Growing up between two brothers and all close family friends having sons, I was fearless.  I had the mindset that I could do anything that they could.  I could ride my big wheel down the steep hill and jump the ramp just like the boys.  I could throw, shoot, and hit a ball just like them – or even better.  This mindset carried me through my college years.  I could do anything!

After graduating college and starting my career, I was ready to conquer the world.  With only two years of experience working on accounting teams in Atlanta, I moved Dallas to work in the technology industry.  Little did I know that I would be the first female at my company not in an administrative role.  Through the years I have noticed that doubt had started to creep into my mindset and was chipping away at my confidence as I saw men advancing faster and receiving the high-profile projects.

When I did receive a promotion, I felt undeserving and afraid that one mistake would show that I was not the right person for the job.  I had a mindset that I had to be flawless and make everything look effortless.  I worried what people would think of me if I took a misstep.  I was afraid I was not good enough. Suddenly that fearless girl was nowhere to be found.

I would later learn that I was suffering from imposter syndrome.  Imposter syndrome is a belief that you are inadequate and incompetent, despite evidence that indicates you are skilled and quite successful. Since I saw the men in my company advancing faster, I thought I was failing.  My imposter syndrome had me underestimating my experience and expertise and not realizing that everyone makes mistakes.

Like many people in the technology space, I lost my position after 20 years of service due to an acquisition.  To start over is a humbling experience.  At first, the imposter syndrome came back with vengeance.  I had to squash the negative self-thinking.  I had to replace “I am not qualified” with “they recruited me.”  I have 20 years of experience and expertise in enterprise software, starting as a customer and working my way through support, professional services, and the cloud. I had a lot to offer and deserved the position I had secured!

Worrying about making mistakes and what others would say kept trying to haunt me.  I had to remind myself that everyone makes mistakes, including me and those around me.  It is what I learn from those mistakes and how I move forward from them that is important.

I decided to share my story to help others realize that if you have that same voice in your head telling you that you’re not worthy, don’t listen!  I also want to thank JDA for the opportunity to be relentless in the next phase of my career.  I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from legendary college basketball coach John Wooden: “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

I am enough.