I fear the anxiety brought on by imposter syndrome is destroying me. How do you handle either? Starting to question if the work’s worth it. The money’s fine, but at the expense of my health?

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In my experience, as I’ve elevated in my “career”, you never feel fully qualified/prepared/worthy of the new fancy title. It sounds trite, but you’re not in your role because you don’t know what you’re doing...others tend to see us more clearly than we see ourselves. Let the fear and anxiety fuel you...but ultimately, no job is worth sacrificing your health.

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Having just come out of this kind of dark place, I can confidently say that redemption is one win away. A month ago I was ready to move to Iowa and buy a farm (no joke... I’m from LA and know nothing about farming, but it still sounded better than another failure), but I just wrapped a great job where things went perfectly and it reminded me how much I love this business when I’m surrounded by other talented people. Keep pushing, keep your head up, and remember that everyone else is bullshitting too

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No worries. The fact you feel this way makes you one of the good guys. There's enough unscrupulous fucks in our industry that don't ask themselves these questions. If what concernes you is the "worth" to your clients I can only conclude you're one of the good exceptions.

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You have to care less. And accept that caring less could lead to failure and that failure is okay. It makes me sad that everyone needs to be medicated to survive this dumb job. Care less. Try meditation. If it’s still too much do something else. We all die someday. No reason to hate our time alive because we are chasing bullshit

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OP you should read this book: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. By Mark Manson. A very quick read and a good dose of perspective on not letting the (perceived- remember we classify these things ourselves) victories or failures define our moods or outlook. Took me about 5 hours to read and I’m going to read it again.

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All I can say is try to keep things in perspective. I recently talked to another creative who keeps a book of WWI photography on her desk to remind her that as shitty as thing get, they aren’t as bad as it was for the people in the trenches. As far as being an imposter is concerned: Aren’t we all?

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SP 1: agree but it’s dangerous to me to live and die (figuratively, not literally) by wins and feedback, though of course they're nice. I’m trying to be less attached to outcomes but it’s so painfully hard. I also fear that other people can see through me and are talking shit about me. I’m not paranoid. We all work in gossipy places. Generally I wouldn’t care if people are talking about me because it’s out of my control, but the anxiety is making that stupid fear worse. Also, yes, I’m in therapy which is helping. It’s just a shitty rollercoaster ride at times, isn't it?🎢 😬😢

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Whenever I feel like I’m underperforming, I remind myself of my responsibilities to my team and their development as people and as professionals. Even after a bad meeting or a business setback, if my teams feel supported, if they can go home happy and flourish again the next day, then I know I haven’t failed as a leader. I resent sacrificing my health too, but the part of the job that’s bigger than me is the legacy I leave, not the day’s wins and losses. Hope that’s helpful

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Years in therapy on this issue could have easily been replaced by watching the movie The Help You is smart You is kind You is important Plus a little Pristiq and Buspar doesn’t hurt either 🤣

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It never goes away really, but it becomes a lot more manageable if you approach your job for what it is - a job. Paid employment. Not your company or anything worth tying yourself to the train tracks for. Also treat it as your treat every other challenge in life - with patience, humility and self-love. Also, our industry can be/is unforgiving hell 99% of the time, so take care of yourself and others and get out when no longer fun. When happy you will find a way to make money anywhere.

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I struggle with this also. Often, I stress about perceived fuck ups in the future - things that haven't even happened yet. But after stressing and over thinking it, it usually turns out fine. Then I think 'What was I so worried about?'. I'll bask in the glory of a job well done but will quickly turn my mind to some other nebulous thing I could potentially do wrong. It's a never-ending cycle for me. Weird thing is, I know I can do my job. I know my CDs value me and I know I do good work for clients. So wtf is my problem?

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ECD1: Thanks. I definitely know unequivocally that I’m a great boss and make sure my team is completely supported, has opportunities they need and deserve, they get credit for their success and that they’re continuously set up to succeed. I tend to downplay that when I think about my value because I assume that’s the norm for managers, but I need to remember it’s not.

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To me simply seeing that other people feel like this also is comforting because it shows that it’s not about me, or you. People naturally feel like this and it has less to do with skills and probably with a glitch in our heads. What has worked for me is meditating and therapy. And trying to always putting things into perspective. But sometimes it’s not enough, and health should always come first.

likeuplifting

I’ve been struggling with the same thing. Lately, feeling like it’s not worth it. My mental health and anxiety has gotten worse, the more senior I become. I’d love to hear how others are handling this too

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Thanks, CD1. Usually that's my philosophy too. Just in a bit of a spot right now, so to speak. Failure terrifies me even though failure is relative and part of being human.

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