My Impostor Syndrome flared up last night, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and generally in a bad mood. I was able to work through it (more or less), but I think it was triggered by a few different things.
For one, work was fairly stressful yesterday. It wasn’t that things were particularly hectic or busy, just that I felt overwhelmed by the immensity of the project before me. I tend to be something of a “big picture” person, so it’s all too easy for me to forget to try and hold all parts of a large project or assignment in my mind, thus being paralyzed by the immensity of the task before me. In school, for instance, if I had to write a 20-page paper, I’d think “ZOMG I’m going to have to sit down and write for an entire day straight! There’s no way that’s happening. I have no idea where to start!” rather than taking it a page or section at a time.
I was also dealing with issues that I didn’t fully understand, which is always stressful. I’m still within my new job’s probationary period, and thus sometimes worry about seeming incompetent or unprepared. I know logically that that isn’t the case, but anxiety is not always rational. So I spent a lot of mental energy trying to wrap my head around things that I didn’t have a good grip on, worried that my lack of experience (because that’s really what it boils down to) would cause me to make some sort of egregious mistake.
And to top it all off, my blood sugar got too low. Turns out that strenuous mental activity drains one’s reserves the same way that physical labor does. Of course, by the time I realized this, it was already too late. To make matters worse, it was also not quite dinner time; close enough that I was hungry, but still a bit too early to feel right. So what did I do? Well, in my infinite wisdom (I wasn’t thinking very straight by this point) I decided to try and stick it out. Big mistake.
I know about all these issues. But every once in a while I forget, and they rear their ugly head. Often many at once. Luckily I felt better after a good night’s sleep; it had gotten late, and I decided I couldn’t trust my brain anymore, so I went to sleep. And it did help. I’m feeling better today. I made some good progress on my projects at work, and the deadlines feel more attainable. I ate more today, so I didn’t get as low. And even better, I realized what was happening and didn’t let it drag me down into a complete Funk. So that’s progress!