I was reading a blog post today about syndromes that often affect computer programmers and I just burst out laughing because it rang so true to me. I am suffering from what is called "Imposter Syndrome". Have you heard of that before? I hadn't! I didn't realize that there was such a thing and that perhaps I might actually have colleagues who felt the same way that I do. Apparently it is common and even more common among women in my field. Check it out here: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Impostor_syndrome.
I am surrounded at work by highly intelligent developers and engineers and I believe that most of them are much better developers and much smarter than myself. I worry that some day I will be "found out". They will realize that I am not as smart as they are and that will be the end. My career will be over, my job gone. So, I make sure that when I talk about my work that I deprecate myself and my abilities. I don't like to stand in front of them and present on my skills. I am intimidated in meetings to speak up because I fear that what I say will sound 'stupid'. (Wow, just typing that up makes me feel dumb for even feeling that way haha.) I wait for others to share before I do because my ideas might not be the 'right' ideas. And the list goes on and on....
I guess, in reality, I do this in more areas of my life than just my work. I often find myself talking down my abilities and my talents in pretty much all areas of my life. I am reminded of a quote:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~Marianne Williamson
I know that I have talents and skills. Mine are not the same as everyone else's and that is why we all work so well together. We complement each other. We help each other. I want to make my workplace a safe place where there isn't fear that "I will be found out". A place where I can share of my skills and talents and not worry whether my idea is the 'right' idea or the 'wrong' idea. Not a single one of us on this planet knows it all. We all have gifts and ideas to share with each other. I am going to create this at my job and in my home. So be it :)