Imposter Syndrome, BIG TIME

Firstly I need to apologise for not writing a blog since bloody December…where the hell has time gone in this lockdown?! But secondly, I think I’ve finally built up the courage to talk about something that’s been weighing on my mind and I wasn’t sure I should or even could.

This requires a bit of back story…rewind the clock by about a month when I received a very out of the blue message from a wonderful woman I worked with at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon back in 2018, asking me if I had any Tokyo plans. Of course I don’t, barely anyone in the world does right now!

Well, off the back of this message a very surreal conversation was had about whether I would even be available to act as a last minute stand in Deputy Media Manager for equestrian sport, let alone be a suitable one. Not for a second did I think I’d be offered the role, but I spoke to my CEO anyway to see if 6 weeks away was at all feasible.

For those of you that can’t see what’s coming, thanks to an amazing company agreeing to my leave request and after lengthy talks and a couple of interviews with the Tokyo Olympic Committee, I was actually offered the role. O.M.G. 🤯

Of course I’m absolutely buzzing, what an incredible experience! But then as I start to tell my nearest and dearest, at a time when I’m supposed to be on a total high, I get hit by a huge wave of doubt…what are people in the equestrian industry going to say about me getting the role over someone else? Do I even deserve it? Jesus, what was I thinking?? I’m not good enough for this!

And it stops me in my tracks: shame, self-doubt and almost embarrassment. I can’t share this news with my peers, they’ll all be judging me behind my back – “why did she get it? Surely she’s not experienced enough. It should have gone to [so and so].”

In amongst the shame, was the thought “I shouldn’t share this with people who know me, it’ll come across as bragging and make me sound so big headed. Not what you want when you don’t even deserve the role in the first place.”

What was weirder was that I felt more comfortable sharing the news with a bunch of total strangers on my blog’s Instagram page than I did telling people who knew me, people who (I’d hope anyway!😉) actually like me. Because I didn’t have to worry about their opinions, they don’t know if I’m capable or not. Bizarre how the brain works hey?

So, obviously, I gave myself another good talking to, kicked my own butt like no one else could and decided to bloody well practice what I preach – be unapologetically Amy.

I completely acknowledge the critics in the back row telling me how they can do it better, there’s no getting away from them. To ignore them would be both ignorant and arrogant in equal measures.

But know this, whatever they say can’t be any worse than the things I’ve said to myself already…and I’ve survived those, so anything else thrown my way should be an absolute breeze!

Yes there are people with more experience, there are people with more equestrian knowledge who have been immersed in the sport for as many decades as I’ve been alive. But I can bet your arse none of them can walk into a media centre at 7am and just get sh*t done with a smile for 15 hours straight whatever it takes.

Yes, it might be with the aid of copious amounts of coffee in the morning and a fair quantity of rum as 10pm hits and we’re still going strong, but I’m still there smiling and cracking jokes, and I’d like to think the rest of the team will be grateful for that when we’re in various states of despair.

Some call me solutions driven, I call it a JFGID attitude (just f**king get it done), either way it’s a seemingly transferable skill and serves me well.

I know I wasn’t the first choice, I wasn’t even the second, but someone must have enjoyed working with me and seen some level of capability to recommend me for such a job. That level of confidence in my ability from someone that knows what they’re talking about means a lot, and I shouldn’t disregard that.

So, here I am finally admitting that I’ve got this incredible opportunity, I’m sure as sh*t not going to screw it up and, quite frankly, I’m a little bit proud of myself.

Until next time…

@Citygirlcountrylife_

Unapologetically Amy

So I recently set up an Instagram page to go along with this blog (@citygirlcountrylife_) and it prompted me to do a little bit of a more in-depth post about me. It’s something I’ve managed to avoid in the 2+ years I’ve been doing this and, in all honesty, it’s about time I stepped up – if you can’t beat the fear, do it scared!

As those close to me can attest, what you see is very much what you get with me, and one of my little life mottos is to always be “unapologetically Amy” – own who you are and don’t apologise for it. Ever.

I’m not going to lie, it’s not always been the easiest one to live by because, quite frankly, I speak my mind far too often and have a relatively faulty (ok, let’s face it, non-existent) brain to mouth filter that can land me in a bit of hot water on occasion. You’re surprised, I know!

So, yes, occasionally I have had to break my own rule, but apologising for dumb sh*t you say is somewhat different to apologising for your own existence, and the former is the only concession I make! And you know what? Being brave enough to accept accountability for your errors shows a lot about you as a person. I know many people in their 30’s (and older!) who still can’t.

To accept who you are is a tough one – worrying if your mere character is abrasive to others, if you’re “blank” enough (good enough, smart enough, funny enough, pretty enough…) to be in someone’s company – it’s difficult convincing yourself on a daily basis that you are any (or all) of those things and I’m under no illusion it’s a long old path to acceptance. There will be so many times you doubt yourself, I still do occasionally and I have to give myself a proper talking to!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last two years of my life it’s this: if you’re surrounding yourself with people who think you aren’t “blank” enough to be in their presence, then their presence isn’t worth your concern.

These are not the people that are going to be there when the sh*t hits the fan and believe me, you need to find people who will because at some point in your life it’s going to – on a monumental scale – and you will thank god every day for that small group of friends who pick you up off your arse, dust you off and tell you to get ready for round 2 because, “ding ding”, here we go again.

But that crap, that terrible situation you’re facing that seems unbearable, with the right people by your side and with one step at a time, you manage to deal with it. And here you are on the other side with an even clearer picture of who you are and who is important in your life. Invest in those people, they save you time and time again, no questions asked, zero f*cks given.

Last year I read a book called Daring Greatly by an incredible woman called Brené Brown. In it she describes life as a gladiator arena that you have to stand in the middle of and fight your demons, with the pleasure everyone watching. She made me realise that you’re always going to have critics in your life, but the important lesson is that the only opinions that matter are those from others who are (or have been) also in that arena. Essentially, if you’re not down here with me, struggling through the same sh*t and fighting the same battles, your opinion REALLY does not matter.

Of course, these arseholes in the cheap seats at the back pointing at you, telling you how you could be better are always going to have an opinion – and do you notice how they’re always the ones judging you the loudest?! You’ll never stop them and the sooner you accept that and block it out, the better. But as long as you show up and be seen and you get up again and again, you’re already doing better than them. I’ll say it louder for those at the back, their opinions really don’t matter.

Now some may call me arrogant, other common labels are ‘b*tch’ or ‘ballsy’ but I’ll tell you as I tell them: if I had a pair of b*llocks hanging between my legs, we wouldn’t be having this conversation now would we? I’d be told I was confident, assertive, cocky at a push…so I’ll take b*tch as a compliment thanks, and don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out!

Unapologetically Amy…always. 😉

Until next time!