The Imposter

We’ve all heard of “Imposter Syndrome,” that state of mind that tells us we’re actually phonies while we try to pass ourselves off as experts. Forget about “‘experts”; we sometimes feel inadequate to the task, whatever it is, regardless of the FACT that we KNOW exactly what that task entails and that we CAN accomplish it. So what’s with the introspection?

I wonder if it has to do with simple fear. Fear that we will fail, even though we really do know what we’re doing; fear that we will then be judged to be one of those who “over promise and under deliver”; fear at the eventual social or business ostrascizing that will accompany our supposed overreach.

I suffer from this all the time. I know I’m capable in my field, more even. I know I can learn and be taught. I don’t fear making mistakes along the way as that’s how you grow. But I sometimes wonder if a misstep will result in a lack of confidence toward me by whomever I’m working with or for. Not to mention a lack in confidence toward myself.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” 

– Michael Jordan

One must try if one is to succeed. One must be willing to fail if one is to learn. One must get back up, if one is to keep going. These are mere words that all of us have to put into action. We all are dealt chances and opportunities. One’s attitude may stink while the other’s be extraordinarily positive, but we all have chances. And unless you start something, you’ll never finish it and see just what worked and didn’t.

I think attitude plays a major role. It’s easy to struggle with it especially when you’re going through a “losing streak,” whatever that may entail. I think self-discipline and consistency are essential, but ultimately, perseverance is the key.

Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

– Winston Churchill

I’m learning that you have to just keep moving, because if you stop and either give up or wallow in self-pity, you’re guaranteed defeat. By continuing, even through setbacks and “famines,” you may reach your goal, perhaps not as successfully as you had hoped, but you reached it.

“Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.”

– Oswald Chambers

Imposter Syndrome affects us all, but we all react differently to it. Keep things in perspective: Great things start small and TAKE TIME. And mistakes and failure WILL happen. Our hyper-fast success culture doesn’t help us and may be just the source of feeling like a phony. But the road in front of us is our road, not someone else’s. Keep to your straight and narrow.

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