Feel like I’m not good enough


So before I start I just want to say that this may turn out as more of a rant than anything else, but I’m just looking for some reassurance so any help would be much appreciated.

So basically, I’m a recently promoted Cdt Sgt and I’m beginning to feel like I’m not good enough to be a Sgt. I was promoted through the ranks quickly (I was promoted to Cpl after having been in the corps for about 1 year 5 months, then I only spent 5 months as a Cpl before being promoted to Sgt), and although this obviously sounds like something to be proud of I still don’t feel like I should be. I have been comparing myself to other sgts I know from within my wing, and their leadership skills are far better than mine. I know that comparing myself to others is the worst thing to do but I just can’t help it. I struggle with taking simple initiative exercises - I can do them, but again I just feel inferior to others.

I think my main problem is that I have only just very recently been promoted, and I just feel out of my depth. Has anyone got any tips on how I can adjust to my new rank quickly and efficiently? I just feel that otherwise I will be letting both myself and my sqn down.



Really dont worry about it. Everyone has to start somewhere right? The difference between a good and great NCO (in my opinion anyways) is the ability to self analyse performance, which sounds like you kind of are doing. Its very easy to criticise yourself but never praise so bear that in mind.

I would write a list down of what you think your development needs are and then approach your staff and fellow SNCOs and ask how you can work on them. Think of it as a personal development plan.

Also im not sure if yoh are aware of something called the emotional cycle of change (i really dont undertstand why this isnt included as part of leadership training). Having an understanding of it, will make you understand how you feel. Basically you get promoted and your moral and confidence rockets and you feel great. Over the next few days and weeks reality sets its theres a lot of self doubt and you question is this right for you. If you can push through that, over the next few weeks and months your confidence and moral start to gradually improve as you become familiar with the expectations, job role and the required skills and you learn to work in a way to deliver your role. A pretty picture below to provide a visual representation of it.

In summary, what you are feeling is very natural and i really wouldnt worry about it. Dont reflect on others too mucn, everyone has their own unique way of working. Although dont be affraid to approach those who may be able to help you with your areas of development.


Love it!!! Well done Alex!!

I’d just add that your staff have seen the potential for a Sgt post in you. I doubt your their first rodeo, and they wont have taken the decision to promote you lightly. They will have faith and confidence in your abilities to hold that position now - but also to take it forward in the future; shaping both you, but also helping to shape the squadron. They will have made a reasoned judgement based on lots of factors - and you will have already hit the benchmarks they use for it.

So, have faith in your own abilities. You already know not to judge yourself or compare yourself to others. Different OCs will look for different skills, traits and qualities at different times. They will look for a baseline set of qualities - time served, attendance, classification, bearing and deportment, leadership skills etc. But then there are other skills which they might call on to strengthen the sqn - are you a drill type? Are you super good at instructing? Are you an excellent mentor or ambassador? Can you motivate and lead from within a team and build a flight up? Are you able to solve problems? Do you have super keen organisational skills? Can they trust you to quietly get on with things with minimal input?

Not all SNCOs can do all of the above. Some will find they are super awesome at a few of the above - but struggle elsewhere. Some will present as “development opportunities” for you. But dont try and be everything. Work out which your strengths are and work with them.

Your staff already see it in you, you just need to find it yourself and have the confidence to use it to the best of your abilities.


And I add dont be frightened to ask the Sqn SNCO for help or advice or your CWO. Everyone on promotion or moving in to a new role needs time to bed in, and find out what their strengths and weakness are. I would expect a newly promoted Sgt not to know everything, as he/she is learning as much as they are teaching.msin thing know your limits know when to seek advice and good luck in your new rank


Have you thought about leadership courses such as ACLC?


Might do a week at ACLC myself next year!


Why not this year?


Too much on


Cool, I’ll definitely go this year then :stuck_out_tongue:


@AlexCorbin have saved this, its a great tool for explaining this roller coaster!


Good to see those 3 years as a HR manager have finally paid off!


I think we’ve looked at this recently and (ironically) I believe any Cadets already promoted to SNCO are not eligible to attend.

Happy to be proven wrong on this point.

And @Nightrose - there is some very-wise advice being given to you, here. Sometimes in life we all need to have the faith in ourselves that others already possess for us. Command is a lonely place. But individual appointment to it is very-rarely entirely in the wrong. In Cadets (and life in general) we exist in a permanent localised meritocracy. Not only might you be genuinely good-enough for the job…you might-well be the most appropriate person for doing it, right now.


@wilf_san makes some really good points.
However whenever you get a promotion or take on a role with more responsibility there is always a bit of a nagging doubt for the first few weeks.
I would lay money that anyone who is or has been (just to keep it in the air cadets) a squadron commander or wing commander said you know what I always felt completely ready and at ease, would be lying. Take it outside the air cadets into the vastly more competitive world of work, where a wrong decision can affect yours and others pay packet and other people will really be after your job (not many really want to be in command in the air cadets), the seeds of self doubt will be there.


You need to be 16 or 17 and ranked below FS. FSs and CWOs are ineligible.


I have been thinking about doing ACLC as I am eligible for it, however if I’m honest I’m a bit unsure about it as I’ve heard a lot of negative opinions about it (won’t go into details but I’ve heard about people being kicked off and apparently being treated unfairly etc). It does sound like a very valuable experience, I’m just not really sure what to expect.


The only reason anyone ever gets kicked off would be for simply not trying at all or engaging with the experience. I’ve been a flight commander several times and haven’t even got to the point of even considering binning someone yet.

Give it a go!


Can completely agree with the above. It’s hard work but it’s worth it.