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If your workplace makes you feel like you are on the network television show Survivor, you’ll want to pay close attention to this post. An environment like that could cause you to become a bit paranoid especially if you are already feeling a degree of self-doubt. To combat those feelings consider looking inward. For example, people who feel insecure tend to withdraw from people and activities. While spending time alone can be your refuge in the short run, it could have long-term political consequences. Some people have imposter syndrome which makes them feel unworthy of the success they’ve achieved. They believe that the more they are around people the more likely their shortcomings will be found out. Ironically, many of their colleagues could be feeling the same way about themselves. Trying to fly under the radar thinking you are unseen and unheard is a mistake. 

Look inward and find your strength. You were hired because of your talent and future potential. Retreating from relationship building and other growth opportunities is detrimental to you and the organization. Reflect on the words you used in the interview when you described how you would contribute to the organization. You probably mention your accomplishments, past leadership roles as well as where you saw yourself in five or ten years. That person is still inside you.

Toxic office politics can shake your confidence. The people who are allowed to get away with manipulating, excluding, or demeaning others will continue to do it until they are given a reason not to. That does not mean that you respond in kind. I suggest that you stop, look, listen and become fully aware of your situation.

Stop allowing others to determine how you feel about yourself. Look and observe the relational and power dynamics. Assess who gets rewarded for what and take note. Actively listen to what people are saying and not saying. And above all check-in with your boss periodically to be sure his or her expectations are clear.

While others can help, especially the boss, self-confidence is an inside job. Reading and listening to motivational books and audiotapes got me through a very tough work situation. Venting with a trusted friend also helped. But when the venting was done, I had to figure out how to make it work. I went high when they went low before Michelle Obama coined the phrase and it worked. I change my thoughts, changed my destiny and you can too.

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