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charlie, computer cat

March 2019



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charlie, computer cat

Imposter syndrome can sod off, or ways I am awesome.

I'm not even going to cut this because I have every right to say it. Inspired by this post on imposter syndrome and false modesty.

  • I have a first class degree in Mathematical Science from Oxford University. Which I earned by being very very smart.
  • I taught myself to code and to write websites and do CSS and actually, I'm very good at it. I have a good eye for design, I write neat, clean code and tidy, well structured databases.
  • In my free time, I run a Brownie pack and a Guide company. It's tiring, but it's totally worth it.
  • I'm taking OU courses in my free time because, hey, smart, and I love learning stuff. I got a distinction in my history course, which was effectively half of a second year of a history degree, totally based on free time study.
  • I'm a good singer. Depending on how in shape my voice is, sometimes I'm a *really* good singer.
  • I'm a good leader. I can cut through to the essentials of what needs to be done and let the other stuff go. I can organise people without making them feel like I'm taking over. I've lead teams and run meetings that I wasn't in charge of subtly enough that no-one noticed or minded.
  • I'm a good teacher. I gave up a lot to do it, both financially and in terms of time, but it's totally paid off. I'm starting out good and I'm getting better.
  • I'm a good cook. I love doing it and even my regular every day stuff tastes good and is healthy.
  • I'm good at tae kwon do. I'm obviously not a black belt yet, but I'm making really good progress for a student at my level and I know that I can pursue the sport all the way. And I'm also proud just that I tried it - I'm not naturally hugely into physical activity but the idea attracted me, I went for it and I was right - I did like it.


Taking ownership of my successes to the same extent as I'm tormented by my failures was a productive outcome of the assertiveness course I went on a course, of years ago.

IMHO (sic) there's a fine line between that and aggressive narcissism though.
I know what you mean, but reading that post really struck some chords with me that made me want to say it.
Sorry that sentence got away from me there.
This is an awesome idea! Especially since many of us are our own worst critics and it's hard to remember that there are things we're actually good (if not necessarily exceptional) at. This would make a great meme, and I might think of converting it into one. Permission to do so (with credit to you and to D)?
Please feel free! I know there's plenty of awesome out there :)
Rock on! :)


imposter syndrome

This is an interesting thought. Though the line between arrogance and an acceptance of your achievements is a fine one.

My only quibbles are (and I know how you hate me disagreeing with you!) You got your degree because you worked hard and focussed on your work. People can be very very smart (modesty Joanna Mary) and not achieve their goals, People can be less smart but through hard work can reach their goals. Intelligence seems to me not to be something that blossoms without fostering and not everyone has the same life chance.

Can you judge yourself to be a good teacher? I think you probably will be but you need to give yourself some time to make that judgement. Or for that matter a good singer (though I suppose you can heard yourself on a recording). I think you do have leadership qualities but I'm not sure about the tactfulness (you must have gained that recently!)

Sometimes I think you judge yourself on your achievments, as if they define you but I think you're a kind. generous and loving person which to me is much more important and of that I'm very proud!

mum xxx

Re: imposter syndrome

I think my degree required both smarts and hard work - without either, I wouldn't have got the result I did.

I can tell I'm a good singer because I can sing RockBand on expert. I suppose if you want to be picky, that makes me an accurate singer :)

Enough people tell me at work that I'm a good teacher that I think I should accept it - they aren't just saying it to flatter, I don't think.