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Self esteem/imposter syndrome

(25 Posts)
cupofchai Thu 05-Oct-17 21:17:52

Hi. So I've started a new job after 5 years as a SAHM. It's a hard and tough industry but I did it for 9 years before I became a SAHM. I was fairly senior. I have great contacts and experience.

Somehow (through interviewing and being headhunted) I've got the same kind of job as I had before - I have lost total
Self belief. I'm so so hard on myself.

I work remotely so I'm basically calling into my boss every so often to touch base. They've asked me to do this so I can stay connected to the business. My boss is seriously the Loveliest person ever. He's so helpful and endearing.

I'm basically my own worst enemy - I'm putting lots of pressure on myself (where they're not) they're very much like it will all take time. You've had 5 years out etc.

I came across super confident at interview I was well prepared. Now I feel incapable although I'm very capable!!

I know I can do this - but I'm also holding the real me back. I was being needy with my new boss. So now I've withdrawn. I'm really blowing hot and cold. I'm at a loss - I need to make the right impression.

Now I won't pick up the phone when I do I keep conversation to business and I'm off the phone quickly.

Before we would have a chat and a bit of a laugh. I'm withdrawing and not connecting.

I have a fear of getting too involved I don't know why. My last employer was difficult but ok. They knew me well after 9 years. These guys are of course the same industry but they're all so so lovely.

I want to be myself - but I'm frightened I'll come across as not good enough. I feel lonely trying to be someone. I just want to be me.

cupofchai Thu 05-Oct-17 22:47:32


RewoB Thu 05-Oct-17 23:02:15

Completely understand OP just bear with it & give yourself some time to settle back in 💐

cupofchai Thu 05-Oct-17 23:31:44

Thank you

cupofchai Sat 07-Oct-17 12:29:16

I'm trying.

Woollycardi Sat 07-Oct-17 13:56:14

It will take time, but you can do this. Keep reminding yourself that they employed you to do this job not just based on your interview, but based on your vast experience. You are good enough. Repeat that over and over again, put post it notes around the desk saying 'I am enough', work on building yourself up and up. I speak from the experience of someone who has let that bitch of a critical inner voice ruin my working life to date and I would urge you not to give in to the noise of it.

cupofchai Sat 07-Oct-17 23:23:52

Thanks @Woollycardi it's awful being your own worst enemy when really you should be your best friend

Happytot Sun 08-Oct-17 00:03:44

Oh my goodness I could have written your post!! I am sorry you are feeling this way but you are not alone.

I was a sahm for 5 years also. I returned to my career last August. Like you I had a number of years experience and at senior level when I left and was lucky enough last year to find a similar role with a new employer.

I also find it hard to be myself. I also speak to my boss daily to up date him on progress. I used to also have a social chat with him but the past few weeks I find it very hard to connect with people and when I know speak to him its business only. Like you said I go hot and cold.

I put myself under so much pressure to ensure I perform well at work. I think now that pressure is really starting to takes it toll.

So I have decided something has to change. Either I start being kind to myself and be positive or quit the job and be a sahm. This week I have gone for a brisk walk for 40 mins everyday. I have being telling myself I can do this job and I am good enough. I know it doesn't sound like much but it's made a huge difference to me.

Sorry I haven't been of any help but just want you to know your not alone. X

RavenLG Sun 08-Oct-17 00:32:35

I had about a year break in employment due to depression and anxiety. Got back into work temping, felt confident and knew what I was doing. Gained a permanent role in the same company (a university) and different department and whist I can do the job in my sleep, I feel the same as you. Like I'm out of my depth, conning people into thinking I'm actually being a contributing member of the team. My role is new so there are times where I'm trying to find work to do as I've completed all my to-do list, or have gaps etc. And my team are so busy but I find myself twiddling my thumbs sometimes, so my brain goes to "You're not doing anything (even though I've asked) you're going to be found out, you're still on probabtion .. etc.etc."
I think we both just need more confidence. It does take time to get into a new job. Wishing you the best of luck OP

cupofchai Sun 08-Oct-17 09:09:09

Thanks everyone. I know how capable I am it's like a breakdown in confidence.

I have self esteem issues and I struggle to trust. It doesn't help that I work in a sharky industry anyway - but these guys seem to be different however I'm struggling to trust.

I just seem to doubt everyone. I had a fairly chaotic childhood. An alcoholic for a father so I kind of existed in that chaos and feel I'm on 'alert' all the time.

Woollycardi Sun 08-Oct-17 11:46:50

Ok, so in a sense, this whole situation has brought some of your childhood 'stuff' to consciousness, which as crappy as it is to feel it again, on some level perhaps that child who felt the chaos and uncertainty is looking for your adult self to heal. In a sense, it's a wake up call, crappy timing as it is. I really feel like you need to work on nurturing that part of yourself, be your own best friend, practice self love, recognise that when these feelings come up they are historic but they are being triggered by present day stuff. Because you know this situation is different, you are no longer that child who needs to be constantly on alert. She and you can learn to relax, to let go, to trust.
God, I completely hear what you are saying, I had a similar childhood, different circumstances and I struggle to trust, feel confused, doubt myself a lot.

cupofchai Mon 09-Oct-17 17:11:43

Thanks so much @Woollycardi for your words of kindness.

Odd as it sounds I'm still kind of learning about the child I was - in a sense my feelings of then and now merge into one. So I don't think I'm different. My adult self feels like my child self at times. I think for example because a lot of the hurt and pain from my childhood feel like adult feelings - like a lot of pain and no way to understand it.

Also there is a lot of fear from my childhood - not knowing what one day from the next would be like. How on Earth I got through school & university I just don't know. It really does feel like it was such a troubled life.

Woollycardi Mon 09-Oct-17 17:28:04

That doesn't sound odd to me at all. There is a body of literature around this subject if it makes you feel more 'normal'!
It sounds to me like you are ready to perhaps explore it in a different way now though. Have you considered therapy at all? There are therapists who will work through inner child stuff with you. Good luck!

cupofchai Mon 09-Oct-17 18:00:45

I've had CBT. Therapy - I've not found anyone I really connected with. I did have one chap a Mind counsellor - we connected we spoke for a couple of years. His waiting lists are so long.

I went privately - I didn't connect with her. She did help though got me out of a dark period.

I'll read up on inner child!

Woollycardi Mon 09-Oct-17 18:21:01

Great! Mark Bradshaw is someone who springs to mind. I wonder if your Mind counsellor could recommend someone else?

cupofchai Tue 10-Oct-17 15:26:57

The other thing that grates is I was senior in my last company.

I haven't taken a cut in salary in fact it's more than I was on - but my level within the Company isn't the same as my last Company so there are people less experienced than me that see themselves as more experienced and kind of talk down to me!

It doesn't do anything for my self esteem and I'm trying not to be defensive about it - well I'm not saying anything.

I need tools to deal with that too really

Woollycardi Tue 10-Oct-17 16:01:27

Ok, sorry I don't mean to hijack your thread but really wanted to reply, anyone else please chip in too as you may have far better ideas than me!
The truth is, you have no idea what those people are thinking, so entering a dialogue in your own head about them talking down to you is only going to exacerbate the problem for you. It won't change them at all. So try (hugely difficult I know!!) to stop yourself from putting energy into worrying about other people and try and apply it to feeling ok about yourself. Find your voice and say what you need to say, fuck anyone else. This is your job, your life, your journey.

cupofchai Tue 10-Oct-17 16:57:26

@Woollycardi you're turning into my therapist. I'm working now. I will respond fully later. Thanks so much for your help so far. You have been so so right.

cupofchai Tue 10-Oct-17 22:57:12

@Woollycardi I feel like I've spent my life kind of trying to work out people and not trusting. It's of course to do with my chaotic childhood. Difficult to trust because Dad broke my faith everyday when he kept on drinking.

You are right I need to stop focussing on negatives. I need to change the way I view things. My mental attitude to things is of course making my life harder - I need to work on this attitude and my inner voice.

Aintgotnosoapbox Wed 11-Oct-17 23:09:59

I experienced something similar OP. What I've been told psychologically, is that the work confidence is just a role, an external confidence based on competence etc, but the self esteem is what you fall back on if there is a new job, new challenge, criticism etc. If your self esteem is low from
Childhood( classic problem from alcoholic parent) then first of all you haven't got the securebase of self to rely on and second of all you are likely to have little self love and self compassion skills to befriend and love yourself when needed. The answer is to learn the skill of self compassion.

Aintgotnosoapbox Wed 11-Oct-17 23:11:21

And look up resources about coas children of alcoholics.

cupofchai Fri 13-Oct-17 12:27:50

Thank you. Yes self love/self esteem/self compassion.

I always put myself out for others - put them first. I struggle to put myself first.

I never really saw my childhood as unusual as it was normal for me - but I kind of get it now. I do need real help tackling these area.

Any reading (although podcasts) might help - please do recommend. I got to make time to see a counsellor. But now with work I actually have no time to myself.

I'm struggling - not with work but myself. I do go to the gym. I'm losing weight - I'm trying hard.

I'm just tired a lot and really trying to sort my head out and I can't.

Aintgotnosoapbox Sat 14-Oct-17 14:30:19

Look at Jerry Wise on YouTube , also a book called ' After the tears' in google about acoas.
You don't have to have abuse in childhood, or total chaos, but in an alcoholic family there is always denial, collusion, confusion, secrecy, emotional unavailability , often subtle neglect at the very least, lack of being heard, some chaos , inappropriate boundaries etc

cupofchai Sat 14-Oct-17 18:31:20

Thank you I will find these now

Aintgotnosoapbox Sat 14-Oct-17 22:18:59

Did your previous therapy look at these childhood issues chai ?

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