In and out of the fog

I’m not even sure of the context anymore, but a group of us were standing when my boss said something along the lines of wondering during my first six months of the job if I had any nerves because I was so calm.

Those six months had long passed, and I’m pretty sure it was a compliment — that I kept my cool even while moving to a different office after a promotion and having to learn everything that went along with it.

Although it could have been bafflement (“How could he have stayed calm with everything going on?”) or even criticism (“He was so relaxed, it’s almost like he didn’t care.”)

It just wasn’t true. None of it was.

Everything felt like too much, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do and I was convinced I’d never figure it out.

For months — maybe six, maybe more, maybe less — I felt like a wreck every day … and thought it was pretty obvious to everybody.

“You’ve been here two days.” — 15 years later.

Another new job, another new office, more feeling like everything is too much and I’ll never figure it out.

Except this time, I made it clear, and that was the response I got.

“You’ve been here two days.”

In other words … “It’s fine.”

And then a reminder that I already knew more than I did the day before, and that little by little, I’d figure it out.

I’m the type who wants to be perfect on the first day and get better every day after that, but it’s not just that, even if I didn’t know the fear was called “imposter syndrome” until maybe a couple years ago.

What will happen if I don’t figure it out right away? What if I make mistakes? What will happen to me then?

What if I’m not good enough?

Right now, a grand total of five days in, it feels like the weather as I drove to the office. At times, the sun is out, and if feels like I’m getting it, even if I still have a lot to learn.

And then, all of a sudden, I’m in a fog and can’t see my way clear.

But 15 years ago, I figured it out, and I was calm because I was confident. And that boss became a reference for the job I have now.

I’d do well to remember that.

12 thoughts on “In and out of the fog

    1. Bill! I am so sorry you’re going through this but I’m glad to read this. I started me new job this week and every day is like information overload and I feel so stupid. I basically convinced myself they hired me on accident and meant to hire someone else lol. I only had a 3 day work week this week so I can’t put too much pressure on myself but I’m so stressed

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The thing is … I have a history of this happening and getting through it, but it happens every single time.

        But I know I’m not the only one, otherwise the term “imposter syndrome” wouldn’t exist. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Michelle

    I had something similar happen to me a few years ago. I was working as an academic assistant at the university in town, and the first week of the semester was chaos. Students had problems with their module choices, we had post-graduate students coming for contact sessions and guest speakers. Many issues popped up, and I was the one who had to handle it. At the end of the week my boss congratulated me on handling everything in a calm manner. Actually, I wasn’t calm, I was highly medicated because I had a terrible cold.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Ah we know this one…every new theatre, radio and TV job ( which comes around every 4 months, some times 6, sometimes a year or two later…) we feel like we don’t know what we are doing, why we are doing and who the hell do we think we are!!! And I don’t know why we feel this way. Perhaps we enjoy the challenge of over coming Imposter Syndrome and proving it wrong; that we are worthy and deserving of the job we have. Perhaps in truth we are afraid of our own potential…

    What ever it is allow yourself the time. Get it wrong, be slow and enjoy soaking it all up because you know when you do get it – you’re going to be phenomenal at your job. Big love Bill. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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