Goodness me, sometimes it is such hard work to work past the stuff in our heads, isn’t it (yes, that is rhetorical as I know I am not alone in this). Earlier this year my own confidence had become so incredibly low that in one particular project I feel everything I did was wrong or at very least not good enough. And I stopped and realised – that is just weird, because I know I’m actually pretty good at stuff. But sometimes the other things in our lives have such influence – for me it is a particularly challenging time as a parent combined with one client who can be just plain rude at times, combined with my other half focusing on his work almost to the exclusion of all else, combined with uncertainty about our home lease, combined with being 55 and the need to not have to move yet again, combined with… Well, you get the picture, and then I stop and remember how it has been for friends even just this year. There are so many of us with stuff to handle. And that can be useful to know – it is not just you. I certainly find that of some comfort if nothing else (not that I want friends, or anyone for that matter, to have tough stuff to deal with, but it’s not up to me, and you know what I mean).
Luckily for me I’m working within a team of especially supportive people; we are friends as well as co-workers, and one is the boss. This morning had me thinking how I’ve on occasion added to her stress simply by lacking in confidence – not that I’m going to pile on to my own guilt, thankfully I don’t do that anymore, because, well, pointless. She needs me to keep firmly in mind that I’d not be working with her if I was not good enough. It’s just those times when we do not feel good enough – what then?
Trust is one thing. We trust that the people we work with, and those in charge, know what they’re doing, so perhaps we can see this as an affirmation that they’d not be working with us if we were not “good enough”. In an employed environment we have bosses and HR that will soon let us know if things are not right, and of course this will apply with teams of self-employed people, maybe even more so because the impact is arguably more immediate.
Hopefully, by talking about this can remind us that we actually are “good enough”, that our imposter syndrome is the imposter, more often than not. And by sharing our own experiences of all this, we can also share coping strategies, things we’ve tried, or at least let others know that they are not alone with trying to work through this stuff.
So where can we chat about such things? Well, we have the Big Orange Heart forum here and the Slack group, plus Facebook. The UK WordPress community Slack is also especially supportive with a number of channels to join and ask pretty much anything (really). If you know of other places that such support is available, please share…