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Imposter syndrome - Why it’s a crock of SHIT!

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

I hear it more often that I want to;

I don’t think I can do this!

I’m not cut out for it!

But that is a lie, and here is why;

If you are currently a manager struggling to cope it is normally for 1 of 2 reasons

  1. You don’t feel emotionally ready

  2. You don’t think you have the knowledge or skills

If it is number 1 then you are living in a simple misunderstanding. Every week I am coaching people to see this for themselves, and this simple realisation opens up a whole new experience of being alive. An experience of fresh opportunity and more joy.

Already you know that some days you are emotionally ready, and somedays not. Why is that? How is it that some days you can go to work full of hope and ready for anything, and others times full of dread and foreboding. It is not day that is changing, it is something altogether different. So let me tell you, there is hope.

If it is number 2 then knowledge and skills can be acquired. There are people around you, and in your online community that can help you. When you become a leader or manager you do not suddenly and instantaneousply acquire all the knowledge you need. It is a journey. Being kind and tolerant starts with you!

When I got my first big promotion I was working at Wormwood Scrubs Prison. As a Principal Officer I was on a rota where you would oversee the daily running of the prison and deal with any incidents. And those incidents could be anything from the mundane to the truly horrific. One day I confided in a colleague that I wasn’t confident, I was sure I didn’t know what to do, how to deal with the daily emergencies and alarm bells. ‘Oh, he said, we all feel like that, most of us are just making it up as we go along!’.

What a relief to know I wasn’t alone. As long as I knew the basics I found that when I stopped overthinking, when I got out of my own way, when I stopped telling myself I couldn’t and started saying I can, and I am, then things started to change.

You are not an imposter, you are YOU, and perfectly so.

Martyn Dawes is a Coach, Social Care Consultant, and Author of The Overwhelmed Manager: What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

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