It’s November- how are you?! I’m footsore from trudging all over the neighborhood and sluggish after the candy consumption! I had a number of work setbacks in October, as did some of my mentees. This is normal, especially if you are trying new things and stretching your capabilities. After spending some time consoling myself by (1) ignoring email in favor of reading novels, and (2) eating all the chocolate, I decided it was time to try a new tool for learning from unwanted results: self-reflection.
Here we are, gearing up for another fast-paced fall! Lately I have had a number of conversations about how to manage transitions. For the parents on this list, our kids are entering a new grade and perhaps a new school this year, and many of us have new roles ramping up at work as well. Here at ZSFG, we’ve had a massively disruptive innovation - implementation of a new electronic health record, EPIC. At this time of year, change is in the air, and it can test our resilience.
I feel like I barely made it through the endless conferences, summits, meetings, and convenings of May with my sanity intact (debatable perhaps). The silver lining was finding a lot of inspiration for these emails. So, let’s talk about a frequent companion at professional gatherings- imposter syndrome.
Merriam Webster defines imposter syndrome as “a false and sometimes crippling belief that one's successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill.” As I am sure you know, it’s common among high achievers. Women and under-represented minority groups are also more likely than white men to experience imposter syndrome. The extent of imposter syndrome can range from intermittent discomfort to outright paralysis. There is a lot of advice out there about how to overcome imposter syndrome. I want to talk specifically about how I see it play out at conferences.
I’m late in writing to you again this month, but you have been on my mind. I had planned on writing this email about how to build a great team, and I have changed my mind. We’ll save that for November. All of you who I see on a regular basis have been shaken by the news cycle, and I have had enough conversations about how to balance our obligations as engaged citizens with our professional and personal imperatives that it’s time to talk about it. Usually I try to advise you from my own experience. In this case, I don’t have any answers. I have been looking around and seeing what strategies seem to be keeping my friends, colleagues, and peers afloat. I’d welcome your thoughts and I will send around any additional insights you share with me.