A few times in the last month, I have found myself in rooms where I was the “low man on the totem pole”. I would look around and think… now, how did I get here? In one case, I was in a training class covering a subject that I was familiar with but didn’t work in. During the introduction portion of the agenda, I mentally compared my resume to everyone else. On paper, my level of education and professional work history were consistent with everyone else. But in my mind, I was nowhere close to the same “level” as the others.
In a completely different room, on paper I was definitely NOT comparable in terms of education or work history, but yet my skill set and passion for the subject matter is what got me into the room. I wasn’t surprised per se but I felt uncomfortable. In either case, in the midst of both situations, I was struck with a realization.
I’m an imposter.
Earlier this year, the pieces of my “life puzzle” were starting to come together and fit. You know what I mean, like my budget was working, my skin was clear, I was super productive. Things were just working. But now, seemingly, no area is fitting together at all. (And I still think something is missing. See last week’s blog post.)
Maybe you have been where I am. You think you have it all together only to find out that it never really was. And because no one really knows this except YOU, you find yourself “faking it until you make it”. This is just one example of what is known as Imposter Syndrome. It says that you doubt your accomplishments and have an internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. It is a form of low self-esteem that is unmatched. You feel like you are unworthy of success.
My struggle with feeling like an imposter isn’t new. Feeling inadequate or not measuring up is almost constantly in my subconscious. It’s the reason why I only post once a week-I never think my writing is that great (even though my sister sings my praises). It’s the reason why I am surprised by compliments. I am my harshest critic. But I am prayerful that as I continue to work on me and dig deeper, I am able to find ways to not feel like an imposter but to stand in my greatness.
If you’re wondering, “Well, how did she handle these situations? How is she thriving?” Even though on the outside it seems like I’m thriving, on the inside… that’s just it – I don’t know how I’m thriving. I don’t believe that I am. I think I am making it through the best I know how. I don’t consider myself thriving or being successful, especially in this season of my life. I’m struggling with a smile. I’m hopeful with a prayer. That’s all I got. That’s my painful reality.