I used to feel intimidated by the many capable people I worked with. Especially older and more senior ones. I assumed they all had their sh!t together in a way that I didn’t.
Until one day I realised there’s no secret guidebook or certificate that everyone but me has access to.
And that we’re all in various stages of winging it, feeling out of our depth, fearing rejection, wondering if we’ve upset someone, afraid of not having all the answers, and basically just wishing for love and acceptance.
I realised we’re all the same. It doesn’t matter if we’re a front line worker or the CEO. We’re all human. And – on top of our strengths – we all have weaknesses, insecurities and blind spots that affect us in ways that we may or may not be aware of.
All that separates us is our self-awareness (which varies by time and context, and between people) and how candid we are.
And, most of us most of the time are trying our best to do the right thing. Even when it doesn’t look like it.
Realising this was liberating. It helped me reduce (if not eliminate) my imposter syndrome. I still get intimidated and fear rejection, but less with time. And it helps me go after the things I want to do in work and life, and have a go at things like – for example – writing posts like this 😊.
I’ve also become more compassionate towards others behaving in ways I don’t understand or agree with. Because I’ve seen that most workplace wrongdoings are the well-intentioned – if misguided – children of insecurity and incompetence, not the devil child of malice.