Conquering Imposter Syndrome & Embracing the Now

August has been a full month for me. Settling into a new place as well as settling into a new job have taken up the bulk of my time to the point that I sometimes have to make myself pause in appreciation.  I look around me sometimes and am almost overwhelmed with gratitude with how the things I prayed about have come to fruition. You see, this time last year I had just moved back to Maryland after leaving yet another job that made me miserable, underpaid me, and had me living in New York, (which I have a complicated relationship with because I both love it- specifically Brooklyn- and also know it’s not meant to be home). I’d just started my “in-between” job, walking in knowing that I would still be on the hunt for something else. And while I was grateful to be back in Maryland, I was still anxiously wanting to really step into my career of choice. It took some ups and downs, but fast forward to a year later and I have finally landed where I am meant to be.

This is a different feeling for me. In the past, even when I’ve gone into a new position, I could figure out pretty quick if it was for me or if I was trying to talk myself into liking something that wasn’t a good fit. I think a lifetime of trying to be the square peg trying to fit into a round hole has made me cognizant of when that’s what I’m doing. But with this job…it feels so new because I see myself staying there. I want to do well, and not because I want to leave a good name for myself before I bounce – which was the case at past positions. I’m invested and I’m excited. And I’m happy.

Pause.

(Allow me to take a quick break into how I sound when I’m really excited:  YO!!!! Do you know how long it has been since I liked my job? The last time I enjoyed my work was when I was working a stream of part-time teaching gigs. The pay sucked, but I liked what I was doing, my schedule, and the freedom I had. But this…this right here…man!!! To put it simply: SO MUCH BETTER!!! Son!! )

So I’m excited, to say the least. Amidst all this happiness, though, are hints of the imposter syndrome creeping in. I keep wondering, “what if I really am not as good and creative as I thought?” or “what if I disappoint my boss?” To put these fears in context, I should mention that this new position is a full-time position at a place that I’ve been working part-time at since 2011. So, in many ways I know that my fears are unfounded. But they still persist like a lingering noise you hear in the distance but try to ignore.

What I’ve realized about imposter syndrome is that it comes when you’ve achieved a goal and have set high standards for yourself and the fear of whether you will reach these standards sets in. They say that your goals should scare you, so I guess that  also means that reaching said goals won’t really alleviate that fear. But in some ways that can be a good thing. When you’re striving to do your best and shine, a little fear can keep you motivated to not settle for mediocrity. At the same time, one has to be aware that they wouldn’t get to a certain level of accomplishment without actually having put in the work or having the talent to get there. I’m still getting in the habit of being my biggest cheerleader after a lifetime of being everyone else’s cheerleader and keeping my own accomplishments to myself (which is really it’s own post for another day). But I know that I wouldn’t have this job if I weren’t qualified and capable of doing it. And that, as well as my motivation and drive, help squash that little imposter alert voice to the point of non-existence. EmbracetheNow

So, I’m embracing the newness of this feeling and letting myself enjoy getting used to settling, finally, into my career. The beauty of one part of your life getting so much better is that everything seems possible in the other arenas of life too. Instead of overthinking what could go wrong and what I’m not or any other negative thing, I’m patting myself on the back for where I am, how far I’ve come, and how much I’m going to grow. I was just talking about appreciating the now and here I am doing just that. It’s great being in the now – especially these days.

 

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