Do you ever look around the room and panic, little traitorous beads of sweat congregate at your hairline and you’re suddenly struck with the thought: that everyone else is smarter, better equipped or just deserves to be there more than you do? And your turn to speak is going to come and you of course, are gonna blow it. Because you are an imposter?
If the answer is yes then you ARE NOT ALONE! I am right here with you but more than that I am there, alone in the room sweating, wondering “is this the day they realise?” No matter how qualified I am at my job and trust me I know I am qualified. I find myself asking the question: when will the jig be up?
I should probably tell you, that you don’t have to tell me, that this is a ridiculous notion. I am not an imposter. I have been working long enough that even if I was an imposter when I began (and I wasn’t). I’m a professional now.
I know that this fear has no substance but it is something that I feel obliged to share and discuss in the hope that you can A) relate and B) read my words and realise how silly they are. Even if I can’t.
It’s funny because sitting here attempting to convince you that I am not an imposter and that I know I am not is definitely a symptom of me in-fact believing that I am.
That is the thing with Imposter Syndrome; it’s very clever, probably aced it’s GCSE’s.
The dictionary definition of an imposter is “a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others” I am in no way an imposter, I really did go to uni, I really have 4 sisters and I am more than capable at work.
Now the definition of Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Now this rings a few bells.
So by this definition I am attempting to break down this feeling that seems to plague a lot of us and if you are like me and your brain seems to want to sabotage you sometimes; you may not know that there are things you can do to help yourself, to “trick” your brain into believing that you aren’t tricking everyone else.
In order to believe you deserve the things you deserve; you need to realise the roles that YOU have played in your success. It is so easy to give it up to others when you achieve something and yes of-course you get by with a little help from your friends but did you put the hours in? Did you stay up during the late nights? Did YOU do the over-time? Was it YOUR hands that wrote that brief?
Take ownership of what YOU have done, so that when your brain tries to tell otherwise you have the receipts!
Stop comparing yourself to others, you will always come up short. You know every minute detail about yourself and when you compare your breath in the morning to someones flawless selfie of course you will lose.
Question: How do you tackle that prick-of-a-voice screaming in your head that you’re not good enough and publish that blog, post that video or stand in front of that camera and pose your heart out?
Answer: By trying to add value to whatever it is that you’re doing. Doubt tends to creep in quicker and set thicker when intentions are murky. A way to prevent this feeling from even taking hold in the first place is to ensure that whatever it is that you doing; you are doing it for the right reasons.
Take my blog for instance. I started it as a way to get my feelings out into the world. That’s it. Not for followers or attention, just a way to talk to you that Insta & Twitter don’t allow so the feeling of being a fraud doesn’t live here.
I am not a particularly insecure person but in the world we live in; our ideas are our currency a bit aren’t they? So much is riding on them and while it’s an exciting time and YES I have never felt more creative in my life but (you knew that was coming didn’t you?) just because you are wrong or an idea doesn’t work out, doesn’t mean you are a fraud. I feel like there is such pressure to be right because L’s are taken so publicly nowadays that they are frightening.But everything you say can’t be genius every-time, you can’t always be right. It just isn’t how it works but it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be where you are
I think when you really want something, when you want something and you work hard to achieve it with many sacrifices along the way. The disbelief at “making it” can cause you to question whether or not you deserve it and I am here to tell you that you do.
Lastly I think it is important to stop, take a step back and realise that no-one knows what they are doing. None of us. Yes in some moments some of us have a better idea than others but all you have to do is open a newspaper or read a tweet thread to know that we are all a little lost, trying to navigate our way in this crazy world so how are you supposed to know absolutely everything? Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Believe in you and I promise to try and believe in me a little bit more x