I sit in front of my computer screen. I stare at the blank word document. I check Facebook. I check my email. I scroll through twitter until I make my way to tweets I’ve already read.
I go back to the word document. My stomach sinks. Where do I start? How can I do this? My palms sweat. I go back to Facebook and watch a video of a cute hedgehog eating food that my friend has posted. I feel better. I look for more cute videos to watch.
I am trying to write promotional material for my website and yet again I have failed. It’s so uncomfortable that I move toward distraction. I feel safer watching cute videos than I do writing about my strengths and the services I want to offer.
And I guess some people call this imposter syndrome but that doesn’t seem to be strong enough for me. I feel more like a liar and a cheat than an imposter. I feel worthless. Who do I think I am?
I want to help people. I want to do it as a profession but since I’m not certified as a life coach or a therapist, I feel like a fraud.
I notice how important it is for me for some external body to validate the work that I do. I want someone else to tell me that I’m qualified. Even though I’ve been working with youth and young adults for over a decade, this doesn’t count. I don’t have a piece of paper that declares that I am ready.
I call my sister for support. She has just started working as a peer support counselor for her university. She did a full day training session on peer support and now works with students who need extra support transitioning to university. Her training continues in the form of evening workshops on special topics.
I tell her about my worries and she says, “Bryn, you can do this. I felt the same way when I started doing peer support and now I’m doing fine.” I respond, “But the university hired you. The university trusts you for the position.” She responds, “I had one day of training. That’s it. You’ve been working with youth forever. Your way more qualified than I am. You can do this.”
And it reminds me of when I got my first “real job” at a small not-for-profit. I created an email signature, wrote a bio for the website, they printed business cards with my name and position. I thought, “Wow – this is how grown ups do it. All you have to do is print business cards with your name and title and then you give them out to other grown ups. You put on a grown up outfit and that’s it, you’re in.”
So, as I wrote about on Facebook earlier this week, I sat down to write a “Work with Me” webpage and started drinking. I had one bottle of cider, then another. I started to write and kept writing until I had a crappy first draft. I found photos, I arranged them on the webpage, I pressed publish and then headed out to meet a friend for dinner.
We met at a Second Cup and I drank sips of his coffee to sober up. The next morning, I edited the page again.
So here I am, standing in front of you, declaring that I am qualified. And it is scary. And a part of me still believes I’m a total fraud, but I’m going forward anyways.
This is the work I’ve been doing my whole life in both friendships and paid positions where I work with people. This is the work that makes me feel the most alive. And beyond the fear and the doubt there’s another part of me that is really excited to share it with you. Please let me know what you think.
I work with big hearted people who want to make a positive impact in the world. The only problem is:
-Your career isn’t working
-You wake up some days and don’t want to get out of bed
Career Coaching in the Forest teaches you how to make small shifts that will free up tons of energy for the things you really love. You’ll build a life where you wake up to feeling a sense of purpose and easily pay the bills. I teach you how to approach making a career change in a way that is fun, easy and gets results!
Thanks for listening. Hope you have a great weekend!