Buh-bye impostor syndrome
Why hello again!
Yes, I know – I need to stop taking these random long breaks from blogging. But I think I have a good reason why I do it. I don’t want to simply blog because I have to. I want to blog because I want to. Also, I was starting to feel a bit like an impostor with what I was writing. I was starting to compare myself to other bloggers, what they’ve achieved, what they were doing, and I was simply feeling like I was a fraud.
“I’m not a blogger,” I’d think to myself. “They’re bloggers. Look at how amazing their lives look. The amazing things they are getting up to. The amazing people they are.”
Newsflash to me – they may be amazing, but *gulp* so am I. This is an incredibly difficult sentiment for me to accept. I don’t see the “amazing me,” I just see me. M. E. Nothing fancy, a bit damaged and trying to make it through each day one minute at a time. Or, as my soul sister Tina Belcher would say, “I’m no hero! I put my bra on one boob at a time like everyone else.”
But lately, I’ve been trying something new. I’ve been trying to own those compliments people give me. And trust me, I SUCK AT IT! I’m pretty sure my face looks as awkward as Tina’s did when she was trying to smile and not look guilty.
Taking a compliment just isn’t, or…well…it wasn’t my style. I would be the first to say, “Oh, this was a group effort,” even it was something as simple as me sending an email. It makes me feel so awkward to be recognized for my good work. And that sentence right there is also something I would never have said before. I do good work. I’ve spent almost all 33 years of my life avoiding acknowledging the good in me, the good work I do, the good person I am. But I think it’s time to change.
I can only imagine how exhausting it must be for my family, friends and colleagues to have to deal with my low self-esteem, putting myself down, or even just that awkward smile when I get a compliment. But I know I’m not alone in this. This impostor syndrome that I deal with isn’t something that impacts me alone. A recent study showed that 66 per cent of women and just over 50 per cent of men suffer from impostor syndrome. These statistics were both shocked me and made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
If you need some inspiration on how to kick impostor syndrome’s butt, check out this TEDTalk from Elizabeth Cox.
But just because I’m not alone doesn’t mean I want to continue feeling like an impostor. So, what am I going to do about it? I’m going to use this post as an ode to the amazing woman I am. I’m going to own my accomplishments and I’m going to be proud of them.
Here we go:
- I’ve been in recovery from an eating disorder for 11 years.
- I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for seven-and-a-half years, and together for almost 10.
- I followed my heart and pursued public relations as a career and never looked back.
- I kick ass at my job. I’ve been promoted at least once almost every year that I’ve been there (celebrated four years in October).
- I have the privilege of shaping young and aspiring PR professionals as a college professor at Durham College.
- I’ve won lots of awards as a PR professional in the short four years I’ve been in the profession.
- I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished as a student in all the programs I’ve taken (there have been quite a few). Whether I’ve completed them or not, they all added something to my life and helped me become who I am today.
- I’m a good daughter, wife and friend.
- I’m proud of being a work in progress.
- I’m a good person. I used to feel like my past mistakes dictated who I would always be. I felt they were the reason I could never be proud of who I became. But you know what, fuck the past! I’m proud of my present and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
I’m sure there are more things I should be proud of, but it’ll take me time to get to that point to be able to own all of them.
But I want to turn it over to you. Do you deal with impostor syndrome? Are you ready to own the wonderful badass you are? What are you proud of?
Until next time!