Imposter syndrome, what if that’s NOT it

Imposter syndrome, what if that’s NOT it

I sat on my bed today incandescent at the sameness of all the posts on social media that were talking about mindset and the dreaded imposter syndrome.

I’ve labelled myself as having imposter syndrome for years. Telling myself as a child that I wasn’t as sporty, smart or attractive as my older sibling and that I would get found out. As a young woman I bemoaned my lack of creativity in comparison to my younger sister who is the most artistic and naturally gifted seer of beauty that I know.

I told myself that the reason I didn’t achieve more was because I lacked confidence and I lacked confidence because I must believe that I was a fraud amongst genuine talent.

If I’m honest, I always thought I was the black sheep of my family, the odd one out of our little brood. I told myself (along with the above) that I wasn’t as hard working as my mum and when I formed other relationships they simply seemed to ‘confirm my worst fears’. I wasn’t as good as I thought that people thought I should be and when found out everything went to shit.

I was the perfect carrier of that ugly fucking albatross ‘imposter syndrome’

If you checked back through my old school reports there are frequent mentions of my need to be more confident in order to succeed and with hindsight I see that I simply grew to believe what I was told.

As I sat on my bed at 3pm this Tuesday afternoon in August 2020 (what a freaking decade this year has been) I’m mindlessly scrolling Instagram. I’m just whiling away some time before a call with one of my best friends and my feed was filled with coaches declaring my issue is imposter syndrome and giving me tips on how to beat it.

Internally screaming I yelled “STOP TELLING ME WHO I AM AND WHAT I HAVE” and with my whole body I could feel that they were wrong.

On every level. Wrong.

It’s NOT Imposter Syndrome – The Epipheny

I realised with a smack in the face of shock that I had been wrong all these years too.

It irritated me so much that my face began to hurt from scowling at my screen. Oh the ridiculousness of it all. I asked myself; What if my 38 years on this planet haven’t been plagued by a lack of confidence or imposter syndrome. In fact…what if it’s the opposite?

What if I feel to the very core of my being that I am in fact a font of untapped potential and what if that potential has been bubbling away inside of me just like hot lava in a volcano? What if I haven’t lacked self belief but have simply been afraid of the collateral damage and lack of control should I ever allow that hot lava of potential to burst forth from deep inside me?

I jumped up from my bed with a gusto that I normally only really feel when there’s some kind of buffet.

If I know how much I have to give, that I’m super smart, empathetic, capable, funny, kind, skilled, and all the other things I’ve pretended not to be by jumping onto the imposter syndrome bandwagon, what does this mean?

After years of smothering myself in the myth of my imposter syndrome, reminiscent of dousing myself in Charlie Red when doing the walk of shame all those years ago, I’m just not sure what that makes me.

Does this knowledge make me arrogant? Too big for my boots? Up myself? Stupid? Snooty? Aggressive? A bitch? Ridiculous? An embarrassment to myself?

Is this what I think people who know who they are, are?

This bizarre turn of events has taken me somewhere I hadn’t expected to go today. All these thoughts whirring around in my head and the volcano is starting to shift. In fact, I feel quite emotional. Like I’ve just discovered that I have been taking the toughest route possible when I needn’t have.

I’m overwhelmed with the thought of this and I’m not sure where this has been leading me in terms of writing this blog post for you. I have just experienced a revelation that I am utterly different to the person I thought I was and it’s crazy making.

So here’s what I know and this is ultimately why I’m sharing this with you. So that you can know this too.

There’s a thing we all do as humans, we soak up the knowledge, beliefs and thoughts of the people we spend the most time with. Often, we don’t even think to challenge it and particularly so when it comes to our belief of our capabilities and the truth of us. Why?

I’ve just realised I can totally redefine everything I want to about myself. Just because I believed it for so long does not make it true.

So just remember, to build a truly authentic life that enables us to care for our body and mental health, to build a life that we desire and can wholeheartedly live for we MUST question the beliefs we hold about ourselves and shed the outdated tomes given to us by others.

We are who we are and we get to live as such.

Sometimes people are just wrong.

Catch you later,

Amy x

p.s. If you’re interested in working together then dependant on where you’re at in your biz I have a service you might find helpful. Click on the one that best describes you and it’ll take you to the relevant service. Starting out, Growing, Up-Levelling

Flexible working – the future of business

Flexible working – the future of business

I believe in flexible working. There are a few exceptions to the rule but many jobs can be done from the comfort of our homes.

Flexible working from a laptop in a cafe. Woman with coffeeBefore starting my own business I worked for Taylor Wimpey as Customer Relations Manager in the Eastern Region. Importantly, they understood that times and lifestyles change and so too does the impact of work on your health.

The chairman made it clear, as a business they had a responsibility to their employees.

Whilst I wasn’t entirely ‘flexible’ in my career with TW, I realised something about myself. I could never go back to not working with more flexibility.

Taking that one step further, I quit and started my own business in 2018.

A rude awakening

This year, a global pandemic rudely interrupted ‘business as usual’. Dragging those against working from home into the 21st century with a slap. In March 2020 the UK went full on lock down.

With fear and urgency, businesses began the ‘radical’ shift to working from home where possible. The impact of which is going to reach farther than we can currently anticipate.

O2’s recent survey The Flexible future of work, 45% of the workforce believe there’ll be a permanent increase in it. Whilst, a significant 33% expect to increase the amount of work from home by 3 days.

For me, flexible working was not simply about being a single parent and working around my child. Importantly for me, working from home allowed me to stay physically and mentally well as well as financially supporting us.

There are times when working from home or, working at different times is the best option.

Why I advocate for flexible working

Woman flexibly working from her table with laptop and notebook

I write often about my desire to captain my own ship. Read about that in my post about finding myself and work/life balance. I spent a long time frustrated. Surrounded by men with antiquated values that didn’t mirror the backdrop of digital connectivity that the wider world relished.

It’s true. The UK government are feeding us their plans and easing the lock down. Many employers have already begun to draw their employees back into their places of work. There is benefit to this face to face working but I can’t help but wonder.

What will the future of work look like post Covid-19?

My hope that businesses use this as an opportunity to improve their systems and processes. I hope that employees will experience the benefit of it with opportunities for flexible working. It’s time businesses supported their staff with a holistic approach to work life balance.

What do you think?

Catch you later,

Amy x

(views expressed in this article are my own and do not necessarily express those of any businesses or government bodies mentioned)