Imposter Syndrome from Johannesburg writes…
Liewe Lulu, I completed my studies in agricultural economy last year cum laude. My achievements have afforded me the opportunity to work at one of the top firms in the country.
The problem is that my self-confidence has always lacked, and this is especially present in the workplace. I started my job in January. I was selected out of three candidates and as you can imagine I was overcome with joy!
My joy has now turned into pain as I believe that I am the target of bullying by a female colleague who makes me feel incompetent and “less than” in the workplace.
Nothing I do is ever good enough in her eyes and she does not hide her disapproval of my ideas. This week I reached a breaking point when she humiliated me through an email to my boss. I sobbed in my office when I saw this. She has an ability to mask her insults as constructive criticism and I feel like I am going mad.
My boss has no idea how to mediate the situation and has brought in HR, who has come to the conclusion that our issues are as a result of “poor communication”.
The worst part about my situation though, Lulz, is that it has affected my self-esteem severely. How do I stop this woman from getting to me?
My Dearest Imposter Syndrome,
Prove all her silly assumptions of you wrong, my love. Don’t crack just yet, keep it pushing! Clearly you were hired for a reason and must fight tooth and nail to earn your place.
There is a well-known adage: “If you keep doing what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.” It simply means that personal growth may be daunting, but it is incredibly rewarding as well.
The reality is that you are making the transition from student to working woman. This transition into your amazing job is an experiential learning process. In order to go from point A to point B you will need to learn a whole new set of skills and you will only learn this by experiencing them.
What I mean by this, neh, is that adulthood is full of monstrous colleagues, my baby! She may be the first, but she will definitely not be the last.
You just need to learn to overcome these toenails of Satan. Think of her as a dragon that you must slay to level up and reach new heights. You are on a journey, and no one should get in the way of you and your goals. She is a speck of dust on your path, so sweep her ass aside and push, sis!