Being enough

draft

I stumbled upon a a bunch of drafts that I thought I would share since I have no idea why they were left unfinished and unpublished. This was originally dated August 10, 2013.

I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird the last few weeks (and loving it). This excerpt perfectly explains my thoughts about being a emotionally healthy goal-oriented person. It’s from her essay “Publication.”

“All that I know about the relationship between publication and mental health was summed up in one line of the movie Cool Runnings, which is about the first Jamaican bobsled team. The coach is a four-hundred-pound man who had won a gold in Olympic bobsledding twenty years before but has been a complete loser ever since. The men on his team are desperate to win the Olympic medal, just as half the people in my classes are desperate to get published. But the coach says, ‘If you’re not enough before the gold medal, you won’t be enough with it.'”

This is, adding to last week’s conversation, a key to dealing with/avoiding a quarter life crisis.

Impostor!

I had never heard about Imposter Syndrome until I read “Overcoming Impostor Syndrome: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Coding” by a staff at LiftApp. It’s a fascinating read that I think a lot of people in their 20s would benefit from reading. I was reminded of the post recently by something a friend said, which alerted me to the fact that I think the article is more timely in my life than I realize.

What is impostor syndrome?

According to Wikipedia, impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome) is:

a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.

This GeekFeminism Wiki (I didn’t know websites like this existed!) You may feel inadequate and that you don’t measure up to the standard necessary for what you do, leading to:

  • not applying for jobs, promotions, and other employment opportunities
  • not submitting papers to conferences or journals
  • disclaiming or understating their experience/skill when speaking or writing
  • nervousness about talking to others in their field, especially if those others are perceived as highly skilled/experienced
  • feeling like a fraud
  • worrying that someone will find out their lack of qualifications and fire them
  • having higher stress
  • overpreparing for tasks
  • attributing successes to chance or luck

According to this 2006 article by Inc., impostor syndrome may be more present in women:

The impostor syndrome may be especially problematic among women. In the business realm, female CEOs are still rare enough that many believe their performance is being watched more closely and that their success or failure reflects directly on their female peers. Fundamental issues of nature and nurture also apply. “There’s a lot of evidence that boys growing up tend to blame things outside of themselves when things go wrong: The other team cheated; the referee wasn’t fair; the teacher didn’t give us enough time to study,” says Young. “Girls tend to blame themselves. So when they don’t make the sale, the customer isn’t saying he doesn’t like the product–he’s saying, ‘You’re inadequate.’”

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook has spoken openly about impostor syndrome before. In the Globe and Mail, she describes how it has affected her, despite being a Harvard grad, having worked for the World Bank and Google before Facebook:

“Women systematically underestimate their capabilities,” she says. “If you ask a man why he did a good job, he’ll say, ‘I’m awesome.’ A woman will say, ‘I’m lucky I got someone good to help me.’ ” When offered their first job after university, 57 per cent of men negotiate for themselves. Only 7 per cent of women do. “Women don’t feel they deserve their success,” she argues. “They don’t even understand it.”

Does this sound like you? It sure sounds like me. I’ve noticed it more and more as I’ve moved up in leadership at work and especially this fall after moving into the Office full-time.

  • I fear talking to anyone of any level of importance or making decision that affect others because I assume my decisions are under-informed.
  • I fear I haven’t earned my place
  • I fear people will soon realize that I’m really green and have more to learn than is worth spending the time to teach me
  • They’ll realize that I’ve led people astray due to my lack of expertise and regret letting me influence others

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a large contributor to the stress I’ve experienced the last year.

“Keep Your Goals To Yourself”

“What are your goals for your summer?” a group of us were asked with regards to this summer. A coworker replied, “I’m not telling,” and shared this video. I wanted to share it with you for the sake of discussion.

While I see where he’s coming from (research and science do have sway, that’s for sure), I’m naive enough to believe that I’ve averted this problem by sharing extensively about the journey of getting to my goals. I can see how this is probably true for a lot of people, though.

What did you think? I’d love to hear if you agree, mostly agree, disagree and why. Share in the comments.

Scratch that.

Having big goals requires having a bunch of little ones to check off the list to help you get there. I’ve written some of my smaller goals here that will help me get to the bigger, badder bucket list items. Today, I got to check one of those off. I now have some articles published somewhere other than my own blog.

It feels like a big day but maybe that’s because the sun was still up at 7PM.

The writing is different from what I usually write here. It’s more personal, or at least a different kind of personal. Also, it’s been edited! It’s weird seeing words that did not come from myself. It was also helpful to see how unclear I can write or how I can mix my points and switch topics mid article. Humbling.

Read on

Confessions of a Former McDonalds Addictmcdo-1
McDonald’s and I have had an interesting relationship over the years.
 I love McDonald’s and have had a tendency to lose self-control around it. At first it was infrequent during late-night study sessions with friends, entirely on impulse. Then it stopped being so infrequent.

I moved to Montreal after I graduated University and found myself in a new (big) city with few friends. My evenings after work were spent alone in those first few months. I didn’t have a lot of energy to meet new people at the end of a long day. So I watchedBig Bang Theory instead. During this time, I had moved right across the street from a McDonald’s. The mouth-watering scent of salty fries were carried on in the warm September breeze across the street and into my bedroom window.

I was doomed.

Click to read more.

It feels good, people. Now that the sun is down I can say confidently that it does feel good to scratch this off the list.

What smaller steps have you scratched off your Bucket list recently? Leave a comment here

2012 Wins

2012-wins

A mentor of sorts once told me I don’t celebrate my successes enough. Here are 7 things I’m celebrating from last year:

  1. Quitting

    Killing my other blog. That was scary.

  2. Risking

    Starting this one instead. Also scary. Both were very rewarding.

  3. Waiting

    There were a few things in my life that required me to wait for and be patient with someone else for a much longer period than I felt comfortable with. It was a good thing.

  4. Loving

    Last year had some big wins and big challenges. All of which were very much intertwined in my marriage. We love each other more than we did the year previous. It was a very good first year of marriage.

  5. Trusting

    Connected with the big challenges of last year, there was a very important couple that we could confide in and trust us to love and accept us when we were well put together and when we weren’t.

  6. Persevering

    Remember when I didn’t run and then I did? Remember when I was getting up at 6:45AM and was having great days? Yeah, that was pretty awesome. I’m still celebrating that huge win.

  7. Advancing

    I’m celebrating 2013 and naming it as 12 more months of the great successes I had in my personal life since launching this blog.

What are you celebrating from last year? Comment here or post a response on your own blog and then post the link in the comments.

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