I think I am a fraud.
On the outside, I look like I am living my best life. I have my dream job and I’m excelling. I have great friends and a supportive family. Everyone keeps telling me how great I am at this or how awesome I am at that. But in my head, I think I am a fraud.
By definition, I know that imposter syndrome is feelings of inadequacy and chronic self-doubt despite success. This is me. I am an imposter. I am living a lie. See, this is because, even though I seem confident and successful on the outside, in my head that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“You MUST be perfect.” Logically, I know that nothing is perfect and it’s impossible to be perfect. However, this doesn’t stop me from striving to be perfect. While it can look like a good thing, these thoughts often lead to countless nights of working and analyzing everything that I do. It causes me to chronically check and recheck projects or emails for even the smallest of errors. It encourages a fear of failure and sometimes stops me from trying something new.
“I’m a liar and this is all fake.” This is totally an inside thought. NEVER would you hear me utter these words. My bosses and coworkers must not find out that I really am not as smart and confident as I may seem. I’m really good at faking it and I DO NOT have it all together. These thoughts reinforce my obsessive working and only enable the perfectionism that exists.
“Eh, it’s really no biggie.” Usually, I like to chalk up my successes to being “easy” or “no big deal.” Graduating college? Oh, that was cool. Getting into the top ranked graduate program in my field? Anybody can do that! And you’d think I would die if I had to accept a compliment.
All in all, this is something that many don’t know about me because, well, why would I ever out myself? However, the more and more I think about this, the more I learn that I need to break the habits and build better ones. I need to love myself more, and not in the phony, over-glamorized “self-care” way that everyone keeps talking about. This isn’t a bubble bath and chocolate type of thing. I need to revamp my mental dialogue. I need to identify when I am doubting myself and make an effort to quit. I need to be kind to myself. I need to accept compliments and the fact that I don’t have to know everything all the damn time.
So here’s to loving myself more. Here’s to accepting failure and trying new things. Here’s to accepting the good, bad, and ugly and becoming a more genuine version of me. Here I am, ready to finally be a happier and healthier version of ME!