When we’re the new person working on a project, it’s natural for us to seek the approval of our colleagues, who have been there longer than us. While there is certainly a time for observing, eventually it’s time for you to make your mark. After all, that’s why you were brought in, right? It’s important to learn to trust yourself, and to know that those around you trust you as well. The Harvard Business Review writes about one worker’s epiphany that helped her trust herself:

But when she pressed [her boss] for more specifics, [he] simply said, “I trust you to continue doing what you do so well, and I expect you’ll ask for my help if you need it.”

In that moment, she realized something profound: He was telling her that she was free. She was in charge of her own considerable domain — and her own life. Somehow, amid the pressures to meet operational goals and balance budgets, she had failed to notice the full implications of that shift.

She wanted to make sure she understood correctly. “You mean to say that I can push the envelope as far as I want, as long as I believe it is in the best interest of the company, and you’ll tell me when I’ve gone too far?”

He nodded his agreement. She was buoyed by the possibilities that her newfound freedom presented, and at the same time, she felt the weight of the responsibility this change implied. Before she even made it to the door, Karen started thinking about how she could take ownership — and advantage — of this situation.

Previously: Are You (Subconsciously) Afraid of Success?

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