I can’t do that!

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Engineers of Tomorrow is a not-for-profit that is shaping the engineering narrative by telling better stories. 

Posted January 9, 2020

Feeling like you don’t belong (aka impostor syndrome) could be holding you back from doing the thing you really WANT to do!

Who’s heard it before…..”but, I can’t do THAT!”

Maybe it was a student, talking about studying engineering.

Maybe it was a response from your own child when you asked them why they didn’t try out for the school basketball team.

Or, maybe it was a voice in your own head, justifying why you didn’t put your name forward for a big project at work.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve along experience impostor syndrome in some way.

So, what if we used these conversations and thoughts as an opportunity!

What if we thought of these nerves as a good thing? An indicator that we’re actually on the right path.

What if, instead of telling your self you could NEVER stand up in front of a class and tell your STEM story, you acknowledge those nerves, and tell yourself that you’ve got valuable experiences to share.

One thing I’ve learned is that good things happen when I put myself in uncomfortable situations.

When I get outside my comfort zone, I learn new things, I come up with new ideas, and I gain valuable new experiences.

I spoke to an engineer recently who told me that she did not go to university right after high school because she felt like she didn’t belong there. Luckily, this story has a happy ending. She got past her feelings of “not belonging”, and after spending a few years in college, she realized that she still wanted to become an engineer. She completed her engineering education, and is now working as a professional engineer.

As engineers, we like to measure and monitor. We have metrics, KPIs, leading and lagging indicators….I encourage you to notice the next time you hear (or think!) “I don’t belong”. Treat it as a warning light.

It’s providing you with valuable information that you need to address.

But consider, is it telling you to “stop”?

Or, is it letting you know “you’re on the right path”…

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