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2013 August 23
by imperfectpages

You know when you get some good news, and instead of feeling happy like you’re supposed to, you descend into an unexpected grump?

You know when you get a promotion at work, and instead of thinking “Great, well done me,” you think Shit, what if they find out that I can’t do it? What if they find out that I’m a fraud, that I’m not as clever as they think I am, that everyone else is cleverer and more capable? What if I can’t cope, what if I make a mistake?

The fizzy wine has gone back in the fridge, unopened. I’m too full of churning doubt and anxiety to enjoy it. The first task on the list: smile and be pleased about having a new job. I’ve messed that bit up already – failed to live up to expectations.

I think it’s important to have truthful conversations about mental health, which is why I’ve started this one.

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9 Responses leave one →
  1. Adam permalink
    August 23, 2013

    Yes! But the surprising thing I have found is that a lot of people at work think like that as well, they just don’t talk much about it. Or their anxieties lie elsewhere. I go for a run when I feel like that and it helps. And remember, they wanted the very best person to do the job and that’s why you got it. Well done!

    • imperfectpages permalink*
      August 24, 2013

      Thanks very much Adam, very kind of you to comment. It’s good to know that other people recognise these feelings (although logically I probably know it anyway, but can’t see it at 10.00 pm when googling “how to cope with panic attacks”!).

      Another reason to stop making excuses over going running… ;)

  2. Mary permalink
    August 24, 2013

    Hiya!! I’m in exactly the same position – about to start my promotion job on Wednesday and have been trying to repress all my self-doubt ever since I was offered it! I honestly think everyone/ the majority of people do feel like this and people just vary in how well they disguise it. I also think that sometimes it’s almost easier, as a person with low-self-esteem or the odd bout of self-doubt, to cope with disappointments than it is with good news and proof of people’s faith in you – I guess it’s because of the worry about living up to it.
    Mary xx

    • imperfectpages permalink*
      August 26, 2013

      Hurray, well done you. I’m sure you will do brilliantly. Thank you for your insightful comments too. I think the moral of the story is, we should go back to Fabric sometime. Those truths still hold true! x

  3. August 24, 2013

    it is very common, you are not alone.
    I spent a great morning, just before I moved with a woman who had an amazing job leading a marketing department in a large institution who said exactly what you said about her job. But she did it…..
    I know this feeling, I haven’t worked in 2 years, I sometimes feel as if I am standing still and the world is whizzing past and I have no idea how to get up to speed, to join the masses.

    This week I went to an event (because it was free) for people who worked in social media (I miss read the title and thought it was just a social media thing). They all had amazing jobs and great job titles, I felt such an arse when it came to me and I had no job title. I realised as the afternoon wore on knew as much if not more than many of them about social media and using social media. Yet, I still came away feeling a failure.

    • imperfectpages permalink*
      August 26, 2013

      Gemma! You shouldn’t feel like a failure at all. (Which of course I’m sure logically you know you aren’t, but it’s these pesky feelings…)
      Thanks very much for your comment – I’m glad I posted this as it’s reassuring to hear that many others feel the same.

  4. August 24, 2013

    Get the fizz back out of the fridge – you deserve it and you will surprise yourself with your own ability to be brilliant!

  5. Laura permalink
    August 25, 2013

    Keep having that conversation. And keep writing here :)

    As far as job insecurities go, I hear ya – don’t know if it helps that a lot of people feel that way, but they do. Also, I am in awe of anyone who has kids and a job, never mind a person who does it well AND keeps things steady at home (as you so clearly do, hence the promotion and the lovely family). Well done. Have that bloody wine!

    • imperfectpages permalink*
      August 26, 2013

      Thank you, lovely. xx (Although the househusband helps with the family aspect a lot!)

      I may well have the wine tonight. :)

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