At first I was really happy. Ready to turn off the computer, jump up from my desk and go celebrate. This was the best news EVER. I had been planning and working towards this day for a very long time and although not the end of the road… well, at least I hope it’s not the end of the road…. It’s a stop along the looooonnnnggg climb of this corporate ladder.
So for those who may not know where I’m going with this…. this morning I found out that as of the first of next month I can change the letters after my name on the corporate email :). That’s good news right? A promotion is always good news…. Ok, more money is better news but…. baby steps, hahaha.
So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled. I couldn’t even think about work and wanted to run and go tell everyone…..ugh!!! need to wait until next month. Don’t want to jinx it ….. Who have I become?
As the day progressed and the news wore off and the amount of work piled up on my desk and I realized that there are things I don’t know…. gosh, I really don’t know them. I work with some really smart people and how in the world can they think I’m at their level? I feel like I have been playing a part in a play and at some point someone is going to find out and they’re going to come up to me and take it all away.
I called a friend and all she said was “are you crazy?” Am I? Crazy, I mean. Am I crazy? I have worked really hard. But that’s the key… I have worked really hard. I’m really not that smart and therefore I am probably not as deserving of this as others on the team…….
The more I thought this way the more depressed I was getting. I turned to the only I have learned is both comforting and totally impartial…… Google. I googled “imposture syndrome” and you know what? there are many articles. Take a look at this one and this one, I have found that I am not alone in thinking this. Presidents of the United States have felt like me, Sheryl Sandberg has felt like me and heck Maya Angelou has felt like me. Why….. why do we feel like we don’t deserve that which everyone, apparently, notices and agrees is deserved?
One of the articles mentions that we tend to feel like an imposture when things come naturally to us. Well, that’s not true. I don’t think things come naturally to me, on the contrary, I work really hard to achieve what others seemingly achieve very easily. I don’t give up easily and at times I will not rest until I find the answer…. so I am a hard worker. I don’t deny that one. But the promotion was not a hard working promotion….. or was it? Perhaps it was luck. I was in the right place at the right time and they didn’t want me to go look for another job….. STOP…….
I continued searching for something to make me feel better and I did. What I found was inside me. I found that voice inside of me that said; you deserve this. Other may as well, but you certainly deserve this. It was not luck, it was your dedication and your abilities that got you where you are. Accept it and move on. Don’t be destructive. You are just as good as anyone else on that team….. perhaps even better — Have I ever told you that I think that voice sometimes is my evil sister?
Anyway, what I have found is that I am not alone in this feeling of not deserving something. Perhaps because I worked so hard for it for so long and it’s finally here. What did I do differently this year from the others? I’ll never know that answer but I have calmed myself down and allowed myself to just be.
I’ve gotten the promotion and I am now setting my eyes on my next goal….. After I enjoy this one for another minute.
If you feel like this let me know what you did to change it. I’d love to hear from you.
Image found here