Front of house and the imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is real. That feeling of never being good enough, qualified enough  or just enough. Being where you are has to be some kind of mistake. Right?

Wrong. If I have learned anything this year it’s that people want to be around you because of you. That is, if people who are worth it, who are genuine, want to be around you, it won’t be because of the number of Instagram followers you have, your degree, or any other kind of “one paper” boxes you have ticked. People will love you for you. (Cue the gooey Disney music).

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Alas, this has been a real challenge for me to accept. No need to dive into the ups and downs of my mental illness, but to say the least, imposter syndrome has a gigantic impact on my bipolarity. Working on it. No really, I am. Something, or better, someone that has truly guided me out of my imposter syndrome is Dave Chang. Yet to meet the man, but his pod is epic, honest and goddamn refreshing. Amidst his comfortable use of the f-bomb (and probably all the better for it TBH) DC encourages knowing what can go wrong and “doing the stupid shit anyway”. He often notes that being a chef is one of the worst and most dumb jobs you could ever do. He wouldn’t change it for the world though. Hmm. Hearing that type of reflection is so… fucking eye opening (see what I did there? ha)

DC’s influence could not have come at a better time in my life. As you know, I am on a journey of both F&B and self discovery. This has lead me to question everything about myself. I mean EVERYTHING. Naturally such intense focus on my flaws, strengths, likes and dislikes have created very obvious imposter syndrome peaks. Don’t get me wrong, my magical moments have been equally as prominent. It’s a time of extremes ha! Damn you, self discovery, so freakin touchy! Jokes aside, managing my imposter syndrome has been made all the more achievable with DC’s advice. In these very early days of my new F&B career, I don’t know 100% what I want to do yet. The options are almost paralysing. Outside of a few key ingredients (to be discussed in future posts), my next steps could take a number of different directions. A little mystery for you there 😉

The more I think about DC’s advice, the more relevant it becomes. The way I see it is that he is encouraging self confidence and courageousness. Two qualities that are celebrated (or should be) across all walks of life. For me, this feels right. It resonates, if you will. For so long I have been down on myself for not having a single, or traditional passion. Where is my cooking degree? Where is my WSET4? I must be a damn imposter! Well, perhaps the story doesn’t look like that anymore. Perhaps I don’t need these pieces of paper to prove my value in an F&B role. Perhaps my place is somewhere closer to my passions and natural talents. Crazy?! Not at all. The tables have turned, with thanks to DC.*

After almost half a year of full time front of house (in addition to my Disney experience and casual waitressing in Australia), I am comfortable in my hospitality expertise. I live and breathe good service. If you know me, you know that. No, I don’t have a certificate in front of house (apparently that is a thing in France), but I have a passion.

I am so damn lucky that my current role at Holybelly is letting me harness my craft each day.  Holybelly has the tagline:

“It’s good because we care”.

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Heck yeah it’s good and heck yeah I care! Now more than ever I am so thankful for my attention to detail in front of house. Travelling and exploring different international hospitality scenes has exposed that not everyone feels the same way about service. It makes all the difference. (In upcoming blogs, I’ll elaborate on my top service likes and dislikes). Not only do I appreciate that as a customer, but as a server I take that shit seriously. This is my passion. I love wine, of course, but I love the personal meaning of service. Is a moment of good service a magical moment? Yes, yes it is.

So, it is with the advice of DC and my openness to self development that I am confident in a future of front of house service. What this looks like exactly, who knows, but I am ready for the ride! Not as an imposter, but as someone who deserves to be there.


Ps. I should also acknowledge the role that Oprah has played here. Listening to her many words of wisdom, I have let one soak in particularly well. Like red wine on my nice white top, I am forever stuck with the feeling of flow. For so long I was out of it, but now I am allowing myself to fall deeper and deeper into it. Think about it. If I had not moved out of my Time Out comfort zone and into a foreign fucking land, I would not have opened myself to self development, let alone food based podcasts. Without listening to people like DC and respecting his pods (for me, his lessons) as some kind of therapy, I would not be on the way to overcoming my imposter syndrome. Flow.

*Even if this realisation is crazy, I am cool with that. After all, for over ten years I have been known to quote Marilyn Monroe. Why stop now?

“It is better to be absolutely mad than absolutely boring” –  Marilyn Monroe.



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