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!