Beat your Imposter Syndrome like a boss!

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How are you? Are you tired of working from home? Do you long to be back to the office or back to your working routine? Please hang in there. It is clear that Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is here with us, and we are all trying our best to cope and manage a new normal.

I have been talking to some of my friends, and one of their biggest challenges is how to work from home. They are in endless anxiety, wondering if they are working enough or whether the Human Resources Manager is thinking of letting them go.

Well, while I listen and understand their fears, it is evident that this is a problem that many people are battling with worldwide. Many of us have had this kind of a feeling before, only that it is getting more pronounced as one of the challenges during COVID-19. At some point in our lives, we all have second-guessed our capabilities. Everyone does. Don’t be deceived, even that very high ranking boss might be going through the same challenge. The only difference is the fact that they haven’t spoken about it, neither do they have a name for this feeling. Well, what you’ve been going through is an interesting disorder known as the “impostor syndrome.”

According to Mike Cannon Brookes, an entrepreneur, technology investor and passionate clean energy evangelist, impostor syndrome is that feeling that leaves you doubting your abilities, fearing that someday, you are going to be discovered as a “fraud”. In this funny, relatable talk, he shares how his own experiences of impostor syndrome helped pave the way to his success — and shows how you can use it to your advantage, too.

Well, last week I followed an exciting conversation on LinkedIn under the hashtag #ImpostorSyndrome. Listening to my own friends narrate their experiences dealing with COVID-19 and how hard it has been battling this unseen enemy, I imagine this would make an interesting conversation starter for many of us. Well, I understand that for some of my friends working in Kenya, especially those in government offices have greater battles to deal with. One of their major challenges has been adjusting to working from home where the system has always been an 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

The second greatest challenge has been lack of travels outside their working territories, therefore, reduced per-diems and travel allowances, so there is a new reality of having to adjust to life within their ‘real’ means. Many of them are very shocked at how little their salaries have been. Well, I am a student now, I can only sympathise. Yes, reality has hit home; it is time to learn the art of living within our means. I wish you luck with that.

Here is an exciting twist in all this. Many people actually miss the chance to see colleagues and do little office gossips. “You won’t believe how COVID-19 had denied us an opportunity to talk and gossip. Now, we have no idea what is happening in people’s life. Some of us live for office gossip, and we must get a chance to catch up, it is part of our working life,” remarked a friend who is completely overwhelmed by the idea of working from home, six months later.

I imagined ‘impostor syndrome’ was a big deal until I heard about the denied opportunity for office politics and gossips. What has your experience been? What do you miss most about going to work? In your working from home, do you feel like you have challenges dealing with impostor syndrome? Do you even know what it is and how it manifests itself?

Here are some links. Carefully listen and read, then leave your comment for discussion.

What is imposter syndrome and how can you combat it?

How students of colour can combat imposter syndrome.

Next week, I will share my thoughts concerning a recent interview conducted on a local TV station in Kenya, featuring two high ranking diplomats,  UK High Commissioner to Kenya Ambassador Jane Marriot and her counterpart US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter.  I will share my thoughts, then let’s have a conversation.

Until then, stay well. #IAmChevening and this is #MyCheveningJourney

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Patience Nyange

I believe in a just society and I am a strong believer in Ralph Waldo Emerson words: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

3 thoughts on “Beat your Imposter Syndrome like a boss!

  • 18th August 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing your latest blog post, and bringing up a very relevant, and real, challenge for most of us. I think COVID has brought up so much fear, and uncertainty, for people that I’m not surprised it’s flaring up for most. I do think this transformative, and reflective, time period is necessary, however, so people can eventually uplevel and find a more peaceful and balances existence.

    In regard to missing office gossip, and interaction, I would have to say that I don’t miss it. Since I’ve been living in Spain for over five years now and thankfully haven’t walked into an office setting, apart from my lawyer’s office, that I don’t miss the office politics, and gossip, on bit. I think it’s quite harmful. Gossip pits others against one another, especially women, and it generally brings out the worst in people, myself included. What starts out as a just venting, or “bonding” with others, always ends up inadvertently hurting at least one person, the target person. It’s so easy to get sucked in by the addictiveness of it, too, especially if you’re insecure.

  • 18th August 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Hello Patience,
    Your post reminds me of the saying that if you squeeze a tube of toothpaste, what comes out was already there. The squeeze did not put it there. I suppose it is true also of what the pressures of life brought on by Covid are bringing out in people, what was inside. Hopefully as we are confronted by this we will choose to critique our responses so that we can come out of it with a greater self awareness, maturity, contentment and gratitude.

    Transitions are always difficult for anyone. This one is more challenging because it is lengthy and unpredictable and therefore uncomfortable because we don’t have control, we can’t have control. Maybe we can live one day at a time and ride it out, because freedom is sometimes simply another perspective away 🙂

    Thank you for sharing and helping us question our responses to SI so that we can grow.


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