It’s Time To Tell Your Impostor Syndrome To Suck It

Brian Oldham
Brian Oldham

It’s time to ignore your impostor syndrome. Why now? Because it’s never going to go away, so you might as well learn how to tell your brain to shut up before you move higher up the ladder, whatever your ladder is. Even when you experience continual success, even when you get that job, or that call-back, or that award, or that acceptance letter into the school of your dreams – every cell in your body will dance with pure lightness, for one glorifying minute, until your brain steps in and decides to question whether or not you actually deserved any this.

It’s time to ignore your impostor syndrome. Because your brain is just going to trick you into thinking it’s humility, or self-awareness, or lack of vanity. Your brain will try to distract you by reminding you that success only comes to those who are most deserving, those who have worked the hardest and poured out the most sweat, blood, and tears. But you’re smart. You know the difference between something you worked very hard for and very clearly deserved, and something you just wanted without putting in any effort. You know what you’ve bled for, you know what you’ve perspired over. And there’s a lot of things you worked very, very hard for, things that your brain is still trying to convince you that you don’t deserve.

It’s time to ignore your impostor syndrome. Because no matter how far or how fast you run, you can’t leave that part of your brain behind. It’s part of our human nature, to chase obsessively after that which we desperately want, and then to convince ourselves it’s too good to be true the moment that we have it in our hands. We’re used to wanting, not having. We don’t know what to do once we have something in our grasp. We don’t know how to stop running.

It’s time to ignore your impostor syndrome. Because it’s time you realized that no one is immune to impostor syndrome. Not Tina Fey, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Derrick Rose, Mindy Kaling. Sure, their work ethic set them apart. Their tenacity and dedication and intelligence got them to the top of their ladders. But the other thing that set these people apart is that they learned how to keep playing, keep fighting, keep creating – despite feeling like they were here by accident, despite questioning their worthiness. They kept doing, despite their impostor syndrome.

It’s time to ignore your impostor syndrome. You’re human, so no matter how hard you try to convince yourself otherwise, you were born with it. Maybe yours is worse than that of others. But there’s a lot of people whose impostor syndrome is worse than yours and who are shining anyway. Our brains are amazing for a lot of reasons. But there’s also a part of our brains that will destroy us if we don’t learn how to control it, and this is one of those parts.

It’s time to ignore your impostor syndrome. Because you’ve lost too much blood, sweat, and tears to be able to truly convince yourself that you’re not exactly where you’re meant to be. TC mark


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