How are things for you?
As I write this we, here in the UK, are beginning to see the ups and downs of the corona-coaster. As virus infections in the UK and many parts of Europe decreased and things looked good, we began to ease lockdown measures which meant increased opportunities for contact and spreading of the virus…
Now we have a few places in England where infections are once more beginning to rise. We’re seeing places in Europe which looked like infections were under control and are currently experiencing sharp spikes in infections. Maybe the immediate future isn’t as rosy as many politicians, or citizens, had hoped.
How are you doing in these anything but ordinary times?
Personally and professionally I’m riding the ups and the downs, going with the flow, keeping most things on track, being compassionate with myself when I don’t.
I’m seeing how I lost business at the start of lockdown and am creating more opportunities as the months go by. We can’t easily predict these things, but we can respond to situations as we experience them.
I often tell my clients that a working definition of “luck” is when preparation meets opportunity. You might have less control over the timing of the opportunity but if you’ve done your work, you’ll be ready when it arrives.
So, I’ve been delivering training on various aspects of Imposter Syndrome for many years now and one of the points I draw out during these sessions is that many people who experience Imposter feelings also experience the adverse effects of unconscious bias. If your workplace, organisation or social culture is sending out subtle (or not so subtle) signals that you don’t belong here, it’s probably not surprising that you might feel out of place, a fraud, as if you’re about to be found out. For many women in the workplace, institutionalised gender bias is at the heart of this.
Racial bias also has its effect. In a survey in North America they identified that the stress levels experienced by minority status students strongly correlated with their experience of Imposter Syndrome feelings. They didn’t ask about their experience of racial bias but I suspect it played its part.
And so the emergence of Black Lives Matter in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic makes me realise how important it is to help people understand where their feelings of belonging – or not belonging – come from. We need to work to change the cultures and institutions that propagate bias and we need to do the inner work so that when opportunities present themselves, we are ready to step up and take them.
Tell me, what unexpected opportunities have presented themselves to you in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic?
I look forward to hearing from you!
If you’re wondering whether you are affected by Imposter Syndrome feelings, do visit my Am I an Imposter page where you can answer some simple questions and get a free ebook that will give you some answers.