This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. It’s what sparked the post of a similar vein ‘Everyone is Weird: I Swear.‘
You ever enter a new scenario or environment, you look around and then look at yourself and just think “how the hell did I get here?” ‘Cause I have.
Imposter Syndrome is something I’ve always felt the presence of in my life, like a cloud hanging over me or like a 5lb weight that’s invisible but that I’m constantly dragging around with me wherever I go. It’s that whole notion of feeling a bit like a fraud.
Even when I first started blogging I was like who am I? What am I doing? Who do I think I am?
Then when I got back into acting, if anyone ever complimented me on a scene I had a lot of trouble accepting that compliment because of the conversation that goes on in my mind. It looks something like this:
Person #1: “Wow I loved that scene you did”
Me (in my head): “WELL THAT’S NICE BUT THAT FELT LIKE A COMPLETE FLUKE AND HONESTLY I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING I DID PREP BUT I FEEL LIKE I AM WINGING EVERYTHING AND I’M PRETTY SURE THE FIVE PEOPLE TO MY LEFT AND RIGHT ACTUALLY ARE GOOD AND KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING. WHY AM I EVEN HERE?”
Me (out loud): Oh thank you!
Sorry, my brain thinks in all caps apparently.
The ever so wise Google tells me that feeling Imposter Syndrome can be summed up as ‘not feeling as competent as others perceive you to be.’ Well, couldn’t have described it any better myself if I tried.
It’s not like I feel this way about everything in my life, I know there are some things I can do and am good at, it’s just that there are also a lot of things that I feel like oh I’m sorry am I a bird, because I am winging the shit out of this right now and feel like a phony 99% of the time. Even if you do well, it still just feels like everything is kind of just a coincidence? Like somehow you don’t deserve whatever good is/has come your way.
Okay so fine, having anxiety and being an overthinker obviously isn’t going to be helping the situation BUT, I had a conversation not too long ago with someone older than me who I really admire and what they said shocked me a little.
They said that they have and still frequently experience imposter syndrome, depending on what situation they’re in. Like they’re a kid who’s kind of just pretending like they know what they’re doing as an adult.
The thing is, when you’re little, you think adults and parents have their lives together. Then you get to a certain ‘adult’ age and realise that you’re sort of just faking it till you make it. If you’re doing it, chances are you aren’t the only one either.
You could be running a blog, start a new job, be in a certain friendship circle, be at a club or just be talking to people and Imposter Syndrome can hit and you feel that question of “wow I don’t fit in here/don’t belong here…how long until people figure that out?!”
Ah anxiety, what a treat you are.
I’ve found the older I’ve gotten that this isn’t really something I’ve heard people talking about, which is why I wanted to get this out there to open up the dialogue around this conversation a bit more. Personally, I actually take a lot of comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one who experiences this feeling.
So I’d love to know, have you ever felt Imposter Syndrome?