Forget the years of hard work, forget the time spent in school or that internship I took. Forget that accomplishment, or that job, or that promotion. Forget everything I have learned along the way, from trying, making mistakes, getting back up and trying again. Forget all of it.
I am a fraud.
At least that is what I wake up feeling like on some days. On these day, I wake up with this overwhelming sensation that it might be the day where I am exposed as a fake and my cover will be blown. Inadequate. Insecure. Imposter.
Imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where you doubt your accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. I had no idea this was an actual thing until I heard a woman speak about it at a women empowerment conference. I was captivated, emotional and relieved. This feeling, this fear… I am not alone in feeling it. I was so thankful for this woman who opened up about her battle with this vicious type of fear. It helped me open up about my own feelings of being an imposter, and start facing it head on.
There are good days and there are bad days and on the bad days I try to remind myself that I am not the imposter - the feeling of inadequacy is the imposter. I give it a face, and even a name and I let it know that it can’t stay for long, because I have shit to do. I visualize it as being the thing that doesn’t belong instead of me.
I let my community in, and I mean really in. I dig deep and take them with me because if I have learned anything at all it is true connection fosters authenticity and authenticity has the power to change the world. Surrounding yourself with people who understand you, listen to you, and help you work through your fear is so important. Validation is also important as long as you seek it through healthy channels. A mentor, a support group, a coach.
I might not get it right everyday, and on those days I try to give myself some grace. I write down something I am proud of. I meditate. I shower the ones around me with love. I try to remember the years of hard work, and my time spent in school and that internship that kicked my ass. I try to remember the journey I took to get to where I am today and honor it with gratitude. Grateful for my mistakes, grateful for every time I was able to get back up from my mistakes, and grateful for the people who cheered me on along the way.
I am right where I am supposed to be.