That little voice in your cubicle

I’ve been suffering from imposter syndrome lately, caught up in an erroneous belief that other people’s good perceptions of me are somehow mistaken. That I don’t deserve the praise I have been afforded. That I will let everyone down and they will discover I have no idea what I’m talking about.

But that’s all it really is, isn’t it? An erroneous self-perception. Unless you set out to knowingly deceive and manipulate others, unless you walk around deliberately proclaiming yourself knowledgable about things on which you are not, you’re never really an imposter. Not when other people, unprompted, compliment or reward you. Their perceptions are not based on the way you talked yourself up; their perceptions are based on your actions and ideas. Your skill. Your hard work. Their perceptions are the bits of yourself you don’t often see. And they’re more-than-likely right.

It took a conversation with a particularly lovely work colleague this week, and recollections of the faith my father has often shown in me, to remember that my failures to be given opportunities to prove myself do not define me. The fact that no one, despite my best efforts, ever handed me the work I love so much on a silver platter and said “can you do this, please” does not prove that I am not good at it. All it proves is that no one has taken the time to give me a chance.

Lately, I have been afforded those opportunities and I haven’t stopped smiling since I got the first. Is it stressful? Yes. Do I have doubts sometimes? Yes. Am I hella proud of myself? HELL YES! I made these chances by being true to myself and I will make the most of every single one.

I guess the point I am getting at is not to get down on yourself when you don’t get the chance to show off how awesome you are. And, conversely, don’t get down on yourself when you do! Shine like you were made to! Don’t hide your light under a bushel of self-doubt. You’ve got this x