Journal of an Impostor

the story of my ongoing dance with impostor syndrome

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”

Wikipedia

What the fuck are you even doing? That sounds stupid. People are going to think an idiot wrote this. You’re not really experiencing impostor syndrome – you’re just an actual fake. You act like you know what you’re talking about, but they can see through your bullshit.

These are actual recurring thoughts that run through my head. Daily. Actually, multiple times per day. Okay, for the sake of transparency, this is my default inner dialogue. All day, every day.

I have some friends and family who support and lift me up, make me feel more confident, and assure me that I really am kinda good at what I do.

But deep down, I don’t believe it. 

No, I’m not looking for pity. I’m hoping that by being honest about my dance with impostor syndrome, it shows other “impostors” that they’re not alone. 

The truth is that most people experience it at some point. Not necessarily to the crippling extent that some of us do, perhaps. But I’d wager that if you’re reading this, you’ve had at least a taste of this foul and insidious beast.

Over the years, this sneaky bastard has infiltrated so much of my inner self that I struggle to discern between its poisonous hiss and the whisper of my intuition.

An example:

The Scene: chatting with a friend over tea.

Friend: takes a deep breath and looks out the window.

Me: …

My inner dialogue: OMG I sound so stupid. They’re counting the seconds until I leave them alone. Maybe I didn’t really understand that book we were talking about, and I sound like an uneducated fool. I need to stop assuming I can have these kinds of conversations – I’m not nearly as smart as they are, and they know it. [heart begins to race, chest tightens, and anxiety sets in].

Friend’s inner dialogue: AW! Look at that adorable puppy across the street!

Yes. This is actually what goes on in my mind. And yes. It really does trigger physical anxiety symptoms.

So if you can relate, even just a little bit – I see you.

If you don’t, I appreciate that you’re still reading and sharing this space. 

This morning, I was drawing cards to help work through a similar anxiety episode (triggered by the forward movement of officially publishing my book last night) and the guidance all pointed to writing, teaching, and connecting. After contemplating the messages for a short while, I was led to the idea of starting an ongoing “journal” of my experiences, thoughts, and things I’m learning about impostor syndrome.

I invite you to join me on this journey of empowerment and self-exploration. If you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences, I’d love for you to connect with me over on Instagram (@iamjechanovia)

Disclaimer: I am not a trained expert in mental health, psychology, or the like. I’m sharing purely based on my personal observations and self-education.

Until next time,

Jechanovia

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