Impostor Syndrome sounds like something straight out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, right?! Wrong. It’s basically the idea that you are faking your way through everything. A psychological syndrome in which you don’t think you deserve the success you have.
This is something I struggle with occassionally, although luckily I’m not plagued with immense self-doubt. I think a healthy dose of impostor syndrome is fine because it pushes you to prove yourself and work harder. I was talking about this with a friend the other day and thought I would do a blog post on some of the different ways impostor syndrome affects my life.
- Traveler- On the road, it can sometimes be hard to feel like a real explorer when you are surrounded by people who are traveling longer than you and have seen more of the planet and couchsurfed 40 times and went to a local wedding in Tanzania and saw Bob Dylan in concert in Taiwan and speak more languages and scuba dived with endangered turtles and ate shark testicles and you see what I mean here? In the end, I overcome this by saying fuck it! I’m traveling at my own perfect pace, having my own little experiences and nothing else matters.
- Academic- I struggled with impostor syndrome a lot in grad school. If I would do really well on a presentation or exam, I would play it off as luck. Eventually I had to come to terms with the idea that I was just studying my ass off and I deserved all of those A’s. I’m a smartie; it was never luck.
- Dancer- I’ve been dancing and performing since I was a kid and this is probably my real passion. I will probably never be as committed or talented as a professional dancer, but that’s because I chose NOT to become a professional dancer. It’s difficult not to compare yourself to other dancers, but luckily with bellydance I have learned to feel more of a sense of community in the dance world. Still, every once in awhile there is a dance move that I struggle with and I feel like everyone on my troupe is looking at me wondering how I got there. Except then I remember they aren’t.
So, dear readers, what is the point of all this? I guess I just thought I would throw some of my insecurities out there to let you know that everyone has them. I might never be well-read enough to be considered a true bookworm by some, or listen to enough obscure albums to be a music enthusiast, but damn it I love books and music. Don’t let self-doubt get in the way of who you want to be. You worked really hard to get where you are and it wasn’t just a fluke.