Have you ever felt like an imposter?
Have you ever felt like it’s only a matter of time before people see through your facade, until people see that you’ve somehow been spectacular at bluffing your way through life? That your success is only due to impeccable timing & sheer luck?
Have you ever felt like Buzz Lightyear, in that scene where he thinks that he is flying where really he is only ‘falling with style?’
The pressure of waiting for the day that people realise you’re not as witty / intelligent / successful as you portray yourself to be is immense. You constantly watch your back and second guess every decision you make. You feel an ongoing need to prove yourself… Basically, to yourself. You are your own worst enemy and your own harshest critic. You believe every accolade you receive is coincidental, and you accept praise incredibly awkwardly, often downplaying your achievements and passing the glory on to those around you.
If this sounds all too familiar, let me tell you from experience. No one will make you feel successful until you believe it yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘no one can make you feel inferior without first your consent’… Let me modify that to ‘no one can make you feel ANYTHING without first your consent’ – including successful.
Nobody knows your story like you do. Nobody knows the trials you’ve overcome to be here today. Nobody knows the internal dialogue you struggle with, nobody knows the strength it takes to put on your game face when you are shaking inside with fear. Nobody knows how fucking brave you are, or the sheer strength it takes for you to have come as far as you have when the voice in your head is constantly telling you that you’re a fraud.
The only way to shut that voice up is by making a conscience effort to focus on your successes rather than your fears. This world is harsh enough. Let’s make friends with the voices in our heads. Let’s reach out to the people around us, let’s recognise ourselves & our peers for succeeding. We are competent, we are fierce. Let’s trust in our history, let’s trust in our work, let’s believe in ourselves.
We are not imposters. If we believe in ourselves as much as the people that have opened the doorways for us to be in these positions- then we will be unstoppable. Get out of your own way, encourage yourself like you encourage your best friend.
Your crown can only fall if you lower your gaze.