Ignore the voice that niggles inside your head.
The one that tells you to give it up, the one that tells you you’re fooling no-one. The one that screams ‘imposter’.
We all have one. Because no matter how confident we might seem, it is in all of us. That nagging doubt, that tiny voice that says…’ yes, but you don’t really know what you’re doing, do you?’
I’ve grown accustomed to that voice. It’s a chirping presence constantly there, sucking and pulling at my confidence and my faith in my ability to do my job. It’s easy to drown in it. I look, watch, listen, read all that others are doing and feel lost, inadequate, small, insignificant.
And then, you start to believe it.
And then, you start to withdraw.
And then, you stop doing the things that make you good at what you do.
Self-doubt can be crippling, and no one is immune from it. Mistaking public confidence for others’ inner belief is a dangerous thing; we all put on an act every day. The whole of teaching is an act, a performance, a show for the children.
But…this year has proved one thing. That we can ignore that voice inside, we can ignore the voice that tells us we can’t, because now we know that we can. We know that we can adapt, change, and flex our teaching muscles in ways that we had no idea were possible just 12 months ago. We do not need to feel like an imposter anymore, and we have all proved to ourselves what we are capable of. Just think back over what you have achieved in the last 12 months, and every time that voice starts to rise, shout in its face what you can do. It won’t make it disappear. It will always be there, but ignore the niggles, ignore the nagging and listen to the other voice inside of you – the voice that says you do your job well.
Of course, you don’t do it the same as everyone else. But what you see others do is what they choose to share or what you choose to see. Their voice inside is telling them they are not as good as you. For every teacher that makes you feel like an imposter, you will make someone else feel like one because of how good you are.
Sometimes the quietest voice inside speaks the truth. Listen to it.