I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot lately. I don’t know if it’s because I’m involved in a lot of things that trigger it, or if it’s a result of COVID, or it’s just all the rage these days, but it’s coming up a lot.
My most recent bout of Imposter Syndrome came immediately after posting my last Blog post, the first post hopefully of many, and then making posts about it on my various social media pages.
The panic was immediate.
The questions that flooded my brain immediately following pressing the submit button included, but were not limited to:
- Who the hell is going to read this?
- What do you know about writing?
- Does anyone care?
- If people like or comment, do they really care, or are they being nice?
- How is this ever going to go anywhere?
You get the idea. It wasn’t fun.
I decided to spend some time looking into Imposter Syndrome to see what the rest of the world has to say on the subject. So, naturally, I googled it and immediately clicked on the first hit, which just happened to be a TIME article.
One of the facts in the article that I found really interesting is about how perfectionists react to not meeting their goals and how the smallest mistake makes them feel like a failure. See also, my last post where I address this. I think, as writers, it is impossible to go through life without feeling Imposter Syndrome to some degree. What if no one reads this? What if they hate it? I spent so long on this, what if it never gets published? And so on and so on. This is not exclusive to writers. I think that in every aspect of my life I’ve experienced Imposter Syndrome. As I get ready to teach my first ever class in the Fall, the feelings have become just an everyday occurrence.
If you’re reading this in the hopes that I am going to give you my Super Top Secret Ancient Cure-All for Imposter Syndrome, I’m sorry to tell you…. I don’t have one. I don’t even have a suggestion for one. This is, in fact, triggering Imposter Syndrome in the form of Then why the Hell are you writing about it? Maybe that is cure. Or, a cure. Maybe it’s helpful to say it loud. I do feel like a fake with a fake blog that no one reads and a fake book no one’s going to publish and a fake class no one is going to get anything out of.
I’m not looking for sympathy here. Or reassurances of That’s not true OMG you’re going to be great! They don’t help lol. It’s an internal thing, a personal thing. Does it go away? Stay tuned, I guess! But I guess my best advice here is that it is just that: it’s internal. In your head. No one knows what the future holds or why we end up in the places we end up. (At least, not anyone writing on this blog…) You’ll never know that you can’t do it until you try.
I don’t really know how encouraging that is. It’s meant to be motivation to keep going, so I hope that comes across! My hope is that one day We-Who-Fear-Impostering (TM) will be able to look back on those fears and laughs.
How do you deal with Imposter Syndrome? Comment below and let me know!