As I left work yesterday, happy to head home, eat the dinner I prepped on Sunday and teach yoga, I realized I felt light. Ready to take on whatever came. I felt able to do all the things required of me. Without second guessing or questioning myself.

I had to pause to even understand what I was feeling. Being unsure of myself, even after years of reasonable success at many endeavors, has been a common theme for me. That uncertainty breeds feelings of worthlessness and, I suppose, imposter syndrome (there is a great Bubble Hour on this. Google it). I have often felt like a fraud. Like I was just pretending. And with that was the fear that some day I would be found out. So I built my amour to protect myself from criticism and shame.

Yesterday it took me a while to understand this new feeling. In the end, I decided I feel competent. I know, in my heart, that I am a good employee. I am smart, I have worked in this industry for 19 years. I have 3 degrees. I know my stuff.
And I am a good yoga teacher. I love what I teach. I feel comfortable in front of the class. Sharing this love brings me joy. Plus, I am willing to try. If you don’t try, you will never succeed.

Recognizing my own competence sounds minor, but it is a huge leap for me. I feel like I have struggled to find pride in myself. When I have tried to, I heard that little voice saying – don’t be so full of yourself. Don’t draw attention to yourself – you will just get hurt. Who do you think you are?

That voice was gone yesterday. It was just me realizing that whatever I do, however it turns out, I know I have acted from a place of love and honesty. And my efforts deserve recognition from me. I am not undermining my success. I am embracing my opportunities and celebrating.

As an aside – I have volunteered to teach yoga at the new local recovery centre. Saturday was my fist class. It was small, but some of the clients and staff from the facility came and they have asked me to come back weekly. I started the class by telling them that I have been sober for 18 months. I got a little cheer. And suddenly the few men who were there for treatment looked at me differently. Like perhaps I could help. It warmed my heart. Perhaps I can.

Stillness and peace.


30 thoughts on “Competent

  1. You are amazing! See, you’re not the only one who thinks so. Isn’t it wonderful when we finally come to the point that we love ourselves. See, even saying that makes me want to back off and say, “Not that I don’t have my faults.” But, hey, a few years ago, I could not have made that statement. I love myself. I love that you love yourself too.

  2. Wonderful Anne and you can feel it oozing out of the post. There is something great about giving back and helping that swells the heart and soul 🙂 xx

      1. I have one day over, again. Yesterday I read and read your blogs. Reading them and getting strength from God helped me be successful in my pursuit to not drink my red wine. Thank you

    1. I talk about it when I see it might be useful, or if someone asks me if I want a drink, I am open with the fact that I don’t drink anymore as it was hurting me.
      I find I end up in many discussions with people about addictive behaviour. Maybe I help them understand it a bit better, that it is beyond just choosing to drink or not drink.

  3. Congrats, I love the cheer part. And the skeptical men seeing you differently. Just that one tiny piece of information can tell you so very much about a person. Especially if you’ve been in the same place.

  4. The yoga class at the recovery center sounds awesome!
    Your writing is wonderful, as is your insight.
    I so love to read your comments to people, as you seem to know just what to say!

    1. When I comment I always try to think what does this person need and how could it be put in the gentlest, most loving way.
      The feeling that another person cares helps me enormously. I hope I help others like that.

  5. What a wonderful post Anne. Thank you for sharing. You really are an inspiration. That’s great you are teaching yoga at the recovery centre, you will help so many people. I wish I could come along! A x

  6. Warms my heart to think of you teaching yoga at a recovery centre!! When I taught for a while, I taught at a women’s drop-in centre and I loved it. It was so nice.
    Yes, you are very competent and I am always so happy to hear people believing in themselves and having positive self-esteem. This is what recovery gives us! I feel it too. such a blessing. xo

  7. Yoga is such a great thing to replace drinking. What a great recovery you have made by making it your rock! Day 19 for me – have washed the yoga mat (it actually was covered in black mould!) – just need to get on it.

  8. What a wonderful thing that your uncertainty or imposter syndrome is melting. I think that that process is intensely personal and customized to every one of us. And it also takes a long long time to materialize because it has so many layers. Good for you for finding the ways to be open and let this healing/strengthening take shape!

    1. I think that’s very true. It really surprised me at how difficult I found identifying what I was feeling.

      I was really unsure about sharing my recovery at the recovery centre. But doing so shifted something in me.

  9. I totally get this. I felt this way for YEARS and then, after I got laid off and had to rebuild I realized that I did in fact, know what I was doing. One day I was talking to someone and I said, “I’m very smart…in fact, I’m brilliant,” in response to something she said. Then she said, “My aren’t you full of yourself!” And I said, “No…I’m just owning who I am.”

    I knew then that I was making progress.

    Let that feeling flow through every part of you – it’s a nice place.


    1. What possesses people to say aren’t you full of yourself?!
      When my kids say they are smart I completely encourage it. We should be so kind to each other as adults.

  10. Wonderful that you’re teaching yoga at the recovery center! That’s so awesome.

    I understand the impostor syndrome only too well. Everything you wrote, I could have written — except the teaching yoga part; that is outside my skill set. I periodically have the “I am competent” feeling, and it feels so good, but it never seems to last. it comes and goes. I wonder, do some people feel competent all the time? Will I ever get there?

  11. You referred to my FAVORITE Bubble Hour episode in this post and I LOVE it! You sound so peaceful, as though you are simply radiating tranquility, and those around you are beginning to soak it up as well. The fact that you teach yoga seems to just… make perfect sense. Like you were born for it.

    I read a book by the Dalai lama once, where he was asked about how to combat anxiety. He responded by saying that as long as you know, deep down, that your intentions are pure and honest, you have nothing to be anxious about. I was reminded of this when you said you acted from a place of love and honesty, so you weren’t worried about the end result. So true, and something I am really striving to accept lately. Great post!

    1. Sometimes I feel that way, like I am now doing what I always was called to, but was afraid to because I was trying so hard to win approval from others.
      I’m 43. I only need my approval now. It is so much nicer that way.

  12. Teaching yoga sounds so great. And helping others… You are doing amazing things. Love reading your posts. I always feel inspired for a change afterwards.

  13. I hear you.

    I know, at least cognitively, that I’m competent. My grades in school said so. My reviews at work say so. My happy marriage, my finances, my house, are all objective evidence that I’m competent in multiple facets of life.

    So while I don’t know if I suffer from “imposter syndrome,” I do know that many days I have an uneasiness inside me that if I had to put words to it, goes something like, “What if today is the day that I suck?” You know the phrase, “You’re only as good as your last game”? It’s like that.

    And while I know that I may have one-off bad days, like if I’m sick or something, it’s pretty unlikely that I’m going to start a suckage spiral. But the thought/feeling/whatever is there, almost all the time.

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