These feelings come in ebbs and flows for me. They do happen quite often but only last a day or 2. I reach complete meltdown- have a little tantrum, then a cry, then a good talk and a large bottle of wine - then things tend to seem better. I am so lucky to have lots of positive family and friends around me- who always say and do the right things. I do realise that my most recent melt down wasn't so long ago and I'm still on the positive path. I do wonder what my comments would be mid meltdown. I'm lucky not to harbour those memories. I can't tell you how many times I step back- look at what I have - and realise I'm a very lucky lady. If only all the step backs got rid of some calories. X
Sometimes it's easy and I just get on with life and work every week at a million miles an hour then occasionally, and usually it's when the holidays arrive and I'm not going to be at home I get down. Luckily this doesn't happen very often, thankfully as I get decent holidays. I do my best and that's all I can do. Am I doing it well enough? I think so! I'm sure someone will say so if not!
I try to do everything to the best of my ability and if it's not I feel I have failed, even though there is reassurance from those around me. But am now have lots of hormones that are trying to magnify all of those feelings and it's recognising that!
this is a big one for me. I very often feel shame that I'm not doing a good enough job. Especially if I haven't handled something very well. My ex said I always over-complicate things. Probably because I'm always trying to think ahead and not just dealing with the thing at the time. I worry a lot. And yet many people say what lovely girls I have or that I'm doing a brilliant job. My feeling towards those comments? Smile and say thank you - but I don't really believe it! I am immensely proud of my kids though. I just worry that they don't have the role models for a happy, loving couple. I wonder if that will affect their relationships with boyfriends in the future. Only time will tell. Fingers crossed.
Sorry, my comment didn't arrive...Just wanted to say that I suspect your ex might have under complicated things.....Bob Marley's version of Don't Worry, Be Happy is brilliant advice...
ahh the academic imposter syndrome. It is a known phenomena studied by psychologists. Often feel it but know it is a fantasy. If only !!!
Am I doing it well enough?
A tough one. I think I am at times, especially when I get feedback from someone- I hang on to that- and I'm happy and proud! Other times, the majority of times, I'm too hard on myself, I overanalyse everything, I question everything and everyone.
Not my best trait!
For me it is about having to spread myself too thinly. Then I worry that what I am doing will never be good enough for anyone and I feel not just shame (because I can't do it the way I want to) but also guilt that im letting people down and so I try to compensate by working around the clock which then leads to resentment that I don't get anytime to myself! I am learning that it is ok to not be everything to everyone. One area worth mentioning is that a lot of comments where made by my female friends and colleagues about how I should work but who did not have children. The comments reinforced for me that they felt I was doing less than them because of my family. These comments without them knowing really hurt my pride. Interestingly those ladies who went on to have children are the ones who now say they are sorry and have no idea how I managed all I did with children. I am extremely lucky now to have an understanding female boss and a great team.
I always approach any situation in a calm manner which helps me avoid meltdowns, however questioning everything causes occasional irritation amongst my family, who are more used to a more straightforward intake of information. Without realising my increased suspicions regarding sources of information, I, obviously, annoy my family members by a constant flow of questions, such as - how do you know that? What makes you so sure? How do you know that it is true?
I think this applies to all people who care enough about what they are doing. We are our own worst enemy sometimes by setting our own high expectations because we don't want to fail at anything. I was told once by someone that they like to do one thing at a time, but do it very well. This was, of course, a man. As that is not an option I am sure that doing lots of things as well as you can, should be good enough. If not, then too bad. Take a hike! If you are honest with yourself and you know you have tried your best, then you should be content.
I agree with Anne that if we didn't care about what we are doing then we wouldn't have emotional responses like guilt, regret shame etc.
I am my own worst critic and often feel that I try to do too much and that I am not doing a good enough job at any of it. I then look at my wonderful children and see what glorious people they have become, how successful they are in their lives and most of all that they are happy and I feel that I can't have made too many mistakes along the way. I am really grateful to all my family and friends who help me as no matter how strong we are we cannot always manage it all alone.
Fraud - again there's a loaded word.
I don't feel like fraud - i worked my butt off to get my qulas and was already into my PhD when i started at Edge Hill. I was working at an FE college and doing an FE was not really looked upon as being something good - I paid for myself with my friend michelle helping me. I knew i didn't want to go into management as i would not want to lose my integrity within a neoliberal set up and have to treat people as commodities rather than people. I feel like I asm empowered and as such I feel like i can empower people. I come from a council housing estate and you know what it's always been my belief that i'm as good as anyone and there as good as me - we're all equal. I feel comfortable in my shoes and try to ensure that whoever i meet i give respect and make them feel comfortable. For me education and reserach is about social justice and bigger than myself or an institution - it's about reaching out and making a difference in the world - and that gived my the fire in my belly
There were many times during my son's childhood that I felt a failure. I never did manage to 'hit the big time' with a career. But you know what? I hit the big time as a mum. I only have to look at my son now, what a great person he is, and how successful he is that I know I did something right.
I never saw it at the time. And my friends used to tell me I was doing a great job. But I often felt a fraud. At times I felt hopeless, selfish, guilty (this one will always continue!), a complete failure as a career woman. But now, looking back, I needn't have worried so much. I wasn't a fraud. I was a mum doing her best in the circumstances.
Is this the “Who does she think she is” thing? The times when you reach out with a new idea, take on a battle that only you can see as desperately important, or overwork in a way that most people see as insane such as putting a new border into the garden by moonlight or driving for two hours at 8pm because you are worried about someone in a residential home. Other people thinking you are simply not real because they would be too sensible to push themselves the extra 10 miles that you do and you must be a fraud because nobody can really do all that properly. Putting a lot into life can be isolating. Reach for the stars I say. Bye Bye Barbi. xxx
I am doing well enough? Sometime yes, sometimes no but it depends on my definition of enough. I often feel a fraud however, feeling that I am pretending I know what I'm talking about/doing and everyone can see. It's a bit like the emperor's new clothes. People are polite when they say I am doing well or its a good idea but then I think they must be being kind and its not true. I often doubt myself but don't let on.
I often don't think I'm doing enough for Tara or my family but then I'm doing as much as I can and that will have to be good enough. I wish I was more patient but then it is what it is.
I'm a lot better with this than I used to be. I got promoted to a very senior position early in my career spent a good few months hoping I wouldn't get "found out". Presumably for being not good enough.
When I started to teach in FE and HE I had to be far more relaxed about this because I was often asked to teach things that I didn't know that much about!
It is not, do you think I am a fraud?, so much as do I think I am a fraud? I suffer from imposter syndrome when I'm down but generally I can quite cheerfully say that I couldn't care less what other people think of how I am balancing my life between home and work - I choose not to think about it. I can say this because I have never received a direct criticism from some one important to me about this. I am sure I would feel very differently if some one had commented.
I'm the one that most regularly thinks that I'm a fraud. In just about every department. Always worse if I am low or tired or struggling with depression.
Current mantra - Relax. Let go. All is well. Choose life.
Sometimes I feel ashamed of the outcomes of my choices - which to be truthful is centred around not having the career, the big house, the flashy car, the holidays - all the trappings of life that I feel we are judged by - and sometimes I wish I had 'worked' (ie paid work) harder to achieve. Should I have done things differently? Perhaps so, but I live with the choices I made and I like an easier lifestyle than the 'career woman' model that I feel women are these days expected to step up to. And (perhaps controversially) I don't agree with children being put into long hours of childcare to accommodate their parents' careers. So in that way, no, I don't feel a fraud.
First Happy International Women's Day x The only shame or fraud is on an 'equal' society that is signed up to CEDAW and DEVAW but does not value or support caregiving and creates a public/private, home/work divide for us to straddle with kids in midst- It is society that is a fraud- all too evident in our plastic Barbie...and Ken! - well done Sarah & contributors for the meltdown of this ridiculous myth of woman-ness & thank goodness we don't act like dolls or puppets on a string!xxx
Feeling a fraud, I think unless you are an uber confident soul. I think society or rather the one that we live in with a culture that underpins an ethos that we are not working hard enough, not productive enough. I would say that it was a subliminal message but in fact i think it is quite explicit in our media and out of the mouths of the politicians and within all work places.I think it is that culture that makes me doubt myself. When I am in a creative environment, I dont think like that. i relax and enjoy the thinking and the work, I am at my best. I was out working n the gallery the other week.Someone said you must have had sleepless nights organising these events. I thought I haven't, I am so relaxed and happy and in the zone of Flow as dear mikhali would say. it was the creative and supportive culture that made me feel like that and which brings the very best out in me. I can be very good at putting a front on and pretending things are ok and then sometimes I know the mask slips.. My mother's friend has a saying which I understand so well, 'paint the face and the put the show on the road'.I think many women are like that. You have to be because you deal with so many situations, constantly multi task and need to prove yourself in so many ways..
Am I doing it well enough? Who knows! I used to spend so much time worrying and over analysing my abilities and short comings. Discussed over too many glasses of wine in the company of friends . This has not been helped by the media and its portrayal of women, the 'ideal' Barbie! Thank goodness we are not all conformist Barbie's, bowing to the pressures of the media with its false perception of women.
There's no shame in saying I am who I am, not a fraud, just me. I don't like the word fraud! Not trying to be something or someone that I am not. Accepting yourself for the person that you are is not fraudulent.
Thank you Sarah & Co for a fantastic week of Barbie! xx