Can Getting a Promotion Erode Your Confidence?

Dana Theus
2 min readJul 21, 2023

From the outside it seems that getting rewards, recognition and greater responsibility should make us MORE confident. And it usually does — at first. But after the excitement wears off and the pressure to perform at a higher level weighs down, it’s pretty common to feel some doubts on the inside.

After all, if the promotion was a big one you’ve never had to make so much happen, so quickly and so impactfully. What if you can’t do it?

Keeping a brave, confident face on the outside while harboring inner doubts is stressful, especially when the #ImposterSyndrome takes hold and you fear being “found out” as a fraud.

The trick to managing your doubts in this situation is to recognize that these particular doubts are primarily a matter of your circumstance. After all, you’ve never operated at this level before, so of course you don’t have full confidence in yourself — yet.

The lack of confidence is about your situation, not your self.

Your job immediately after a promotion is to figure out how to win in this new game. Let your #InnerCritic be your guide. Where you’re most worried about failure is where you need to double down and learn to succeed. Listen, too, to coaches, mentors, staff and supervisors who can help you get your bearings and feedback.

When you open yourself to learning, and believe the good feedback when you get it, you’ll be over the crisis of confidence in no time.

What’s your experience? Share your tips and strategies for gaining confidence in a new position in comments below.

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Dana Theus

Thought leader on how personal power creates change. Coach. Entrepreneur. Women’s Leadership Advocate. CEO: www.InPowerCoaching.com