Self doubt is some sh*t.
That antagonizing feeling that you aren’t enough, aren’t the right one, aren’t fit, aren’t able….just aren’t. It is numbing at times. Shattering at others. It can have you looking around like, “does anyone else realize I am not the person for this?”
Imposter syndrome is when you have a feeling of being a fraud. Makes you feel like you have been fooling everyone and they will find out soon or they already have. Oh sh*t! syndrome is when you think that you haven’t been fooling anyone at all. To oscillate back and forth between the two is a torturous ride that you did not ask for.
I relish being in the moment. It is when I can just immerse myself in what needs to be done. I can do what I know without any concern. I trust my instincts. It is a safe haven for me. Its the before and after that can turn on me quickly. It’s why I do so much sometimes. I’m searching for an affirmation only the work gives me. It’s my go to when I can’t seem to will that doubt off my back. I work it off.
What I have learned is this leads to a specific kind of overachievement. One that builds reputation, impact, and experience. It builds capacity to do work. It builds the ability to make magic happen. It does not build the ability to sell or promote (because doubt) and it doesn’t destroy the monster in the closet. You know, the one that you know isn’t real but you aint really sure it aint either.
There are days when I am literally sick at the idea that I don’t have a clue what the hell I am out here doing. Then there are days when you can’t tell me what I don’t know. This is like siblings. I can doubt me, but I’ll be damned if you get to. This our business over here. Mind yours.
It also gives a heightened sense of purpose. Because purpose overrides doubt. Like rock, paper, scissors. Have me giving Tony Robbins like speeches to myself using statements, “This what I do!…I’m built for this!…I’m out chea!” Overcoming doubt sometimes requires an aggressive dismissal.
It’s a work in progress. Part of it is taking the time to actually sit and appreciate the work done. Taking time to pat yourself on the back. Taking time to reflect on what was learned instead of realizing what you have learned in the moment you are applying it (them “Damn, I know some sh*t!” moments). That blue collar mentality says work and let the world decide it’s value. I come from a working class family in the south. I was taught to work. You get what you earn. But when what you are looking to earn is only payable from yourself, you can end up working long shifts to no avail. It’s like I need to remind myself I’m the employee of the month. That I need breaks and vacations. That I have sick days and PTO. That none of that means that I am not one of the best employees the company has every seen.
Humility is not a form of marginalization. Acknowledging your development is not becoming caught up in it.
All of us deserve to be able to revel in the fact that we have worked hard to be the sh*t.
So I like to remind myself I’m the sh*t. Even if I’m the only one who thinks so.
I also like that I got to work in the word sh*t so many times.
I feel accomplished.