectations, and provide necessary resources. Delegating effectively not only lightens your workload but also fosters team growth, empowers individuals, and allows you to focus on strategic aspects of your new role.

  1. Fail - and Share

Embrace failure as an opportunity for growth. Fear of not being up to a promotion often stems from a fear of it all going wrong - and you finally being found out! When you experience setbacks, learn from them and share your lessons with others. Being transparent about your failures and the subsequent growth demonstrates resilience and authenticity, while inspiring others to learn from their own mistakes.

And remember, you are there for a reason. You’ve been through this before – and lived!

You will do so again.