I recently had a shift in goals. I had been studying for 3 and a half years, and at the end of it I looked disparagingly at the pile of textbooks, collectively worth more than my car, and decided that I wasn’t prepared to keep going after graduation.
So I didn’t.
I decided I had enough knowledge and creativity to put myself out there and be my own boss.
So here I am.
It’s terrifying, but exhilarating at the same time. That’s me though. If I wait to long to do something, I inevitably talk myself out of it.
So a beautiful and inspiring friend was having a convo with me last night about my business. When asked how I felt about it, I gave the general gist that I was terrified.
I’m just being honest here!
She told me to google ‘imposter syndrome’.
You know when you read those horoscopes and they appear to perfectly sum up your entire life right till this moment, even if you know they often fall prey to the Barnum Effect ? Well, it was one of those moments.
Here’s the definition of Imposter Syndrome: A psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. Notably, impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women
There has been a plethora of articles on the inner critic floating around my weblife lately. I am hoping this will trigger a change in thinking for many beautiful people who are selling themselves short everyday. I even wrote an article for EatBeautiful.org recently talking about my take on this very thing.
I don’t know if you could say it’s an epidemic, but it seems like something even really famous people struggle with. (Yes, even famous people. Whattyaknow).
Many evenings (or extreme early mornings) I have that voice that says “hey blondie (or insert relevent self-schema) what are you DOING?! They are all going to find out that you don’t know what you are talking about!”
It’s so rubbish! Lately I have been replying with “hey bitch, I have a 7.2 GPA and a lifetime of the gift of the gab, leave me alone to enjoy my chia porridge.”
Another cousin of the inner critic is the attribution bias.
This is a fun one. It’s basically where we make systematic errors trying to make sense of our or others’ behaviour. In layman’s terms we think that the reason that the women in the cafe is scowling, is our fault. We are all really quite self-absorbed.
It often never occurs to us that actually everyone is so busy worrying about their own life, and what people think of them, that they may not have even noticed us, let alone used the 62 muscles it takes to frown, in our direction.
All this is to say (and yes, I will keep banging on about this until you/me/we all believe it) that we need to re-establish our self-concept into something that drives us to nourish ourselves.
Maybe that looks like taking a job at a big fancy company, or maybe it looks like leaving that job in favour of building your own.
If I can do it, you bloody well can too.