How to deal with a profound sense of not being good enough?
March 7, 2014 8:31 PM Subscribe
I've had my current job for almost 3 years. It was a dream job and I still enjoy it because the perks are great (such as working from home). However, my progress and growth in terms of skills and confidence continues to be very slow. My colleagues are wonderful and amazingly talented, but I have a very hard time keeping up with them.
posted by starpoint to Health & Fitness (25 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like the "weak link" on the team. No one has called me out but in my gut, I know that of all the people on my team, I am the least talented and I am the least "omg, super amazeballs".
The zinger is that I was one of the earliest people to join the team. I'm approaching my 3rd year work anniversary, while many of my teammates joined within the past 1-2 years. Figuratively, it's like starting out on a run. Another colleague joined around the same time I did, but he's advanced way ahead. Other people who joined after me have caught up and passed me. And I'm still behind, unable to catch up.
I try my hardest. I'm up past 3am most nights trying to get everything on my list done. One of my colleagues who joined the year after me is my age, but married with young kids and she's 10 times more productive (plus she has time to complete all of these extensive personal projects). I'm single with no kids and l live alone. Yet my productivity level compared to hers is embarrassing. She can launch 3-4 projects per week while juggling kids, a household, personal pursuits, etc.
Recently this above colleague was tasked to oversee part of our team, including me. So now she goes from being my peer to being my lead, giving me assignments. It bothers me not because I want to be a lead, but because I feel like a failure for not being able to get to where she is after almost 3 years. It's the equivalent of the older sibling failing so much that the younger sibling catches up and takes over. To complicate things, I like her and she's a great person. I have no hate for her. All of my anger and hatred is toward myself and my failure to be as productive as her.
They say it's all about the journey, but why is my journey taking so long while everyone else breezes ahead so easily? It's not that I'm not trying. I work as hard as I can, but during the day I can't even concentrate because I'm so stressed out about how much I suck compared to everyone else. So I tell myself, I'll make it up for it tonight. Night rolls around and I'm ready to work but I'm exhausted and all I want to do is sleep. Some nights I'm able to overcome that exhaustion and I get really productive...staying up til the wee hours of the morning.
Lately this has taken a toll on me and I'm falling apart. I've gained about 10 pounds (mysteriously, since my diet hasn't changed), I feel sluggish and tired all the time. I'm constantly crying. My skin and hair are super dry. It takes me an hour to get out of bed after waking up.
I've been seeing a therapist for about a year, but frankly it's not working. I can only afford to see her every other week. I don't have a solid group of friends or family who I can call on for support. I am basically alone to deal with this.
I've also tried self-help books and spiritual coaching programs, but as soon as I go back to work and am reminded how much I suck compared to my colleagues, all of the insights I gained are gone and I feel awful, back to square one.
I guess my question is, how do I deal with and accept the fact that fundamentally, I am not as good as those around me, no matter how hard I try? My best just cannot match up to theirs? Do I tell my boss what's going on? I haven't gotten negative feedback. It's pretty obvious that my work no way measures up to that of the rest of my colleagues.
I can't go on like this for much longer. It's eating me up inside, a persistent nagging in my gut that won't go way.