When I started writing this post I tried to make it super deep with all these quotes and psychological observations and I realized that’s my problem. I’m always trying to prove myself worthy, even in blog posts.
I have Imposter Syndrome. Imposter syndrome is the “inability to internalize accomplishments and the fear that one day you will be exposed as a fraud.
Personally, I think of it as the professional version of low self-esteem.
It’s the worst because nothing ever feels good enough. I remember when I graduated from high school I was confused by why everyone was proud because it’s what you’re “supposed to do.” But I also remember getting to college and feeling like I didn’t belong.
My imposter syndrome manifests itself in irrational breakdowns over small inconveniences. I still deal with this in Graduate School. I remember when got a bad grade on one of my first assignments because of a technicality. I talked to my professor and she told me it was perfectly fine but that wasn’t good enough for me. I called my mom crying saying that I didn’t belong here and I wanted to come home. (This is the fear of getting exposed part) When I talked to my department head about it she told me if I left she would be really disappointed because I was doing well.
As much as my Impostor Syndrome drives me crazy, in a weird way I’ve grown to love it and I hope I never get over it. It makes me a go-getter. Yes feeling like nothing’s ever good enough can make you feel like crap but it also motivates me! I wasn’t satisfied with a Bachelor’s degree and that motivation pushed so hard I moved 4000 miles away to have the experience of a lifetime. (I mean honestly, I take pictures in front of Buckingham Palace just because!)
I was reading this interview with Lupita Nyong’o where she talks about struggling with Impostor Syndrome and she said this:
“I go through it with every role. I think winning an Oscar may, in fact, have made it worse. Now I’ve achieved this, what am I going to do next? What do I strive for? Then I remember that I didn’t get into acting for the accolades, I got into it for the joy of telling stories.”
I’m not chasing these goals for other people or validation, I am chasing these goals because I know the life I want to have and the legacy I want to leave behind. I will stop at nothing to achieve this but also take care of myself in the process.
And honestly, if Lupita struggles with this then I’m in good company.