I never used to understand what people meant when they said they feel like they have “imposter syndrome”. Then one day on the very hot central line on the way to work, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I questioned who I was and what I was doing in the world.
Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.
If you’ve ever felt imposter syndrome it feels like you’re being someone you’re not and it can feel very overwhelming. I started to feel like my potential is trapped inside of me and I don’t have the access code to my own inner being. Sounds deep I know but I remember saying it out loud and I promised myself I’d write it down too.
One of the things I’ve heard the most is, “I didn’t really understand what you were doing when you started your own talk show.” A lot of people don’t know a lot of things about me, they only see what I want them to see so when I reveal a little more they’re like, “Oh there’s more to you.” The truth is there’s more to a lot of us and we have to break out of the fear of the expectations other people have of us. I’m okay with being misunderstood at times because I know that the things I do aren’t for validation from others.
One thing I’ve learned is that we can often feel so alone in our journey. We become so engulfed in our own situation it feels like such a burden just to tell someone else “I’m struggling and I don’t know where to go.” The truth is, no one has all the answers but it doesn’t mean we can’t turn to each other and speak with honesty and truth. Some of my best conversations come from saying, “I’m scared, I don’t know if this is going to work out and I don’t know where I’m going.” The best thing to remember is we always survive and we always grow.
I ask myself a lot of questions, should I disappear into the background and live a very quiet life? Then I question what happened to me making an impact. So often we ask ourselves so many questions fuelled by fear and that fear usually comes from stepping into a new and foreign territory.
Whatever you feel and however you feel on a day to day, I hope you don’t give up on yourself because you “feel” like you’re being someone you’re not. Test out character traits you’ve usually allowed to be dormant in you for many reasons. A few of them being:
- School told us who we should and shouldn’t be
- Our parents told us who we should and shouldn’t be
- Some of our friends didn’t understand who we could be
We all have a side the world has never known so don’t be afraid to explore those and tell the universe that you’re showing up in a new capacity.
Take breaks by all means but for the love of God and every talent he birthed into you, never give up.