Imposter Syndrome Revisited

A couple of months ago, I blogged in this space about the “You Can’t Do It” voices (otherwise known as “imposter syndrome”). Things are looking up right now, so I wanted to share for posterity.

The Day Job

Four months ago, when I wrote the post linked above, I was temporarily covering for a retired co-worker. Now, a permanent replacement has been hired, and I’ve become a mentor figure to the new hire. Huh. I also have a new manager (the previous one retired), who seems to think I’m good at my job, including when I’m working with difficult people. I even keep getting compliments on my tact-over-email skills. Somehow I continue to be surprised by all these developments.

My Dance Community

In my dance community (contra dance), I’ve stood up in front of people to call a dance several times since I wrote this. Each time, it got easier. In fact, last time I had to deal with a hiccuping CD. This was bad because timing is very important in calling. But to my utter shock, it didn’t even faze me. (Though to be fair, it helped that the CD happened to be the same one I’d been practicing with!)

I’ve also started to see dances from an analytical perspective now that I’ve started calling them. As the volunteer newsletter writer for my community, I keep getting compliments on my writing skills (do I sense a pattern here?). And as a dancer, I’m polishing my spatial orientation skills (don’t laugh, that’s really important in contra) as well as getting good at rescuing confused newbies and (I hope) helping them have a good time.

I had no idea, when I first got into contra, that dancing was going to lead to all this…


On the writing front, the critical voices have subsided again. I’m writing slowly but steadily. And for a change I’m also “shipping” steadily — one new story up right here on TDP, another out on submission, and I just had a flash fiction piece accepted for publication in an anthology of Queer Sci Fi, hurrah!


I’ve also started a very simple bullet journal–style tracker (like this one) to track a few self-care habits I’m trying to instill. The bar for these habits is set low, and I’m not putting any pressure on myself to do them every day, just trying to be mindful that they’re things I want to be doing more often that not. Somehow it helps that I get to colour in little squares when I do them.


I know the “You Can’t Do It” voices are still lurking in the back of my brain, waiting to pounce. But it’s awfully nice to be amassing evidence to the contrary right now. And to be recording that evidence for the next time I need it. (Related article: “The Dreaded ‘Should.'”)

I hope it helps you, too.

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