Written by: Jane Parmel, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
I have come upon a realization that I should have known all along.
I do some of my best thinking while in the confines of the shower – I suddenly have clarity and can see things in a different light than previously. Must be the lavender soap I use.
In my work experience, as a pool attendant, elementary school teacher, business owner, office manager, or any of the off-handed, “can you help out” paid or unpaid positions I have held, I have always tried to look at each role as an opportunity to add skills and knowledge in my rolodex of useful/useless information. And as I look back on those experiences, I have come to acknowledge that my “I’m the shit” confidence came with my very first job (pool attendant) and in my five years teaching. I knew what I knew, I knew I was effective, and I knew how to get the job done.
Did I get “rattled” in those first jobs? Of course I did – strong willed, overbearing bosses who you did not disrespect played into the mix, and they had a way of simply standing in the room and making you shake. But I knew that I got the job done – to the best of my ability, the way my parents expected me to perform, the way that would show those who I worked for and with that I was a “good” – no, I was an “excellent” worker and they could count on me – that the job would be done, results could be measurable and the proof, as they say, would be in the pudding.
Did I have a lot to learn? Sure enough and I am proud to admit that at the ripe old age of, well, let us not go there, I still look to learn – I have plenty of storage left and I love learning. Much to my father’s dismay, I am a professional student and whether the learning comes from a book or sitting with someone for countless conversations, I love to learn.
The children I taught have grown up to be everything from construction workers to business owners, doctors and nurses to financial analysts, employment recruiters and pharmacists to electricians, teachers, and more. Social media has allowed me to reconnect with so many of them and they have recounted many times over the years of the things they learned, certain lessons that stand out decades later, and how they remember the fun we had as well. My confident demeanor in and out of the classroom was supported by fantastically high percentages of students that passed with more than passable grades, year over year.
Once I left teaching and opened a business, my first run in with imposter syndrome came at the hands of someone who was supposed to be a “help” not a “hinderance”. We had taken on part of another business and the person did not like the fact that I was now directing the work that had to be completed, hiring workers, training, scheduling and all the rest. That “helper” offered to assist us all along the way, but only two months in, I was summarily reprimanded for “taking over”.
Truth is, I made that person look bad. It would be the first unintentional misstep of many over the next three decades where someone would be threatened by the very thought of my audacity of having confidence in myself. And I say to you “unintentional” because it was never part of my plan – I was raised not to be boastful of my accomplishments – to consider the perfect version of whatever I wanted to do and try to land somewhere between what I thought might be good enough and perfection. I never set out in anything I have done to “one up” someone – I am a learner first, a teacher at heart, and someone who you can feel might have the answer to a question or be able to solve a problem you might have.
I regularly have calls, texts and email conversations with my nephews and nieces about resumes, job opportunities, papers, or letters they must write. We have discussions about their “next moves” and the proper way to move on once they have made the decision. We talk about observations we make about business management, the importance of strategically knowing which bridges could be burned and respect for demanding work from the janitor to the CEO.
1. Realize & Own Your Accomplishments:
Literally, make a list, small or large. Realize how many of them have come because you were chosen from many to attend the class, pass the test, receive the certification – whatever it may be. Short or long, the list will show you where you have been and what you have done. Do not measure it up against anyone else’s accomplishments, just list yours.
2. Check for “It’s-You-Not-Me” Behavior:
Maybe THEY are the one’s suffering from Imposter Syndrome, and you are reeling from the effects of their narcissistic, its-you-not-me behavior. The truth lies in their perception of being threatened; that they know they do not know or cannot do and simply lash out and chastise someone who can get the job done, efficiently, quickly and with measurable results. Instead of seizing an opportunity to work together, the one who questions your abilities will intentionally sabotage the whole so that no one else looks better than he/she and blame that sabotage on you.
3. Take a Stand:
So maybe you are not suffering from Impostor Syndrome but how another is handling their shortcomings. Do not be a victim. Assess your situation and then plan to move on. It does not mean you have to leave a situation, but you cannot stand idly by. Plan to change the scenario and consciously ACT!
And just remember, you always have the option to remove yourself from the situation altogether. Do not let fear stop you – the grass may truly be greener elsewhere.
Jane Parmel, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Jane Parmel, “The Relentless Revenue Raiser”, is a Profit Acceleration Strategist, Certified Money Breakthrough Coach, Speaker and Author. She has always had an interest in the Hospitality Industry and has worked in varied positions in restaurants and private clubs in New York. An experienced educator and entrepreneur, working in the Event Management & Logistic industries for over 25 years, Jane is also a speaker whose presentations focus on increasing business revenue, resilience and authenticity for business as well as non-profit audiences. As a writer and author, her work has appeared in Brainz Magazine, on the blog AVividImagination.com and in the collaborative book “Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women Who Rise & Make a Difference” and she is also an Associate Contributor to Six-Figure Coach Magazine. Jane shares what she has learned through her experience as a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative Alum, a Certified Money Breakthrough Coach, a Global Business Connector for Women Speakers Association, and a Fellow in both StartingBloc and Chase for Business Luminary Programs. A native of Astoria, she and her wife, Rae, have been enjoying life in the Rockaways since 2015.