Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Question: Why Do I Feel Inadequate at Work?

I recently wrote about The Imposter Syndrome, Gia wrote to ask me why she didn’t feel like she belonged in her job, like she was hiding her lack of credentials for doing the work she does, and does well. Everyone else has college degrees. She took a few courses and then dropped out. Gia began her work in an entry-level position and learned as she went. She gets regular promotions. Yet she still feels like she doesn’t deserve to do what she does since she lacks the educational background.

She feels almost ashamed of her lack of education and it’s affecting her ability to do her job. She also avoids getting friendly with anyone because she’s scared someone will ask about her education.


The Imposter Syndrome is the feeling that you’re being an imposter in your job or other situations because you don’t feel like you deserve to be there or think you’re good enough to do the job. What Gia asked is a form of this. Feeling this way is all in your head. Gia’s colleagues have no problem with her. But she’s insecure knowing about her lack of education and doesn’t value her ability to learn just as well on the job.

You are as capable, or incapable, as you think.

Gia is making her lack of a college degree into a fault, which it isn’t. She’s obsessed over it so much she’s now guilty about her lack of education compared to co-workers. Education doesn’t define you. Nor does your looks or the quality of your romantic partner, or your skills, etc. YOU define you by how you think. To Gia she is inferior. To her colleagues, she’s one of them. They accept her yet she can’t accept herself.


When I was a DoorMat I felt inferior in many ways, which pushed me to be pleasing to everyone. That wasn’t healthy or even fair to me, but I saw me as not good enough to be treated right. I felt too fat to be good enough for what I wanted. Gia doesn’t feel good enough for  her job because she doesn’t have what she sees as enough education.

My advice is—focus on the job you do, and continue to do what you want to improve.

There are many educated people who do a lousy job. I have a B.A. as well as an M.S., yet most of the skills I’ve were learned from living, not in school. You are who you choose to be. If Gia chooses to be as good as anyone else at her job, she is. If she chooses to feel inferior, she is. Define yourself by what you have, not what you lack. Love yourself enough to give yourself credit for being terrific!


Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

Please leave comments under my posts so we can stay connected.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kjforce

    With all the internet classes that are available..Gia for her own benefit can sign up and take a course regarding job related or not.This can be done without anyones knowledge and she can earn a degree or degrees. Having self confidence is key to success in life!
    I thought the article was very well written..these are my thoughts..

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Very true!

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