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We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

Last month marked my one-year work anniversary. In preparation for my annual review, I shuffled through countless email exchanges, Google documents and handwritten to-do lists that highlighted my performance.

I had contributed a measurable value to the company. Yet, I felt a wave of nerves overwhelm me. 

While I had evidence of my success on the job, I was filled with self-doubt and discomfort knowing that I would have to speak about my accomplishments. During the review, I felt ungraceful and awkward accepting their praises. I immediately thought of how I would have to do and be better this upcoming year. The voice inside my head wondered how long I could continue this charade. 

The voice inside my head wondered how long I could continue this charade. 

That evening, as I read my colleagues’ written feedback, I realized that I was disqualifying other people’s opinions and experience with me by feeding my self-doubt. I was failing to sincerely assess my skills, abilities and what I brought to the table.

I fell into impostor syndrome, an untrustworthy narrative based on the lies I was telling myself. The encouragement and support from my team was an external nudge, reminding me to celebrate my wins and nurture my sense of confidence. 

As we head into the work week, let’s be gentle and kind with ourselves. May we discern the difference between humility and fear—the voice that tells us we are not enough. Let’s actively choose to stand in the awareness of our value and worth and not allow self-deprecation to rob us of those truths.

May we discern the difference between humility and fear—the voice that tells us we are not enough.

Sincerely,
Waresa Hu, the Darling family

What disqualifying thoughts come to mind when you experience impostor syndrome? What are some good things you know to be true about yourself and your identity?

Image via Melanie Acevedo, Darling Issue No. 11

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