The imposter syndrome
Some days I am fully confident in my abilities, and if not, I am confident in the fact that I am a child of the Most High God - a living, walking, miracle and testimony of life! But admittedly, other days, like today, I suffer from what Sheryl Sandberg coined "the imposter syndrome" so bad!! Like, "omg, am I really meant to be here?", "omg they are going to find out I don't really know this, or I suck at that". Walking into boardrooms dominated by men 99% of the time does not help this syndrome!! But I guess there is always two sides to any coin...The fact that you are in a male dominated sphere could mean that you are one of few women who have broken into it. Or worse - that you will never make it here as a women! Which then begs the question - can women truly ever have it all? But that is a topic for another day...
Back to the imposter syndrome. How do you turn down (better yet - switch off!) that insecure little voice that tries to keep reminding you that you're not actually what you are? I mean, isn't it enough that as women of colour in the workplace - we have so many things to contend with and so many stripes to earn before we are even seen as equal to our white male counterparts, why the hell do we even allow a stupid voice to do this to ourselves any further?! My advice to myself - and any other women experiencing this "imposter syndrome" is simple: nip that shit in the bud. You are good enough. No matter the experiences you have been through - that colleague who stole credit for your work, that manager that abused your work ethic and drained every ounce of life out of you by making you slave away (knowing full well that you would work hard to "prove your worth"), that perk or promotion that was passed on to the new guy in the team - because well, his is a guy, he watches sport and his nose is so deep in your managers' ass...No matter what, you are good enough. Believe this. Say it until you believe it, and that imposter syndrome will dissipate into the darkness of the nowhere it came from to begin with! After all, I tell myself, we are all CAs here. And common sense, well, common sense is not always common so at least I have that lol
On the real though, being in a new role at a different organisation has actually taught me that there is no weakness in not knowing!! And boy do I ask questions!! From jargon, to technical stuff, to even just double checking what I already think something might be. I would much rather ask than to sit there and pretend to know everything and really be an imposter! Men easily raise their hands in any room full of people and speak their minds, I challenge you as women to comfortably do the same. I say comfortably because I am not telling you to be a man here, I am simply saying - in your own feminine skin, if you are unsure about something (especially if it leaves you feeling like an imposter) do your research, if you still don't get your satisfaction - ask!! Even if it is in a public space. If you disagree with something - speak up. The worst that can happen is you will get fired! Kidding. Just use diplomacy, and tact - or better yet, my favourite - use humour. This way, you get your answers, you even get noticed for the right reasons and most of all, you get the re-assurance that you are not an imposter - the only difference between you and the person who knows is experience/time. Remember "preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom".
Wishing you a productive day :) And remember - you are a women, you were created to create. You are more than good enough! In fact - you are brilliance personified. Own it!