It’s 12 am and am just from listening to Patricia Kihoro’s latest vlog. First, I have to say, that woman is a gem and I completely adore her. Second, I just never understand how my urge to write always comes at night. In the middle of the night to be exact!
Anyway, Patricia’s talk intrigued me because she mentioned things that I could relate to at this particular moment. How fear and insecurities consume us to the point of “ I ‘m not good enough “
For the past few weeks, WFH (work from home) has been tough. Let me explain, I work as a software engineer in the most amazing company with the best team you possibly imagine. They bring their A-game daily and I’m always amazed. I love it to be honest.
WFH has brought out my worst insecurities. It made me feel I’m not good enough to even be part of such a team. It made me set unrealistic goals with the intentions of keeping up, it unveiled my fears in the worst possible way and I saw my self succumb to it.
I’m sure most people face imposter syndrome, me being one of them and I always think “will they think I’m a scam?”
I take it overboard and turn it into fear. Fear that makes me ask for a second opinion even on the simplest things leave alone doing those tasks. I realized I do this and end up having too many tasks until I procrastinate doing them or just get overwhelmed.
For the longest time, I would wake up with the fear of “how am I going to accomplish my tasks?” I focused more on wanting to get things done and getting approval but it was never enough.
This week I internalized some of the things I do. Most of my fears come from within. I beat myself up so much when I don’t achieve or don’t understand things. I second doubt my abilities especially in terms of my work. Instead, I should give myself credit for the things I have done right or I got to do towards my goals.
I always imagine people with the discipline to get things done on time, have life figured out. But what does it take?
Honestly, I don’t know but I will share what I have been trying to do to overcome my fears at work and in life generally:
- I’m a religious person and therefore my faith has played a big role in keeping me calm. Knowing that there is a God who is in control even when I’m uncertain of my future has helped me deal with my fears head-on. How I usually phrase it is “Submitting my fears to my God”
- I avoid comparing myself to others and measure my self-growth. I look back to where I started and where I am now. If there is any difference then I know I’m growing. If I faced it then why can’t I face it now?
- I break down my day to day tasks. I own 3 notebooks, coloured pens and sticky notes and no! not all are for my to-do lists but just to pen down anything and everything. Aspirations, notes from my studies e.t.c
For my work, I write down my daily tasks and break them down further into sub-tasks. When I still feel overwhelmed, I break it down even further into pseudocode or flowchart. I know most people do this but it wasn’t something I had trained myself to do till now.
For my studies, I write my notes with coloured pens. There is something about coloured pens! you can never go wrong.
- I take mandatory breaks when I feel overwhelmed or fear starts creeping in. I would normally just take a walk away from my machine or sit outside and come back after ten minutes. This calms me and I also get time to say a prayer :)
- I found this to be the most important point of all. Reminding myself “ why am I doing this?” I joined technology because I saw it’s the easiest way to make a change. I got the opportunity to be part of the change and sometimes my focus may change but I know that is what I always wanted out of my passion. Getting myself to understand this over and over has helped me be at ease and know it’s okay to be where I am.
- Lastly, appreciating myself. I take a breath, relax and assure myself that I got this! I might think low of myself at that very moment but there are people out here looking up to me. So why not shake off all the negativity and be genuinely proud of me first.
Hope this helps to guide you in your journey. Take your time as you figure yourself out. Believe me, you will get there but most importantly love yourself❤️ It goes a long way.