Exploring the Imposter Syndrome

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As a woman of color, I grew up knowing that I’d always have to work twice as hard to compensate for the fact that I am a woman of color trying to be successful. It is exhausting to have to always hold yourself to a higher standard and somehow still not be enough.

More often than not, I find myself looking at my life from the outsiders’ perspective and feel as though I don’t deserve the things I have. Other people deserve this life more than I do, but why? I have a great job, a beautiful family, I’m creative, smart, driven, passionate, and I put a lot of effort into everything I do. Why wouldn’t I deserve this? Why do I feel as though the best parts of me are something that I should keep a secret?

Short answer? I shouldn’t, and neither should anyone else.

There are unqualified white men EVERYWHERE half-assing EVERYTHING, and you and all your talents are going to have the AUDACITY to doubt your contributions? We aren’t doing this in 2020; we aren’t.

We rely on the self diagnosis of the imposter syndrome as to why we stay confined in our comfort zone. The imposter syndrome is a concept -not a disorder— that was introduced by psychologists, Pauline Clance, and Suzanne Imes in 1978 who explored the imposter syndrome and what it meant. I added a link to that article this post as well if you want to check it out. It’s a great read that delves into the reasons why people work so hard to succeed and then feel as though they don’t deserve it.

I’d never heard of the Imposter Syndrome until I listened to an episode of the Slay Girl Slay podcast last July. I’ve linked the episode and website below so make sure you check it out. The founder, Ashley Leggs, speaks love and life every Monday and, this episode was no different! How many times have I backed away from opportunities I was more than qualified for but felt like I didn’t deserve? How many times have I dimmed my light to let others shine? I’ve played dumb or inexperienced because I didn’t want to be the know it all every time. It is exhausting to pretend that you’re anyone other than yourself. That facade gets tired, and you then wear yourself down with doubt. Please leave that energy in 2019. Stop dulling your shine for your friends, family, significant other, co-workers, etc. Own who you are, and if they can’t handle it, that’s too damn bad!

You have waited in the shadows long enough, and it’s time to be everything you desire to be. Impose on your life in the best way and let your doubts and negativity be the ones who watch you win from the shadows and not the other way around. I am learning to enjoy life without the desire to please people, and I think that’s where most people feel as though they are imposing on their lives. Stop giving people power over your vision! You dream as big as you want to and if you have no plan B that’s fine, pour your heart and soul into everything you do and your return on interest will exceed your expectations. If you need to a daily reminder, pull a Mary Jane and put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror that says, “I deserve this” and tell yourself you deserve it every time you feel that twinge of doubt that could prevent you from being the person you desire to be.

You deserve it.

Links to check out!

Learn more about Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1979-26502-001

The Reality of The Imposter Syndrome : https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/real-women/201809/the-reality-imposter-syndrome

Slay Girl Slay : http://www.slaygrlslay.com

Imposter Syndrome Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/slay-girl-slay/id1332402254?i=1000441777240

Slay Girl Slay Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/slay-girl-slay/id1332402254

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