Impostor Syndrome Strikes Again!

Photo by Sander van der Wel

Photo by Sander van der Wel

The last two months have been an amazing whirlwind of conferences for me, and during that time, I’ve faced and moved beyond impostor syndrome. It’s easy to think that being accepted to speak at a conference means that you’ve made it, that you’ve proven yourself as an expert, or that you’re a valued community leader. And it’s precisely when you’re going out on a limb, crossing an edge, and trying something new that your inner critic gets louder.

My schedule included co-facilitating a large open space event, presenting new workshops at three conferences, and co-leading with a new conference speaker. I’ve been talking about coaching skills that are challenging and trying to make them easy. My inner critic got downright obnoxious and made me doubt that I could do it all. I’ve gone from feeling like an invisible girl to rather famous in a short period of time, and I’m still adjusting to the highs and lows I’ve felt.

And thankfully in the midst of all of this, I found myself belonging to a very special tribe: a group of us who were traveling to conferences week after week and sharing our wisdom because we felt compelled to do so. Our paths crossed in multiple cities, and there was comfort in recognizing that we were not alone. Our busy schedules kept us away from home, and we had familiar faces along the way to keep things light.

In fact, after an incredible group discussion on impostor syndrome during Agile Coach Camp in New York, a few of us revisited the topic during Agile & Beyond for a recording of the Agile Uprising podcast. Listen to Chris Murman, Billie Schuttpelz, Pradeepa Narayanaswamy and me talk about impostor syndrome.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.