Imposter Syndrome SUCKS! That probably wasn’t the best way to start a story, right? I had to keep it real with you. I was told that this is a judgment free zone, so there you have it!
Realizing that you have failed or missed out on a WIN is one thing but knowing that it was because of your own decisions or thoughts about yourself adds an additional layer of “WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING!”
So here is the deal. I am smart, accomplished, and educated. And even if I didn’t have any of those things on my resume, I still would be THAT DEAL! But for some reason, I have always struggled with feeling like I am “good enough.” Charge it to my own insecurities and the continuous subconscious desire to compare myself to others. So regardless of me having these “rock star” qualities, I have still found myself in a place of discontentment with who I am. This leads me to questioning my value, my worth, and placing way too much weight on what others think of me.
So I started a new job, the job of my dreams actually. Well scratch that-I didn’t even realize this job was what I’d always wanted and needed, until I actually got into the role. Kind of like a relationship, I tried something new optimistically, and lo and behold! – it actually turned out to be the perfect match for me! But if I must be honest, it was quite the journey getting to that place and receiving what the universe had destined over my life.
It started with a phone call.
“Hey, it’s me. I wanted to just give you a heads up that a role recently opened on the team. I don’t know if anyone told you but check it out. It might be something that you are interested in.”
As I paused for the moment, uncertain of what I was actually hearing – I began to mildly panic. The team that I, for so long, have interned for had finally expanded, and because of it, they had a newly open position to fill. Instead of a praise break or moment of hard sobs, thanking the good Lord in heaven that he heard me, I began instead to slide down a slippery slope of self-deprecation.
“What is she calling me about it for?” I thought to myself. “I don’t have even half the experience that he has to fill his role. Plus, I can think of AT LEAST five other people who are way more qualified than I am. I mean, I was just the intern when I last worked on the team. An intern that served in the role for almost 8 years before, during, and after college. “What did I know anyway about MANAGING people?”
“I really hope that you consider applying for it. I mean – you would be such a great fit for our team, and we are always happy to have you back. Think about it and let me know if you decide to apply.” As my friend of almost 10 years hung up the phone, I knew that her words were genuine but continued to ponder, “why me?”
I sat and thought about the opportunity for days, while fighting with my inner thoughts to decide what was best. “I mean, my job lately has been going pretty well. My managers have been incredibly pleased, and I found time to pursue a new passion and hobby– gardening. All is well.” I thought to myself.
“I wouldn’t have any free time to do those things anymore anyway, as I would definitely be tied up with my new workload. Nahhhhhh, it’s just not time yet. Maybe I’ll wait another year or so when I’m READY ready, plus I don’t want to ruffle any feathers with the boss.”
I fought through the negative thoughts about myself, my abilities, and tried to find every excuse under the sun why I shouldn’t apply for the job. However, thanks to a close friend, she gave me just the push that I needed.”
“What do you have to lose?”
Those words rang through my ears as I stopped to think about my answer. I couldn’t think of anything. Nothing. I was speechless. She made a good point. Regardless of whether I get the new job or not, I would still have my current job, which allowed me to care for myself very well up until that point.
“You are right. I’m going to do it. I am going to apply for the job. If I get a call for an interview – great, and if I don’t that is still okay!”
That was my way of setting myself up not to be let down. If I go into a situation without any expectations, then I am less likely to get my feelings hurt in the process.
Not to my surprise – I received an interview. Only one interview would hold the fate of the next step in my career. I had to prepare and give it my ALL. I didn’t want people to think I got any job out of favoritism, because of my past history on the team. There goes that part of me that is too concerned with others’ opinions of me.
Hey, I’m a work in process guys!
The day of the interview came and I was READY. I studied like my life depended on it. I prepped for every question known to man, only to use NONE of the answers that I rehearsed. As my mom always says, “what God has for me, is for me.” So regardless of how things went, the job was already MINE.
In this case, yes, I received my happy ending. I got the job.
But it took a lot of me “getting out of my own way,” for it to happen. It took less doubting, more affirming. Less of the self-deprecation and more of me speaking life into myself. It took prayer, preparation, and most of all, it took the village around me to help me believe in myself.
To everyone that believed in me, even in moments when I didn’t believe in myself, Thank you.