Anybody else struggle with impostorism? Studies say that 70% of people do, so it’s highly likely and I’ve been feeling it hard lately. If you’re not familiar it’s usually referred to as ‘impostor syndrome’ (even though it’s not a syndrome or an actual mental health condition). It’s described as “A psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” but that doesn’t really cover everything because it doesn’t JUST affect my work. I experience it in my day to day life, as well.
Someone will ask me a question about Freddy Krueger or Stephen King’s work (two things I happen to be a self-described expert on) and suddenly I feel like I don’t actually know what I’m talking about and they’re going to find out I’m a huge liar. But I’m not! (Like I said, self-described expert) It affects small situations like that but also really big parts of my life like my appearance (I’m not attractive in real life / I don’t have what it takes to wear that), my relationships (they only love me because they’re my family and they have to / he only likes me because he hasn’t realized I’m awful yet), my therapy sessions (she’s only saying I’m doing well because I haven’t adequately described how badly I’m doing), my work (they only want to work with me because of numbers / nobody is actually going to buy anything I recommend and the company is wasting their money on me / people only follow me because I edit my pictures / I shouldn’t charge what other influencers my size do because I’m not worth that amount), opportunities I may receive or want to go after (I’m not competent enough to work with that company or produce the kind of quality they want / I can’t do a video chat or phone call with this person because I’m only smart and funny on the internet and I’ll blow it / I shouldn’t apply for that job because there’s no way I’m qualified enough and there are better candidates so they wouldn’t even consider me)
(art via @stacieswift on instagram)
Sometimes I even think these posts about mental health aren’t a good idea! (They’re not helping anyone / people don’t care / people think I believe I’m some sort of internet therapist who knows everything / I come off as a self-involved narcissist who can’t stop talking about herself / people think I’m annoying or I make them sad and drain their energy) Impostorism can manifest in so many different areas of your life that it’s hard not to just give up and stop what you’re doing before people realize that all of those things (THAT AREN’T TRUE AND YOU TECHNICALLY KNOW THAT) are true.
(art via @fableandblack on instagram)
I read an article that described it as “a gnawing voice in the back of your mind questioning your accomplishments; a fear of being “exposed” as a fraud; a sense of guilt that you don’t deserve the success you have achieved; or the conviction that people compliment you just to be polite or because they feel sorry for you. Any reason can undermine your well-being and chip away at your self-esteem.” and that’s definitely more accurate. I’m sure some of it is my actual diagnosed anxiety, but a lot of it has to do with imposterism. I’ve wanted to talk about it here for a long time but I didn’t want to write a long, depressing post that ends without any hope and I’ve finally found some! Everybody is different so my three things might not be your things but for me they have helped. I started posting completely unedited photos of myself on my personal account @painthrillers in a highlight called ‘unedited.’ I wasn’t sure if I was going to be okay with that because some of them are pretty NSFW and/or unflattering but it’s helped so much with my self-image already so I’m definitely going to keep doing that over there.
(art via @fequalshq on instagram)
Another is letting myself be vulnerable and honest online like I am right now by writing this post and the few others I’ve done recently about issues that are important to me. And finally (and this sounds cringey, I know. I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t help, trust me.) I’ve started writing down lists every day. I list every good thing I’ve done that day whether it’s just thinking I looked cute when I glanced in the mirror instead of calling myself gross or something bigger like negotiating prices for a sponsorship because a) negotiating always terrifies me and b) it’s standing up for myself and recognizing that I DO have worth no matter what my anxiety or imposterism tell me.
(art via @iamhoneydill on instagram)
I am worthy of everything I have, everyone around me, and everything I do in the future and I need to keep reminding myself of that no matter how much I don’t believe it that day and I want to remind you that you are, too. You’re not just lucky, you’re smarter than you think you are, you deserved that compliment, and most importantly you deserve everything you’ve worked for! ❤️ I’m going to leave this post off with a link to an article called 5 Different Types of Imposter Syndrome (and 5 Ways to Battle Each One), a book (that I haven’t read yet but have heard AMAZING reviews about) by Valerie Young (from impostersyndrome.com) who is an internationally known workshop leader and public speaker and the former marketing manager at a Fortune 200 company. You can find her book, ‘The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It’ on Amazon here I’m also leaving a bit from a 2017 TedTalk with Valerie Young that I found helpful. that are all Check them out if you’re struggling and looking for encouragement or healthy ways to cope!
THIS IS A POST FROM MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT @JENNDECIMA POSTED ORIGINALLY ON WEDNESDAY JULY 10TH, 2019 AND ADDED TO THIS BLOG ON MONDAY DECEMBER 23RD, 2019.