A few years ago, I took a new position in the company I worked for. I had previously been a top performer in my previous position, so naturally, I thought, I will be great at this. Well, it did not go that way. I experienced being a beginner, incompetent and embarrassed. One of my trainers was speaking to me and shared something that has stuck with me. He shared that the hardest position to be in is where I was. A master in a position of a beginner. It is humbling. He went on to say the most important factor in succeeding is being empowered in the gap. That takes some work. So, how do you cause yourself to be empowered in the gap?
The gap I am referring to is anytime you are starting something new and are in front of a steep learning curve. This could be you are changing careers or you have left a job and starting a new job in a new area of expertise, or you have expanded your accountabilities to include something new.
To be empowered in the gap you must take some conscious steps. First, you must mentally deal with yourself. You must get very aware of your experience. Awareness is always the first step in being powerful; in causing yourself to be empowered. If you are in a gap, you may experience embarrassment, fear, trepidation, feeling stupid, incompetent, not sufficient or any range of emotions. Whatever you feel, is fine, just note those feelings. Notice your thoughts and get them out- in other words, write them down or share them aloud. What I know is that when you keep all those negative, fear based thoughts to yourself, you tend to ruminate and gather evidence that is disempowering. Contrast that to saying them aloud or writing them down- that allows you to see that they are just the same thoughts and are very likely not true! Notice how much those emotions, reactions and thoughts interfere with you learning. Remember your brain can do a lot, but if you are busy being afraid it is hard to learn!
You need to build in support from other people so you keep grounding yourself in reality of learning and of being ok where you currently are. I suggest creating a plan of what you will accomplish and learn by certain dates and building in acknowledgement for yourself.
The most critical aspect is for you to remember who you are. You only are in this position because you have what it takes. You were likely someone who was a master of your previous position. You did not start that way. You started as a beginner, yet you became a master. Consider that being a master is a way of being, a way of operating and no matter what you do, you will always be someone who IS A MASTER.
Lastly, bring compassion and gentleness to yourself. Bring the thirst you have for learning and be patient as you learn something new. Empower yourself in the gap!