My whole life, I’ve been waiting to be found out. Not discovered, like some pretty girl sitting at a soda fountain in Los Angeles, destined for stardom. No. Found out. Exposed for the imposter that I am.
I expect to be grabbed by the elbow. “You don’t belong here! How did you get here? Get back to the service entrance, wench!” “You don’t really fit in those clothes, that house, that job, that relationship, that car!” “You can’t have good things!” “That achievement? It’s a mistake.” “You are a fake, a phony.” “You are not worthy.” “Sure, they love you now, but only because they have no idea how flawed you really are.” “Just you wait. It’ll all turn to shit sooner or later.”
If any of that sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. It seems that 70 percent of us have the imposter experience at some point in our lives. Note that I’m not calling it Imposter Syndrome, as many people do. It’s not a mental illness. It’s not some flaw in your brain chemistry. You are not broken. We are not broken.
Yes, an attitude adjustment wouldn’t hurt. Habits may need to be changed. Chances are you learned this negativity at your parents’ knees. Talking about it helps.
The more we realize how common this thought process is, the easier it is to realize that its these thoughts that are the imposters, not you. Not us.
Don’t let these ideas fester. Don’t let them hold you back. Don’t allow them to stop you from trying. That way lies stress, anxiety, and depression.
Let yourself feel your success. Don’t just dwell on the failures as if they merit more of your time. Write down the compliments, not the insults. Allow yourself new experiences.
In case no one has ever told you: You deserve all the things. You deserve them as much as anyone else does. You belong here, too.