Imposter Syndrome

Hello and welcome back! Things have been pretty crazy the last few weeks with the Celebration of Light and Vancouver Pride (both of which take place right outside my door), plus lots of work and unexpected baby sitting but I am currently cat sitting at my parents so its like another mini retreat – just me and my work. And the cat. And Netflix….

I’m not sure what we were talking about, but Sara gave me the idea for today’s blog, on Imposter Syndrome. (Maybe we were discussing something to do with our awesome new podcast, Nature Finds a Way!). You may have heard of it and even if not, chances are you have felt it. It is technically defined as “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’”. In short, it’s the feeling you get when, no matter how experienced you are at a task, you think someone is going to call you out for not knowing anything.

I touched on this briefly when I discussed presenting social media tips in February  and while that presentation went well, as does the work I am doing, I still feel like a fraud a lot of the time. Maybe it’s the freelancing thing so there is often the side eye I get from people who think I’m not really working, or maybe it’s that I am still constantly going on interviews with a high rejection percentage. Regardless of the reason, it’s still happening. I’m even having a bit of imposter syndrome right now about writing this blog on imposter syndrome.

There are a ton of articles about the kinds of imposter syndrome and steps to overcome it but if you’re anything like me you just read them and go “oh ya that’s a good idea” but never remember those helpful tips when the feeling  hits. So, I guess all I can say is don’t let it take control of you. Going down the path of thinking you’re a fraud is not going to get you anywhere except for anxious and stressed out (I speak from experience), so find your own way to get yourself out of it. When I do come around to recognizing that my negative feelings are a flare up of imposter syndrome, I aim for rational thought. Which can be harder than you think to achieve. Stop thinking about why you are a failure (pssst you’re not!) and think about what you have achieved and the good things you’ve heard about yourself and it that doesn’t work, sit down and do your work. Nothing stems off the fraud inside your brain like honest to goodness work. You get that “got a lot of good shit done today” feeling and you have something tangible as evidence that you are in fact awesome at what you do and anyone who thinks otherwise is a dingleberry. Remember, that even if someone does think you’re lacking in a skill they are probably more focused on their imposter syndrome than thinking about what you can and cannot do.

Ugh. It’s flaring back up again. “I am totally not qualified to give advice on something like this” pfffffffft go away stupid thoughts. (Luckily, I did not have that feeling when I started to edit, and proof read this so I don’t have to rewrite the entire piece-huzzah!)

Whether or not I’m qualified to give you advice on how to overcome your imposter syndrome I am qualified enough to say “You’re awesome and you can do it” so go out there and do your thing. I’ve got your back.

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