You read/see/hear a lot about “imposter syndrome” in professional environments. The feeling that you don’t belong in your office, in your career…that somehow others do but you do NOT.
I’m feeling that this morning in my own life. Like…I’m really terrible at being Kim…the Mother, The Daughter, The Freelancer, The Wife, The Friend.
It started with some realizations that I hadn’t put important things on my checklist of “Things To Do” to get my Mom relocated to Huntsville. Like, how did I not realize how difficult it would be to find rentals that allow dogs? How did I not think about how unique a lot of her situations are in Knoxville and I can’t completely recreate them here. Did I think it would be easy to find things here to match things there? YES, I DID. And now I feel like a total idiot for that.
And then I remembered a friend I left hanging about something and somehow this triggered a floodgate of remembering friends I’ve left hanging on things and now I’m assuming no one feels like they can depend on me for anything. And honestly? At my track rate lately? They can’t.
Then there’s this situation: I filed some paperwork for my daughter later than I should have for her to try out for a sport for the spring and now it seems (based on a notice I got this morning, the day of tryouts) I don’t have the right paperwork and she may not be able to try out.
I also didn’t get to work on a project over the holidays like I wanted but someone else has been working on it so now I’m thinking I’m a huge disappointment there. Are they disappointed in me? Did they bring in someone else?
I mean…on a practical level there’s a part of me that understands that this is life and be kind to yourself and POBODY’S NERFECT.
But there’s the bigger part of me that wants to not disappoint people and this morning it was just like an avalanche of noticing ways I’ve disappointed people in the last few days and suddenly I’m thinking, “I’m the worst at being ME.”
I’m not even sure that makes sense.
It’s just like sometimes I’m like, “They think I can do the job of Kim but what if I can’t do the job of Kim? What if I’m not qualified? What if there’s someone better to be Kim who stays more ahead of the game and problem-solves faster and is able to see all scopes of potential problems better?”
And that’s how I’m feeling this morning.
So I’m writing it out because as I write out stuff like, “Am I bad at being Kim?” there’s a part of my brain that is all: SHUT UP YOU ARE DUMB.
I mean, she’s nicer than that. But basically she sees all of the above written and and she sees it for how ridiculous it is.
Writing it out helps me step outside of it and see that, if someone I love was feeling these things I would try to remind them that life is busy and hard and way too short to spend this much time down on yourself.
It’s just a blah day, you know? And my anxiety is such that feelings of shame/disappointment snowball and my brain can’t think about anything else but how I’m a disappointment and then I look at that important “To Do List” for Mom and my brain can’t even translate it enough to work through it because it’s so busy thinking, “KIM IS NOT GOOD AT BEING KIM.”
So…I’m going to do the things I know to help me reboot. I’m going to do my breathing exercises. I’m going to organize my to-do list in actual timeline checklists. I’m going to set up alerts on my phone so I’ll see emails when they come in so I can solve those problems as soon as people get back to me. I’m going to time block and tell my brain, “This is not the time for our spiral…this is the time for Freelance work. You can spiral later.”
And maybe I’ll try to take a moment to sit down and write the things down the last few days that I did that were GOOD. Maybe I forget about those things too easily.