Several weeks ago I attended a new-to-me networking group, and heard the most amazing presentation by Sara Dean on Impostor Syndrome! Truth be told my introverted self got over "Going somewhere new where I wasn't going to know anyone" because I was so excited to hear this talk - and it was so worth it!
One of the things that I found interesting in her presentation though was that the "Impostor Syndrome" she spoke of fell more into what I would consider low self-esteem & fear rather than really feeling like a complete impostor . . . which is something I've struggled with both professionally and personally in my life. Or rather professionally (at my job), and with my photography.
In both cases the root of this "I'm just pretending" feeling is that I'm self-taught - which somewhere in my brain makes me feel like I don't know anything. The brain is a funny place and I try not to put too much stock in it - but for a lot of years I would have moments where I couldn't believe people were asking me for my advice on how to do things because really - what did I know? (I knew nothing - shhhhh . . . don't tell anyone!).
Thankfully those feelings are few & far between these days. I've come to the conclusion that the only person who gets to decide if I'm an expert at something is me (of course), and so I've worked hard to re-wire my brain to acknowledge what I know - which is not everything but a lot! - and own it. Like a boss! After 15 years in the healthcare industry I'm a damn good medical biller (Sexy I know!), and my photography is hanging in a gallery here in Seattle. Am I an expert? Yes I am!
Sara covered some really awesome tips on how to get past impostor syndrome, which I'm hoping she'll turn into an episode for her podcast "The Shameless Mom Academy" so I won't share them all here. But the three I thought were the most important were:
The truth is that at some point in our lives I think we all suffer from some aspect of Impostor Syndrome - whether it be in the form of fear, low-self esteem, or true feelings of pretending to be something (or someone) we're not. Which isn't to say it's normal necessarily, but you are definitely not alone. In fact, if you have impostor stories you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them - leave a comment or send me a note!
Love & Light,
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