Imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome.

Nearly every nurse that I know has it.

Except the ones who should.

It is that feeling that you are not good enough.

That you will never do anything right.

For your patients.

For your families.

For yourself.

And it can often lead to a spiral.

You feel bad.

So you work harder.

You feel worse.

So you work harder.

and so on.

According to the American Psychological Association this is not just a female phenomenon.

It stems from being high achieving.

Like many of the best nurses I know.

In the 2013 article ‘Feel Like a Fraud?’ by Kirsten Weir, there are tips to overcome the feeling like you just don’t belong.

Talk to someone who can help.

Talk to your mentors.

Realize that although there is a long way to go, you’ve come so very far already.

And, my favorite, own your expertise.

Well, actually they said recognize your expertise.

But I say own it.

And above all recognize that no one is perfect.

Including yourself.

There is always going to be someone more prepared and liked better.

And that is okay.

Let them live their own life.

You have yours to live and thrive in.

I am writing about this today because I woke up feeling like I was getting away with something.

I am on vacation.

Next week I start my call job.

And that will be my life.

Call Sunday-Thursday 2100-0700.

I could look at it as if I have earned it in slogging through this past year.

And I absolutely have: putting in 5 days a week on shift and 6-7 days a week on call.

I am choosing to look at it as taking an opportunity that will afford me to explore other aspects of nursing.

While still working full time.

Just less time.

I’m gonna go back to school.

I’m gonna blog more.

I’m gonna write more, not necessarily nursing related.

I’m gonna volunteer more.

I’m gonna put my hat in the ring to be on a board.

I’m gonna coach nurses to obtaining their certification.

I’m gonna offer up my own expertise as a tutor.

I’m gonna get to do all the things that I never got to do while the rest of the world was in quarantine.

I’m gonna work the tips mentioned in the article on trying not to feel like an imposter.

Here goes nothing.

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