boss Makes You Feel Incompetent

When Your Boss Makes You Feel Incompetent: How to Cope and Overcome


Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling in your stomach when your boss makes you feel like you’re not good enough? It’s a demoralizing experience that can make you question your abilities and confidence.

However, you’re not alone, as many employees have gone through the same experience. The good news is that there are effective ways to cope and overcome this challenge. In this article, we’ll share some practical tips and insights on how to handle the situation when your boss makes you feel incompetent.

Understanding the Situation: Why Your Boss Makes You Feel Incompetent

It’s essential to understand why your boss makes you feel incompetent. Sometimes, it’s not your fault, and your boss may have unrealistic expectations or be going through personal issues that affect their behavior. Here are some reasons why your boss may be making you feel incompetent:

  • They are a perfectionist: Some bosses have perfectionist tendencies and may expect you to be perfect, which can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of incompetence.
  • They are insecure: In some cases, bosses may feel threatened by their employees’ abilities and accomplishments. They may belittle you to make themselves feel better.
  • They lack communication skills: Your boss may not have the necessary communication skills to provide constructive feedback or communicate their expectations effectively. This can lead to misunderstandings and confusion, resulting in feelings of incompetence.
  • They have high expectations: Sometimes, bosses may have unrealistic expectations, and they may not provide the necessary support or resources for you to meet these expectations.

Coping Strategies: How to Deal with the Feeling of Incompetence

Feeling incompetent can be challenging, but there are effective coping strategies that you can use to overcome this challenge. Here are some strategies that you can try:

  1. Seek feedback: Ask your boss for constructive feedback on how you can improve your performance. This can help you identify areas where you need to improve and boost your confidence.
  2. Focus on your strengths: Take some time to reflect on your strengths and accomplishments. Celebrate your successes and remind yourself of what you do well.
  3. Speak up: If you feel that your boss is being unfair or unreasonable, don’t be afraid to speak up. Use “I” statements to express your concerns, and avoid being defensive or confrontational.
  4. Find a mentor: Consider finding a mentor who can provide you with guidance and support. A mentor can help you develop your skills, boost your confidence, and provide a fresh perspective on your situation.
  5. Take a break: If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a break. Take some time off work to recharge and focus on your well-being.

Building Your Confidence: Tips to Overcome Incompetence

Building your confidence is essential when dealing with feelings of incompetence. Here are some tips to help you boost your confidence:

  1. Set realistic goals: Set achievable goals that align with your strengths and skills. This can help you build momentum and motivate you to achieve more.
  2. Practice self-care: Take care of your physical and emotional health. Get enough rest, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and engage in activities that bring you joy.
  3. Learn new skills: Consider learning new skills or taking courses that can help you improve your job performance. This can boost your confidence and make you feel more competent and valuable to your organization.
  4. Seek positive feedback: Ask colleagues and others for positive feedback on your work. This can help you focus on your strengths and boost your confidence.
  5. Stay organized: Stay on top of your tasks and responsibilities by staying organized. This can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and boost your confidence.


Q: What should I do if my boss is not receptive to feedback?

A: If your boss is not receptive to feedback, consider speaking with their supervisor or human resources department. They can help mediate the situation and provide support.

Q: How can I cope with the stress of feeling incompetent?

A: Consider engaging in stress-reducing activities, such as exercise, meditation, or talking to a trusted friend or colleague. It’s also essential to prioritize self-care and take breaks when needed.

Q: Can I change my boss’s behavior?

A: While you can’t control your boss’s behavior, you can control your response to it. Focus on building your skills and confidence and seek support from colleagues and mentors.


Feeling incompetent because of your boss’s behavior can be demoralizing, but it’s essential to remember that you’re not alone. There are effective coping strategies that you can use to overcome this challenge, such as seeking feedback, focusing on your strengths, and building your confidence. By taking care of yourself and seeking support from others, you can overcome this challenge and continue to grow and succeed in your career.

If you’re looking for more inspiration and uplifting content, don’t forget to check out our collection of posts in the Positive Blog category.