Being made redundant left me with permanent imposter syndrome

Today I was working away when an oversight was pointed out to me. I panicked because I didn’t know how big this could be and I ended upsetting myself to the point of tears. I don’t know why I panicked so much, but in my mind, something small which wasn’t my fault or necessarily down to me suddenly became a huge potential problem.

A bad day turned worse

I had a very tough day at work, it was busy, there was lots of stress and the volume of work was huge. But as organised as I try to be, sometimes some days just explode. After words of wisdom from a few lovely pals, I’ve calmed down and realised that any problem, big or small, I’ve made, been involved with or not, is not the end of the world. It turns out that the oversight wasn’t an error on my part at all, it was something I didn’t spot but is fixable. I took on the responsibility and the momentary grief of the mistake and just panicked. A friend reminded me “You’re not going to get fired over an oversight. Nobody is going to die. It’s ok, please don’t feel bad about it, it’s not worth it”. And these comments got me thinking that losing my job is a very real thing that I think about, and it all comes back to being made redundant a few years ago.

Past experiences

I worked for a small company several years ago that was on the brink of going bust, not able to pay all it’s staff in full and needed to restructure, get rid of staff, to save money. Sadly, that was me. I’ve realised today that even though I got over the experience a long time ago, its something that left me feeling I might not always be good enough. Sometimes I think maybe I could be spared again? Being made redundant certainly left me with imposter syndrome: the “pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.”

Not full circle yet

This blog post isn’t a “This happened, now I’ve come full circle and it no longer applies” type of post. Feeling like you’re not the best and not entirely confident is still something I deal with a lot, but I’m hoping that this bad day might teach me a lesson long term. We always learn from experiences, so today might give me a little more confidence in myself going forward. I need to remember that actually it’s not me always making mistakes, other people are accountable too and we’re all human.

Lessons from me to me

Here are some top tips that I’m noting for myself, you and anyone you know when it comes to forgetting imposter syndrome, moving forward and trying to be a more confident you.

  • Believe in yourself more.
  • Praise means you’re doing a good job.
  • If you were doing a bad job, you’d be pulled up on it.
  • You won’t just be fired for making a little mistake.
  • You’re not accountable for every single thing.
  • Don’t panic if you do make an oversight or error.
  • We’re all human.

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