From the Trenches of Imposter Syndrome
I had a wakeup call recently. Someone told me “Stop focusing on what you’re not” and it hit me square in the chest. I was sitting there wishing to be one of those CEO, Type-A women who always has her life together (and color coded), and is somehow always ten steps ahead of the game. I was seeing my failures in BOLD.
What was so kindly pointed to me was that what I admired about these women were their strengths. BUT just because I didn’t share those same strengths didn’t mean I did have my own strengths or my own pieces of my life together.
It’s not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear a “You’ll be like that someday with enough hard work.” I wrap my head up in these ideas that some day I’ll run my life “like a boss.” Really though, even if I stopped and listened to my own advice that I’ve shared with you, I already know the way back to peace and contentment.
Being strong and successful is not about matching someone else’s abilities. It’s not about making the same type of impact as another woman I admire. It’s not about pushing myself to be something. It IS about realizing that I’m built a specific way. It’s realizing I have my own strengths which I need to celebrate and not ignore or demean because they are different than what strengths I think I should have. It’s remembering that life is a journey and the “end game” isn’t even the end game. I just need to focus on being the best me. After all, I am me and I was made to make a specific difference. I have my own pace, my own path and I need to accept who I am and where I’m at.
No, really though, I’m writing this to myself and to anyone else who feels this way. Don’t just tell other people how great they are and that they have wonderful strengths. Make sure to celebrate your OWN strengths. Encourage yourself, lift yourself up, be real about what you’re going through and hold space for what’s happening in you. Be your own wakeup call.