Be Comfortable Being Known

A good friend and someone I mentor stopped by yesterday to say hi.  She was excited to tell me that her organization had recently re-org’d and she was put on a new team putting her higher up in the management chain.

As soon as she delivered the news, she immediately said, “but I’m really nervous.”

Why?  Because the director of the new team had met with her and told her that he had been following some of the great engineering work she had been doing and he was very excited to have her as part of his team.  She was worried that she wouldn’t live up to his expectations.

I know how she feels.  In the women engineering community, we’ve knick named this, the imposter syndrome.  It’s that feeling that others believe you are better and more capable than you believe you are.  That worry that as you rise up the ranks and gain responsibility, you’ll be found out.

It’s just your mind playing tricks.  Most of us have worked extra hard to succeed where we are the minority.  We’ve chosen this path because we are driven and are our own harshest critics.  It makes us very successful (but also self-doubters).

I told her she really is that good.  She’ll be infinitely more successful than her peers because she’s known and is continuing to work hard to succeed.  Be comfortable in having those higher-ups recognize your good work!

Just be careful not to burn out in striving for success….

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kiki on September 16, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I’m so glad we have you on the panel for the


  2. Posted by kiki on September 16, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I’m so glad we have you on the panel for the talk on the Importer Syndrome. You give great advice!


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