Know Your True Self

Today’s Thought: Be confident. Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be someone we aren’t. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses and it is only when you accept everything you are – and aren’t- that you will truly succeed.

This week I have been worrying myself silly that I am not good enough at my job again; that someone I work with would be much better at it than me. I have been undermining my confidence and putting myself down to the point where I have been looking at other jobs to see if there is a viable way out! There isn’t! I have to face the challenges that are coming my way.

Luckily, I had an appointment with my therapist this week and when I told her how I have been feeling and how anxious I am about the heavy workload I have coming up over the next few weeks, she set me a challenge – to name all the ‘bad’ things about some of my colleagues. I had sat there listing all the ‘bad’ things about me, saying everyone was better than me but I hadn’t said anyone else was ‘bad’ at anything.

It was an moment of realisation for me – of course we all have strengths and weaknesses, that’s totally normal, but why was I only focusing on my weaknesses and everyone else’s apparent strengths? Sitting with my therapist, we listed all the weaknesses my colleagues have – even the kindest, most lovely of them had weaknesses – and we compared the weaknesses to my strengths and saw how they balanced each other out.

I am still anxious about the next few weeks; I am scared I won’t perform under the immense pressure that is to come, but I have made a decision: I am going to play to my strengths – one of which is encouraging others to perform at their best, by developing their strengths and supporting their weaknesses. I am good at this! I have colleagues who are good at the things I am less good at – this is why we have a team and why it’s important we aren’t all strong at the same aspects of the role.

The next time you feel inadequate or have an attack of impostor syndrome, take a few moments to list everyone else’s bad points (don’t make it public, maybe only do it in your head – you don’t want a situation where someone finds your list!). Consider how your strengths counteract their weaknesses and how their strengths counteract your weaknesses. See how you play your part then get out there and play it well!

You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be you.

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