Thursday, August 3, 2017

I'm an Imposter

I’m an Imposter. A fraud, just waiting for others around me to find out that I’ve got them fooled. Motherhood, career, my marriage. You name it, I’ve got people tricked into thinking I know what the heck I’m doing.

How many times have you thought this about yourself? (Women everywhere raise their hand). Well the good news is, you are not alone. This thing, this feeling, it has a name.

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is our inability to internalize our accomplishments and strengths which then creates this persistent fear of being exposed as not being good enough, or smart enough, or having it all together enough.

You know those sayings, “You might be a red-neck if…” well “You might have Imposter Syndrome if…” you experience self-doubt, negative self-talk, are a perfectionist, discount praise, undermine your achievements, overwork, blame yourself for failures even if others were involved, and attribute your successes to luck. About 70% of us experience Imposter Syndrome at some point in our lives and 40% experience it a significant amount of time. And yet, no one really talks about it. Until now.

The ironic thing is that the women who suffer from Imposter Syndrome are the most are capable, intelligent, hard-working, high-achieving individuals. Have you ever noticed that it’s never the lazy, stupid people who seem to worry about not being enough? Even the great Maya Angelou wasn't immune.

It’s no surprise that social media only adds to our Imposter feelings. We are all guilty of posting those perfectly staged Instagram or Facebook photos with our 3-day-old hair while our kids or pets destroy the house around us, but no one looking at that photo would ever know we don't have it all together. Unless we tell them. 

We have to start being more real with each other. Talking about it. Encouraging each other. Imposter Syndrome thrives in isolation. You’d be surprised how many of your friends have the exact same feelings you do but if we don’t start being honest and talking about it, there’s no way we can recover from it. We have to start embracing our failures, because they’re gonna happen. And often. And that's okay. When those Imposter feelings start to creep in, give yourself a big ole reality slap. You are enough. And don’t let yourself tell you otherwise.

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