Today I feel like the weight of the world is pressing down on me. There are a number of issues at work that, if I had handled them in a timely and appropriate fashion, wouldn’t be worth any note, but since I let myself get bogged down in the minutiae and sense of “I have to do it myself,” I’m very far behind, leading to some irate customers and stressful situations behind the scenes at the office.

For years I’ve known that I exhibit all the signs of imposter syndrome, an overwhelming dread that I am not skilled, knowledgeable, or talented enough for the position I’m in. It causes me to feel ownership and personal responsibility for everything negative, including things over which I have no control, and fearful of asking for help, no matter how complicated the task. It leads to the self-reinforcing negative spiral where I take on too much because I believe I have to in order to prove my worth, and then get crushed beneath the mountain of work I’ve made for myself.

It’s a recurring and ever-present theme in my life, even outside of the workplace, and it really scares me sometimes. My response to stress is just to shut down and become even less productive – you can imagine how much that helps the situation. No matter how often it comes up, I still feel it and succumb to its cloying embrace every time.

When I think about asking for help, help I genuinely need, I think about how far behind I am from where I want/need to be, and that makes me scared that I’ll be thought less of or marginalized because of my lack of success.

Today is one of those days where I have to stand up and face the fact that I am not a superman, that I can’t do everything, and that I’ve oversold and overburdened myself. It’s incredibly nerve-wracking and humiliating, and it’s a situation wholly of my own making.

A situation that comes around and around with far too much frequency to be healthy.