Almost daily diary!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Self doubt

We are nearly at half term, it's been a very long term, and I have been working in my new job for nearly 2 months. I am enjoying the work, it is incredibly busy and the days and weeks fly by. I have some degree of autonomy - partly because my line manager has too much on his plate and has no time, or inclination, to organise otherwise. And yet...

It sneaks in slowly, that feeling of self doubt and mostly I don't even hear it coming until it is upon me like a suffocating cloud. How am I doing? Should I know more? Do I fit in? That is the big one, do I fit in? So much self doubt.

Education is a funny thing, you work with adults but it's the children who absorb all your time, and, having children of my own, I have missed the last two social events. I feel more of an outsider now than I did in September. Is it me? I suspect so. Why do I have this constant need for approval? Right now I am fighting the feeling to retreat into my shell.

I am not missing my old job one bit but I am missing the companionship of people I know well. There are many staff at my new place who I'd love to get to know and be friends with - though I could probably be a mother to quite a few of them - but how do you do that 'making friends' thing, especially when people already have established friendships? I just can't remember what to do, I feel destined to be an outsider for ever. Sometimes it's just so much effort to try to be someone that another person would want to be friends with. And there you have it, can I be myself or do I need to be more amusing and more interesting? Am I myself at work at all? Frankly I don't think I am, I wear a persona, a mask, teaching is a performance, I play to the audience and no one knows me for who I am. Inside I know that if they did they probably wouldn't have even employed me...there it is, all the self doubt.

An email appeared in my work inbox this week with details of the 'Christmas Do'; pizza, bowling, karaoke, dancing. I can cope with the pizza, and enjoy bowling, though I'm frankly crap at it, but karaoke and dancing?  I'd be fine with old friends, it would be fun but I don't feel I know these people well enough to let my hair down, and as I write I think I could only let my hair down with close family in a karaoke booth!

So what to do? I don't want to look 'standoffish', I want to make friends but I'm not sure if I can bring myself to go.


Maggie May said...

I know exactly what you mean. If you are in a very big establishment then it is not as easy to get into the clique. However, it is essential to be yourself because everyone would see through it otherwise.
Most of my friendships came from outside school, funnily enough.....
Hoping you break through these barriers soon...... if you want to that is.

I think some of us self doubt all the time, but you obviously were chosen to do the job from lots of applicants so please accept that you are making a success of it, else I'm sure you'd be told.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Anonymous said...

Give it time - it will be alright. Although I miss some of my work mates from 10 years ago!

nick said...

Perhaps you should give the Christmas Do a go. I'll bet there are others who are as doubtful about it as you, who're equally hesitant about karaoke or dancing, and who'd probably warm to you just on the basis of shared doubts or embarrassment! And no, you don't want to look standoffish, just go along and be yourself and someone feeling equally isolated will surely get talking to you.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I always used to see work as partly acting, acting the role of the professional and yes I'm a different person at home too. As for the Christmas party, perhaps the needs of the kids can be used to attend as much or as little of the event as you wish? Maybe you won't be able to get a babysitter at all? Or you might get a text after 2-3 hours asking for you to come home? xx

Furtheron said...

imposter syndrome - many suffer from it including I find those who should never feel like that. I recently read a blog by senior person where I work that shows they suffer with it. I know that doesn't help but that is an insight

Rob-bear said...

I have no suggestions to offer. I wish I did. If I did, I'd have a lot of friends.

Liz Hinds said...

You are amusing and interesting! Don't let that old enemy self-doubt tell you otherwise. Where did TG and SS get their wit and humour from? Doesn't sound like much came from the paternal side.

You write well and entertainingly. You keep us amused and interested. Now go and stand in front of the mirror and say, 'I am amusing and interesting. That is the real me.'
And ask Lovely Man what he thinks.