You’ve got a quality education, pumped up your skills, and accumulated experience, but you still feel as if something is keeping you from growing. Perhaps the problem is in the wrong psychological attitudes. Today we will analyze why the fear of making mistakes, the desire to look smarter, and the binding of self-esteem to the level of the salary inhibit professional growth. We will also tell you what to do about it.

H2 Fear of asking questions


At your first job, you encounter new tasks, unfamiliar tools, and confusing terms. You probably have a lot of questions in your head, but you don’t ask them because you’re afraid of appearing unprofessional and stupid.

In fact, pretending that you understand everything, you are more likely to get into an awkward situation. But don’t worry: frequent questions will show you as an interested and responsible professional. advises if during the interview you have any doubts, feel free to ask your opponent. As a rule, experienced employees are eager to help newcomers get the hang of it. Even if they answer reluctantly and roll their eyes, keep asking. You won’t do a quality job until you understand the inner workings and mechanisms. So it’s better to clarify a few times than to misunderstand what is expected of you.

How to ask questions correctly?

  • Make sure the answer to your question is not in the public domain. Don’t distract your colleagues by asking them to explain what hedging is and how to set up email in Outlook;
  • Articulate exactly what it is you don’t understand. It is better to ask open-ended questions – this way you will get a detailed answer;
  • Ask to see an example of how it works, and explain what’s done well and what isn’t;
  • Write down everything to make sure you won’t ask the same questions;
  • Analyze the explanations.

H2 Fear of low pay


Both young employees and experienced professionals tend to judge their abilities by their salary. This is wrong because the amount of salary is influenced not only by an employee’s talents, but also by the industry, the company’s financial condition, the economic situation, and even simple luck. Positions in science or medicine that require high qualifications pay worse than jobs with routine business functions. And a trainee in a bank’s analytical department may at first be paid less than a waiter.

Experience and the opportunity to touch large-scale projects at the start of a career are much more important than a high salary. For example, Carine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief of French Vogue, worked as an assistant at the shows at the beginning of her career, and famous designer and millionaire Alexander Wang was sorting letters in American Teen Vogue and worked for Marc Jacobs for several months for free. But the wrong attitudes can make a young professional feel inadequately capable. This undermines confidence and narrows career options. A complex employee is unlikely to dare to take on a more complex project or a new area of responsibility.

If the size of your paycheck is killing your confidence, do these exercises:

  • Think about what positive qualities you are endowed with;
  • Think about what you excel at in your field;
  • Ask your friends, coworkers, or supervisor about your strengths;
  • Think of other areas in which your abilities and qualities can be utilized;
  • Determine how much you want to earn in the next six months;
  • Prioritize what’s most important to you at this stage, and decide whether it’s worth changing companies or professions for the salary you want.

H2 Fear of failure


Fear of making a mistake interferes with work and development. Excitement prevents you from concentrating on a task or discourages you from taking it on at all. As a result, you put things off, and in the last minutes before the deadline you get very nervous, think about failure and lose faith in your abilities.

Fear of failure can form as a child when parents scold a child for a soiled T-shirt or a bad grade. As an adult, a person keeps unpleasant memories in the subconscious and is afraid of punishment for any error.

How to get rid of the fear of failure:

  • Take your missteps as a challenge: “Failed? Let’s try again.” Analyze the mistakes and think about how to avoid them next time;
  • Remember: everyone makes mistakes. Failures are experiences that help you grow. Ask someone you trust to tell you about their failures – you will hear many stories of how working on mistakes and confidence helped these people;
  • Start learning from your mistakes: write down three lessons you learned from your last failure.

H2 Fear of hearing criticism


Few people like unsolicited advice and the know-how to take it adequately. Studies show that people are four times more likely to remember negative comments than praise and think through bad feedback more carefully than good. When you get hung up on comments, it lowers self-esteem, limits imagination, and kills initiative. It seems to us that if we are criticized, we are not respected or appreciated. This is not entirely true. For example, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has repeatedly said how important it is to actively ask for and listen carefully to negative feedback: “Usually people avoid it so they don’t have to go through unpleasant emotions. But I think this is an extremely common mistake.”

Of course, if a person devalues your work and abilities, it cannot be considered constructive criticism. But when an expert points out the shortcomings of your work and suggests how to improve it, it’s a great chance to pump up your skills.

How to cope with this fear:

  • Don’t hide from evaluations. It’s ignoring them that makes you weaker. By ignoring other people’s comments, we miss an opportunity to become better;
  • Try not to take harsh words personally. Focus not on the shortcomings, but on points, you can improve on;
  • Don’t be offended by advice, and don’t shut yourself off from it. In criticizing, a colleague or supervisor is not trying to humiliate you. They want you to work well and do good;
  • Remember that not all comments are worthy of attention. Do not take seriously the words of people who do not know your area of expertise. Or at the very least, check their comments against those you receive from an expert.