Friday, July 29, 2011

Waiting to be revealed as the fraud that I am...

Iris of Bring Your Own Vegetables referred to ‘imposter syndrome’ in a comment on my last post, which was such brilliant timing because it described exactly how I have been feeling this last week. THINGS have been happening. Wonderful things. And all I have been thinking is ‘when is this going to blow up in my face.’

About six months ago I decided that I needed to begin taking chances. I needed to begin working at what I love, rather than simply focusing on what is safe. And I have always adored writing, which I had sadly forgotten until I began to blog back in August last year; so I have poured my heart and soul into it since making my decision.

And it’s working out. Better than I could ever have imagined.

I have had two articles published in HerCanberra, and have gotten the opportunity to begin writing for lip, who have been reading religiously since I discovered it last year. I have also begun to stick my greedy little fingers into the freelance pie, which I am quite excited about.

But with each success, I have begun to feel more and more uneasy. Why are things working out? Can’t people tell that I am not really any good? That I am just one big fraud?

And so I have been holding my breath, waiting to be found out.

Then last night, as I came home feeling so tired of waiting for it all to fall apart, I got a letter. One of my short stories has been short-listed in a national short-story competition. One that I was absolutely convinced that I would never hear back from. And I have been invited to read it out at the ceremony where they announce the winners. While I am unable to attend anyway, even if I could I realised that I would be too embarrassed to read it out. Because all I could think was ‘once I read it out-loud, they’ll realise how bad it is and kick me out of the competition.’

It was at that moment that I really despised myself. Here I am, getting handed these wonderful opportunities, and I am turning them into something negative. Yes, maybe all this lead-up will be for nothing and I’ll fail miserably; but why am I being such a cry-baby about it all? Good things are happening! And I have been too busy wallowing in low self-esteem and pessimism to celebrate.

Why can it sometimes be so difficult to just sit back and enjoy the good things? Why are we always peering fear-fully around the corner for what is coming next?

I want to be able to celebrate when I succeed, and admit that maybe, just maybe, not all of it is down to luck. Which can be a difficult thing to do, but it is so very important. Because without confidence, we will eventually fail simply due to our own (often un-founded) fear and anxiety; rather than our actual ability.

So let’s go out this weekend and celebrate our achievements. I mean really celebrate them. Give ourselves the pats on the back that we deserve and try not to feel like imposters while we're doing it. Because you know what? We worked hard, and we deserve it.

So what will you be celebrating this weekend? (And don't say 'nothing', I read all of your blogs and I have never seen such a group of over-achievers in all my life!)


ps. I got a blog award from the wonderful Hazel of Pablo’s Angel. I recently found her blog and I love it!


Jo said...

This post has me grinning from ear to ear! Congratulations on your achievements, my blog friend! You do deserve them, and I'm so proud of you for realizing that you should indeed be celebrating!!

I know that celebration is the order here, and while I am definitely getting that celebratory feeling here, I want you to know that I am getting something else from this post. I am taking away a very brave feeling. When we get over our fears, we allow ourselves to feel brave about future endeavors. Maybe it is a happy byproduct of what you've written here, but I'm going to go with it!! :)
So, thank you for spreading the good and positive feelings!!

chels.e. said...

you are a great writter! i know it's hard to think the best of yourself, but i am glad that you have decided to strive to do so. be proud and keep writing!

SJ said...

hurray! congrats on being short listed in the comp, that's fabulous news.

i do this to myself all the time, like when you were complimenting me on my photography and I said I was my own worse critic.

but this weekend i'll celebrate my skills instead. I'll try and remember that while i'm not a professional, i have a pretty good knack for it considering i've never been trained and that's pretty cool.

thanks for this post :)

lucy and sarah said...

Its just hard being a woman, sometimes. All the twists and turns. Just savor the good times.

I dunno why. I think of the time, I finally got a short story in some local publication. And well, I wasn't sure if I should mention it to anyone at work. There was a volunteer, an old man who liked to write too and wanted me to read his stuff. So I felt kind of obligated to share my story with him. He read it. Gave me this strange look. "This is pure porn." I didn't think it was quite like that. "Got anymore..."

Hope you have a happy weekend. Not sure if should go for skinny margaritas. They just aren't sweet enough, nor strong enough for that matter.

nancy said...

:O congratulations dude! that's awesome!! I'm sorry you can't make the ceremony :( what an incredible opportunity that would have been to grow in self-confidence and public speaking!

this weekend I shall be celebrating the success of my own balancing act - work, uni, love-, family-, social lives, and much needed quiet time. because it's bloody hard sometimes!

congratulations again girlie! you earned it, remember that :)

ellie's desk said...

Oh, you better celebrate big! Great about this writing and all. Go you!

Chelsea Lane said...

OMGAH CONGRAAAATS! you are seriously the best. SO PROUD! this POST is a pat on your back. big smiles over here :)


Sara Louise said...

Look at you!! You are quite the inspiration, you should be chuffed! ;-)
And I too used to have a demon like that living inside me, whenever life was going good, I'd hold my breath just knowing that something horrible would happen to make it all disappear. I'm not sure when or how, but sometime a few years ago that little demon finally moved on. I think when I started loving me and knowing that I was deserving and valid. And you obviously are too! Check out how amazing you are!! The proof is in your success :-) x

demie said...

i am happy for you! and so should you be! it is true that a bad selfconfidence can become a prison to our creativity- but i kinda like it that you doubt a little. is also healthy. too much selfconfidence kills creativity for sure. keep a balance there and live your dream : )

Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said...

hi kaylia, your writing is brilliant. the fact that i gladly read through your long blog posts is testament to how great a writer you are :) id love to read your short stories, congrats on all the wonderful things. and yes low self esteem is a problem and plagues us all. but remember you are a fab writer. x

Autumn said...

Love this, and congratulations!

I will be celebrating being in graduate school and ...err learning (doing homework).

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your wonderful achievements! You deserve them and you are a great writer!

"Because without confidence, we will eventually fail simply due to our own (often un-founded) fear and anxiety; rather than our actual ability." -- this line really resonated with me. I am also considering, and almost decided, for a career & life change, and what you have said is so true. Thank you for the inspiration.

Anna said...

Wow, you are really rocking it! You deserve it all, you really do. It's so exciting, I'm taking heed of your words and I'm gonna try and watch out for my own self limiting behaviors cos I'm a bugger for that too. Big time. Like the time I won a national design competition and didn't tell anyone cos I felt weird and embarrassed, wtf's with that??!

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

Congrats on so many wonderful things happening to you, Kaylia! Remember, these things aren't just luck. You absolutely deserve them and I'm sure more will follow. I'm definitely all about celebrating this weekend!

a fashion blogger said...

Congrats! I love reading your blog, you have a way with words!

check out my fashion blog?

Deidre said...

Good for you!

I have been feeling the same way a bit - although I am not quite as awesome as you are about getting things done - I did recently have two blogg-y break throughs.

this weekend I am doing some job applications...EXCITING. and buying plane tickets for a vacation which is SERIOUSLY exciting.

Aquí said...

why are you always right on with what I'm thinking? Seriously I really relate to your posts! I have the same issue. I'm really hard on myself, and when good things start happening I make it into a big stressful mess. Why do we do this! I'm going to try and take your advice and do a little celebrating tonight myself for the things I've accomplished thus far! Very uplift post :)

Victoria said...

So inspiring my friend ! And I'm sorry I've been soo bad with commenting back, I've been crazy busy lately :)

This weekend I'm gonna celebrate music ! Coz I love it and I just went to a festival :))

Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies said...

Congratulations! That is fabulous news. You are inspiring:)


Bonnie said...

Seriously, though, I'm so proud of you and happy for you and wishing you alllllllll the good things in life.
Because I love you.
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

iris said...

I'm glad you appreciated the pointer. I am nothing if not a giant source of random information, supported by the Internet ;)

In my work, I am surrounded by brilliant people. Most of the time they are male, and this feeds into the impostor syndrome (as likely it would for any minority), but people feel it all the time. "I don't belong here." "I'm not as smart as them." I just keep telling myself, they wouldn't have accepted me to this program if I didn't belong here.

It's a long an arduous journey, but today I'll arts & craftiness :)

Oh, and congrats on the recognition of your work. That is so great!

Ashley said...

Oh man, you struck me hard in this post.

I have the hardest time taking compliments on my writing. Writing is not like math. It's easy to know when you're good at math. But writing, your goodness is relative to the person reading it. How scary is that shit?

But you are so right. I need to stop thinking that way!!! Maybe, just maybe, we can admit that we are kick-ass. And be alright with it!

Indie.Tea said...

Congratulations on being published. You're going to be very accomplished - soon.
Me, prepping for law school. More work than I thought it would be :)

amy b.s. said...

i know exactly what you mean. i've been just assuming that everything that's happening somehow has a negative side. but the reality is, that maybe it doesn't have to be that way. and you deserve all of your success. congrats!

Poppies and Sunshine said...

Oh this post is so good! That is so true we are always looking at the negative. It is time to celebrate the good things though! And congrats for all the great things that have been happening for you! Believe that you are good enough!

aki! said...

Aw, I really wholeheartedly agree. While I think it's very self-improvement is very important, we're improving ourselves so we can celebrate.

Jenni @ Story of My Life said...

Alright Missy. Clearly you are AWESOME. I can tell it just by reading this post! You write beautifully, and you should be proud of each and every one of your achievements and each and every time you are recognized for your talents. Every writer or entreprenuer or dreamer has both successes AND failures under their belt. Both will, inevitably, come. But YOU decide your self-worth and how you will handle your experiences.

Sounds like you're learning some very valuable lessons, and I wish you all the best!

Believe in yourself and your abilites, and others will too. :)

Naomi Bulger said...

Yes! I am guilty of the "something will go wrong" attitude all the time! Thank you for this positive kick up the butt. I needed it.

And meanwhile, congratulations on all your successes. I'm sure they are well deserved, and I'm glad you're giving yourself permission to revel in them. Hurrah!

Tuesdai Noelle said...


There's a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that says, "What we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us.”

Embrace success in this hour--NEVER doubt that you don't deserve it! Though things might seem as though they're rushing, remember, success comes rapidly to those who are already prepared for it's arrival. You're FULLY prepared to take on EVERYTHING that this "patch of success" has brough to your doorsteps. Go get'em!

I've been designing for boutiques in Hawaii and ones in my city! I'm pretty siked about it ;-) More to come. I'll be posting some new designs Friday. Stay tuned!

Krystal said...

this is awesome, i hope you keep taking your advice and celebrating yourself all the time! i know what you mean though, but we are good!

Cassidy said...

What a grand idea! I think I shall celebrate something this weekend. What, I do not know. But I will figure something out. Congratulations to you my dear for all your accomplishments. I personally think you're an exceptional writer. :)

jillian m. said...

I can always count on you for these beautiful, touching posts.

It's hard to accept good things in our lives sometimes because it usually doesn't come without a price. The mentality is: Things are going way too well right now--something bad is bound to happen. I hate feeling like that. Instead of focusing on what COULD be, we need to focus on what IS. And with that said, I need to take my own advice, hahah.

Congrats to you, lady! What an accomplishment!

Kandice said...

i really love reading blogs where the author is a writer. i'm glad i stumbled upon yours for that exact reason :) also glad you found my blog as well!

seriously, can't wait to read more.

kimbirdy said...

you're amazing! honestly, the kind of self-awareness you are having here, being able to realize that you have a choice in how you respond, is such a hard thing for many to do. i work with a lot of clients who feel they don't deserve anything good and it takes SO long for them to begin seeing their situation the way you see yours. it can be so hard to ignore that inner critic, but by choosing to celebrate anything that happens {big or small} that voice will begin to get quieter and quieter. a lot of people think they must wait until the voice gets quiet before they can feel higher self-esteem, but it just doesn't work that way. so KUDOS to you for making that choice even if you don't feel it yet!! that's a huge victory deserving of a celebration in itself.

keishua said...

congrats!! you are super fab! I hear you though, I am the same way. Sometimes, I swear that you are in my head :). I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop or busy with the what-ifs. Hope you are celebrarting your awesomeness.

shopgirl said...

wow! Sweetie! This is awesome! Congratulations on all the wonderful things and opportunities happening in your life. Enjoy the moment! Don't worry about it takes away from the true joy that you are able to experience.

You are incredibly brave to write and follow your dream! Embrace it! I'm so happy for you! This is why I write my blog to share in other people's happiness.