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[Show Up To Grow] Imposter Syndrome (again) and Empty Nests

by Mel Blackwood @troubleon8wheels

My son turns 18 tomorrow. It's a day not about me, yet I know I need to allow myself time and space to close the door on his childhood and learn how to transition our relationship into adulthood.

In truth, he hasn't needed me in the way a child needs me, for a long time. He is fiercely independent (I wonder where he gets that from), loving, loyal to his friends, funny and creative. I'm very proud of the human he has grown into. What now then? I suppose in the immediate future, nothing will really change. He will complete college and then make a plan for what is next. I'll be here to offer guidance or reflect ideas as needed. Or at least try!

This week, imposter syndrome has reared it's ugly head once more. I've been working on a business management course, which I'm finding extremely challenging. We are now half way through the modules and have learned more about the other businesses and individuals attending. My brain seems to filter according to my fears. Therefore, I am fixated on hearing 'staff of 70' or 'been established for over 50 years' or 'the senior leadership team' which all suggest larger, more established businesses with bigger teams of people, looking to grow. We have heard some in-depth case studies from CEOs who have all said they never truly know what they are doing and are basically solving problems as they go along. I'm also receiving reassurance from the course directors that I'm exactly where I should be!

Feeling out of my depth is something I know brand new skaters coming to their first few roller skate sessions feel. We worry that we will be 'the worst' one there. #amiright We worry that people will laugh at our failures or that we will make fools out of ourselves. We scare ourselves away from taking a risk.

In order to live my value of personal growth, I have to step outside of my comfort zone. While my whole body and brain is trying to drag me back to safety - what will that achieve? Right now, if my business isn't growing, we will fail. During a recession, we need to grow, in order to maintain what we have. I'm not prepared to shut up shop and return to teaching! There are still too many people to meet. Too many people who need a little help opening the door to roller skating, in order to find their more confident self. There are folks I want to empower to do more than they realised they are capable of. This is not a one-woman mission, it needs a gang, and we've got a great one.

Once again, roller skating saves the day.

And you know, I feel much better for having written things down - these ideas are out of my mind now.

When you feel stressed, do you skate or write?

By the way, I'm generally a really happy and very content person. But it's how we deal with life's challenges that define our character, right? It's difficult to write about, yet I do it because folks have told me it helps them feel less alone. I value connection so I'll continue to write when I have something to share. x

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Jan 24, 2023

thank you, for writing about these things Mel. It's so important that people know they're not alone in feeling low or not knowing how to deal with certain things. Happy birthday for your son!

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