I do hope you’re well and not too impacted by the current swathe of new lockdown measures. It would seem that 2020 is a year like no other and that the surprises are still coming.
In this newsletter I ask “What do you wish you’d known?” and one thing I hope you might say is “I wish I’d known that Margaret was going to do a Facebook live teaching on “Overcoming Imposter Syndrome feelings” on Monday 28th September at 7.00pm” because yes, this Monday evening, at 7.00pm on my Facebook page I’ll be sharing what I know! Please do come and join me and do invite your friends.
I will be explaining what Imposter Syndrome is, why it matters and what you can do about it. What would you like to know?
I also want to ask you to reflect a little more deeply on what you wish your younger self had known – like, if you could send that younger self a message from your present self, what would that be?
Earlier in my career as a new research academic, I was confident in my knowledge and endlessly curious, I was dedicated to developing the potential in the people in my team, my postdocs, my students. At the same time I was acutely affected by feelings of Imposter Syndrome, that I didn’t belong, that somehow, I was a fraud. That’s how I know that Imposter Syndrome isn’t simply about confidence, it’s more complicated than that.
As a young academic, moving up the career ladder I was confident in my technical skills. I could protect my team, I could fight against injustice, for the underdog – it might have been scrappy at times but I made it work. When students didn’t get access to the resources they needed, when I got assigned roles that were not really mine – yes, I could fight my corner well.
What I failed to understand at the time was the power of my Queen, that part of me that held a vision for my career and my place in the world. I really felt that my career success had happened by accident. I knew I wanted to do research but I certainly didn’t have “a light that steered me through the darkness”. It felt like one happy accident after another. It also felt as if everyone else had that light, was following their calling but of course I was never brave enough to actually ask them, just in case they found out I was a fraud! Is any of this sounding familiar to you?
As I gained my first permanent post – a rare thing indeed in research – in hindsight I really wish I’d known how to steer a course through the sometimes messy internal politics that is such a part of university life. The part of me that would speak up, would shape vision and strategy across the department, play a bigger game within the university, I hadn’t found that part of me yet.
Twenty years later, lots of personal and professional development, I now have the tools I wish I’d had then. The amazing OneOfMany™ women’s PowerTypes have given me access to a range of different energies, attitudes and behaviours that would have been very helpful then. And yes, ready access to that Queen energy now gives me confidence to navigate even these uncertain times.
One of my delights now is to help my current coaching clients discover their Queen, explore their vision, to speak and have their voice heard! In a testimonial, one client recently said:
“I’m beginning to look myself in the eye in the mirror and believe I’m a great leader!”.
I was so pleased to hear that!
So let me ask you, what do you wish your younger self – or current self – had known?
Please do let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
And, before I go, why don’t you put a reminder in your calendar to join me at 7.00pm on Monday 28th September for that Facebook live.
See you soon!