Mindset Change: “how do I compete with people who are better than me?”

Imagine you are sitting at the reception area of your dream company, waiting to be interviewed by a panel of engineers, directors and managers.

“What a nice plant they got there next to the door, really adds to the atmosphere… and that cool typography on the wall…”

You try to focus on random details around you in an attempt to distract yourself from the overwhelming anxiety and nervousness.

To no avail, no matter what you do, your mind seems to just snap back to negative and self-doubting thoughts:

  • “what if they ask me questions I didn’t prepare for?”
  • “what if I stutter and blank out?”
  • “what if they question my lack of [degree|experience in language A|familiarity with framework B]?”
  • “others who interviewed at this company probably have much better social skills than I do.”
  • “they probably also worked at companies that everyone has heard of.”
  • “I’ve only worked / interned at companies that no one has heard of.”

What if I’m not good enough? How can I compete with all the other interviewees who are much better than me???

The answer is easy: just be more confident!

Your family tell you to be more confident; your friends tell you to be more confident; even your significant other who are supposed to know you on a deeper level tells you to be to “just have more confidence in yourself!”

But, how helpful is this advice really?

It’s like you are panicking and trying to put out a ball of fire that erupts from the stovetop, while all these people just stand around you telling you to “just put out the fire!”

Putting out the fire requires you to remain calm and use the correct technique that is effective in dealing with the particular type of fire in front of you (you wouldn’t pour water on a grease fire!).

The same principle applies to having self-confidence: it requires you to not only know what you are doing, but also have control over your own mind.

Often times, our self-doubts are reasonable to us and we have “facts” to back them up.

For example:

John has worked at a much well-known company than the ones I’ve worked for; therefore, John is better than me.

Joe started programming since he was 8 years old, and I’ve only completely a coding bootcamp a year ago; therefore, Joe is better than me.

Jack grew up in the city while I grew up in a small town only a handful of people have even heard about; therefore, Jack is better than me.

These seemingly reasonable thoughts are only reasonable under a certain mindset.

With a simple mindset change, these are mere opinions that fuel self-insufficient lies that you tell yourself in order to stay in your comfort zones and avoid rejections.

Think of it like this:

If there are all these people who have worked at big corporations, had so much experience, and were overall “better” than you, why weren’t they selected automatically?

Why bother setting up an interview with you?

You must have done something right!

And, if both you and the other people are selected to be interviewed for the same role, do they really have an edge over you now?

On the contrary, the fact that they have all these supposed advantages over you and yet still have to compete for the same job becomes your edge and their detriment!

You haven’t worked at any of the Fortune 1000 companies, you didn’t get into the industry since you were 8 years old, and you didn’t come from a wealthy family from a well-known city. But, you were selected to be interviewed among those who have all that.

You must have done something right!

With a simple mindset change, you can turn your disadvantages into your greatest weapon.

And when you stack up these positive mindset changes, you will start to become more confident, more calm and overall more positive.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *