Playing Small

Image from Quotes By Women

I was to meet with one of my mentors last week for an evaluation, and I got incredibly nervous. Why? What’s this thing about nerves? Why so self conscious so much that it paralyzes us?

I was invited to a tech conference as a speaker a couple months ago and I felt incredibly nervous. My impostor syndrome game was so strong that I came up with excuses and opted out. Ironically, I had written abstracts, and responded to calls for papers, none of which came through. It was something I wanted, or least thought I did, and even had it on my goals for the year. But the opportunity came, and I let Resistance win. What a shame. And there I was telling my kids at Sunday School about Marianne Williamson’s famous poem on Our Deepest Fear.

I did some research and realized that I was in good company. A Forbes article I found claimed that Maya Angelou once said, “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’” I’m owning this self-sabotaging vulnerability, just as I’m owning my success — and deciding that this must never happen again. Ever.

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