Hi, I am Sara Vaca, independent consultant and frequent Saturday contributor.
Lots has happened since my last post in February (a global pandemic for crying out loud), so I’ve been trying to find a timely topic, relevant to what we are all currently living, but I’m afraid I could not come up with one.
Therefore, I am going to share a recent, personal-professional, rather deep experience that relates to the frustrations that we may be living lately (while personally acknowledging and being thankful for my privileged situation).
At the beginning of March I was invited to facilitate a masterclass on Theories of Change (nicely organized by Ann-Murray Brown in Amsterdam), and when I was going to start facilitating one of my sessions, I looked around and I saw a room full of experts, and I thought that they probably had more experience in ToC than me, which made my insecurities (that I otherwise keep nicely under control) suddenly arise and take over. So I became nervous, spoke fast, making less sense and over-apologized during the two hours it lasted. More importantly, I broke my rule of having fun while I do my work.
At the end of the workshop, a nice, wise woman came to me and said kindly: “Please stop apologizing in these situations. You are amazing. You should be proud.” And she made me cry.
Hot Tip: I heard Michele Obama saying that we should overcome our impostor syndrome (when you doubt of your accomplishments and feel a constant fear of being exposed as a “fraud”, that apparently happens more often to women). She realized that it was other people in the room who should feel like impostors rather than herself. So for me, the fact that people I admire feel like that helps me want to fight and overcome it.
Hot Tips: Apart from acknowledging this, some other strategies that help me:
- Thinking I am perfectly enough, authentic and unique 🙂
- It goes without saying: working hard is the basis for trusting myself
- Keeping that balance between showing confidence and being humble
- Finally I once heard someone saying something that made me feel better: “If I evaluate myself, I might find that I am not too valuable – but if I compare myself with others, I’m not that bad at all.” In a nice way.
Does this happen with you? How do you deal with it?
I wish you are all doing well, and I hope that we can expose ourselves to our residual potential impostor syndromes (=working with groups again)… very soon!
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