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Feeling Inferior

No matter how long I work in the construction industry, nearly 5 years now, I still have the sense of not knowing. No matter how many houses I am involved in building and renovating I still have the sense of not knowing. No matter how many tradespeople I employ, direct or instruct, I still have the sense of not knowing.

There is a certain lack of trust in my own abilities, that I have only recently come to realise is not due to not knowing, but due to a lack of trust in myself. Now it would be easy to speculate that this comes from the industry in which I choose to work, but in actual fact it comes from my life long lack of trust in me.


It’s not just work in which I have this feeling of inferiority; it’s in just about all aspects of my life. Parenting, the children, sport, even my own opinions!!

I have always felt that I didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t know enough. I cannot remember a time that I fully trusted my own abilities. Now that I have had this revelation, what am I going to do with the information?

I am going to learn to trust in myself. I am going to learn the trust others have in me. I have had so many business opportunities presented to myself in the last month or two, all of which involve my knowledge and experience. Previously I would shy away from such opportunities, but not now.

I’ve decided to back myself, and to learn how to trust my know knowledge, and my instincts. I do not need to understand tie downs and bracing to be good at my job, BUT I need to trust in the people I put in place and their knowledge, just as they need to trust in mine, as do our clients who are relying on me to ensure I always have the right people in place to produce the quality job they come to expect.

It is true that the construction industry is good at isolating women and their apparent lack of knowledge, but it can also be said, that with the right team in place the opposite is also true. The Builder and I have worked long and hard to ensure that we have surrounded ourselves with the right team, now I need to learn to trust myself and the things I do know, while being open to new opportunities to learn.

How do you push past your own feelings of doubt? What sort of team do you have surrounding you in your workplace?

Nicole xxx

Linking Up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT





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  1. Hi Nicole – I bet you know more than you think you do! And sounds like you have built a great team, so trust them as well as yourself. Sounds like there are plenty of goals being kicked at the moment – well done!

    1. Hiya Alix, I certainly trust that I am on the right track and will keep having trust in myself. Thank you for your support xxx

  2. I get like that too. I feel like people at work think I know more than I do and defer to me at times they should defer to someone else. I’m always surprised when I’m able to help someone. It’s a funny thing. But I’ve spent time in male dominated industries as well and I do think it impacts you. If you have these feelings anyway and then are treated in a way that reinforces it, it seems to have a greater impact that the opposite, if that makes sense?

    1. Yes totally. There are some days, if it wasn’t for the builder, I would be sure I know nothing, such is the nature of our industry. xx

  3. I can very much relate to this, Nicole. When you’ve been this way your whole life, it’s hard to push past it. It’s hard to change your way of thinking. Old habits die hard. Perhaps we could support each other in being our own best cheerleaders ?

    1. Give me an R….give me an E……..give me an N………give me an E……….give me another E……what does it spell………RENEE!!! Go RENEE!! I would love to be your cheerleader, and more importantly my own. You have given me a thought, and I am going to carry this cheer around in my head all day……give me an N……

  4. I saw this yesterday. I thought it was for me but maybe it’s for you too.
    Have faith in yourself you amazing woman. I do!

    1. I’ll fix that avatar later! Oh boy.

      1. Thank you my darling friend! xxx
        P.S I love the mugs! xx

  5. Glad you are working on trusting yourself. I think we always think we can know more but as you say, sometimes it’s far deeper than what we do or don’t know. I’ve been facing this with becoming a yoga teacher, the whole newbie thing and my underlying ‘not good enough’ issues surface more. One thing I remind myself is that I’m getting older so that experience has to count and on the other hand, we are all born ‘good enough’.

    1. All your points are so valid! And you know what is so silly, I tell my kids every day they were born good enough, I just seem to ignore my own advice! Time to change that xx

  6. You go Nicole. Believing in yourself can be one of the hardest things but also one of the most liberating. #teamIBOT

    1. So very true Natalie! xx

  7. I actually have zero “actual” team in my workplace! I’m technically part of a team but we all do totally different things so it’s more of a team for HR reasons than for work reasons. But the benefit of a large organisation is that informal support between departments ends up being created and is thankfully a really lovely community. I do find it ironic sometimes that none of my formal bosses know what I do or can assist/backfill me though!
    I think you’ll go amazingly well if you can back yourself!

    1. Wow Vanessa, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be totally un-replaceable!! I love it, what exactly do they think you do all day? Thank you for your support xx

  8. I was only saying this to hubster the other day. I doubt myself the whole time. I always think someone is going to find out that with everything in life, I’m totally winging it! If only we could see ourselves the way others see us, because when I look at you, I only see awesome!

    1. Aww you are very sweet Sammie, thank you!! But you are totally right, if only we could understand what others think of us, surely it would raise the way we think about ourselves xx

  9. Dude you need to google Impostor Syndrome!

  10. I can total relate. I’m riddled with self doubt. I question my worth as a parent, a writer, a friend, a partner, a person. Every. Single. Day. I am also able to pinpoint the exact moment it started. I was seven and my mother went for a parent/teacher interview. Afterwards she told me that the teacher had told her that I was doing really well and if I could get over my shyness I would be able to do whatever I wanted when I finished school becasue I was smart and hard working”. My mum then added, “She must have thought I was someone else’s mum, she couldn’t have been talking about you”. Deflated. For life. I have my kids parent/teacher interviews tonight and I’ll be heaping praise on my kids whatever the outcome.

  11. Nicole – guess what?! I’m exactly the same … about everything!! Work, blogging, photography, mothering, how I look, absolutely everything. It holds me back ALL the time. I guess I’m aware of this self doubt problem of mine. I’m also aware that a lot of people carry self doubt. I try and push is aside and forge ahead but I do need to believe in myself a lot more, as do you girl! ? xo

  12. It’s hard to push past doubt.
    I’ve realised something about myself in the last week, that I like all the information before I start something. I need to know everything. I was writing an assignment and researching stuff I didn’t even need to write about, but because I need all the information, I did it.
    It’s something I need to be aware of I think. There are times when we need to have all the information, and then there are times, like you’ve said, when we just need to trust others to fill in the gaps.

  13. I can very much relate Nicole. I’ve not worked in a male dominated industry but often in areas where – particularly before starting – I worry I won’t be good enough.

    I sometimes feel like a bit of a fraud!

  14. I feel a bit like that – have been running my own digital marketing business for just over 3 years now. Some days I feel like I’ve got this thing. Other days I still feel completely clueless and realise just how much I still have to learn!

  15. I have an identical lack of trust and confidence in my own abilities and knowledge too, and I know this is a very sexist thing to say, but sometimes I wonder if this lack of trust in myself is a female thing. Quite a few times I’ve seen the opposite in males in my workplace. i.e. males that obviously don’t know what they are doing or saying but who have total self confidence and self trust in themselves! It’s when I see and hear these males talking absolute crap that I realise how much I really do know! (Yes, I work in a male dominatde industry also).

  16. I think having confidence in ourself is one of the hardest things to do. I’m constantly telling myself that I’m doing things wrong and don’t know what I’m talking about and am trying really hard to turn it around xx

  17. Wow Nicole, I wouldn’t have guessed this from your writing. You write so confidently and with such passion for what you do. My suggestion is, pretend you’re blogging and just go with it!

  18. Ahh imposter syndrome. I know it well and it’s so hard to push past it. But something I’ve learned the past few years from working on the Telstra Business Women’s Awards is the power of vulnerability (thanks also to Brene Brown). The women I meet are incredibly successful and most suffer from this too. If you haven’t seen Brene’s TEDX talk on vulnerability Google it now! Xx

  19. Go you! It’s a very female to want to make sure we know everything 100% before we feel confident to go for it, men don’t tend to do that. As the wise Winne the Pooh said “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”. x

  20. Sometimes I walk onto a construction site and think “I’ve got this” and other times I feel completely lost – so in one sense you are not alone – I’m sure most of the time you well and truly have got it under control – in times when I don’t, I make sure the people I turn to for advice and help I can completely rely on….

  21. I truly believe that all successful people do this from time to time and it’s not a bad thing, it’s a sign you always want to be at the top of your game! I just hide away in my office all day and don’t have to see anyone! xx

  22. This is me right now. I definitely doubt but I’m working on it. I rememberthesuccesses from the past when I faced my fear with doubt at the start. It’s amazing what can be achieved even if we doubt ourselves while doing it. X

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