Let’s talk Impostor Syndrome. ‘K
I first heard this term, this ball-and-chain-noose-around- my-neck, description of a condition, just a few weeks ago. I am part of a women’s entrepreneur networking organization called BRA. Founded by Carrie Murray. Shout out to this Rock Star of woman, teacher, Guru; for creating this amazing resource. Here, amazing, brilliant, talented women business owners, experts in their field come to share, learn, grow. Right? Right.
So, ok. Here’s where I heard this word, used in this way, for the very first time. In this context. At BRA's Women on the Rise Luncheon. I heard the recipients of the yearly honorable awards, speak of this virus that attacks the expert that is you, with doubt, fear and insecurity. Gasp! This virus is called Impostor Syndrome What!? I’ve suffered from this all my freakin’ life. Smash. Pow. Shazam. Somebody turned on all the lights. My head just exploded.
I’m so pissed.
Why am I so pissed? Well, I’m pissed and relieved at the same time. Pissed because, what a waste of fucking time. You know? My fucking time, my precious life, fucking time, wasted, feeling this way; relieved because thank YOU wise women, (cuz, you know it’s a wise woman, who dug herself out from under this grave of misconception), for sharing this falsehood. For awakening all of us doers, apologize-rs, disbelievers, to our own ability and talent. For awakening us to the truth about ourselves.
Awakened us to the light and all the colors of the rainbow that is our, mine, yours, freaking, source given, right to be in any room you so wish to be in. Dammit!
What the hell am I talking about.
Ok, Imma step back and ‘esplain from the beginning. I suffered from the worst low self-worth. All my life. Another, fucking waste of my fucking once-around-this-universe, life. But, I didn’t know from using this term “Impostor”, in this context. I just felt like, I didn’t belong. That I didn’t fit in. That no matter what dream I pursued, I never felt comfortable in the room, with the people, the doers and the believers, that I so longed to be with; play with, party with, work with, pray with, grow with, NEVER. How fucking ridiculous. I thought, maybe I was, shy?
Have we met? No, I am not shy. I thought, maybe, I'm inadequate. Not pretty enough, thin enough, rich enough, big butted enough, big boobed enough, blond enough, boyfriended enough…but, never did I ever think it was because I felt like I was an impostor. What the holy FUUUCCCK!???
Well, sure, you might think, duh. That’s exactly what you felt. Even as I sit here writing this, I see how all the emergency exit signs were pointing their neon fingers to “IMPOSTOR SYNDROME - ENTER HERE”.
I’m also pissed that no one ever talked about it before until now. Ya, well, at least we’re finally talking. I get it. I’m grateful. Don’t get me wrong, very grateful. But, how much of our lives have been sheltered from not knowing. Not having the right tools. The right language. Language! The most powerful tool of all. Sharing ideas. Thoughts. Concepts. Ideas. We MUST share these big ideas with the youngest among us. We must. To save them from possibly 50 years of wandering through very rough terrain, not only without the proper guide, but without the proper tools. A little dramatic? Maybe. Facts, nonetheless. Just the facts.
Carrie Murray, has created a space for that, with BRA. BRAva!
That’s one of the reasons I became a teacher. Yet still, I was running away. Running away from my true calling. Because? Impostordom!!! ( I just made that word up, don’t google it).
My Dreams. My Talents. The stuff in my mind and in my heart and I felt like an Impostor. OMG! There aren’t enough slap-to-the-forehead-emojis, that I can use right here to express how gob smacking ridiculous this is. And did I mention what a waste of time? Gah.
Dreams so big they scared me. Of course. Oh, sure I chased them down. Many times. More like, hunted. Unfortunately, there was a lot of fear involved with the hunt. Of course, there was. When you’re brain washed your entire young life, that you can never have that which you desire, for so many crazy, fucked up, back-ass backwards, ridiculous reasons, you begin to see your dreams as mangled, distorted monsters. Everything in my life was a monster. Meaning, so big, so dangerous, so impossible, so ridiculous for any little girl to capture. Key words here: Little Girl.
What the actual FUCK. Some serious fucked up shit. Some serious back-ass backwards fucked up shit. So, I rebelled against the machine. My Dad. I know, cliché. Whatever. I propelled forward on fumes of anger and moxie and sheer will. Not confidence. Not self-belief. Not because I felt, good enough; only because I was pissed enough.
Anger is a great motivator. It will also destroy you. Therapy helps.
I remember the first time my college History of Theatre professor complimented my writing. I remember now, how, what I felt was exposed. Naked. Seen. Wow. I felt good. But, wrong. Let’s say this together: “How Fucked Up is That!” – shall we?
So, now what? You’re thinking, right? So, I know this now. I know that what I felt was Impostordom so, what ami gonna do with this new found 411?
Imma let it sit for a bit. Imma look at all that I have accomplished. Imma look at all the shit I’ve been through. All the shit I’ve gotten out of. All the amazing work I’ve created. The amazing children I’ve created. Imma celebrate my exquisitely fine-tuned moral compass. Imma celebrate me – damn it.
And so should you.
Like, right now. Go on, write all your amazing accomplishments down, right now. Go on DO IT!
DO NOT PASS GO.
Because if you wait until you’re done reading this, or wait til later, like when the kids are in bed, you won’t do it. Come back when you’re done.
Feel better, right? Good!
From now on, I’m going to walk into a room, that I’ve desired to be in, and walk tall. I’m going to feel like I belong. Even if it pains me, because now I know what it is. That alien inside my brain trying to sabotage me. The haters voice, of insecurity, doubt, low-self worth, low self esteem. Buh-bye, Felicia!
I’m going to feel like I have something worthy to contribute. Period. And so should you.
For the people in the back: AND SO WILL YOU. Together, we will.
This is not to say, Imma gonna be an arrogant prick and poo poo on people. No. No assholes allowed. I banished assholes from my life when I realized that I needed to rid myself of toxics, who were gnawing on the marrow of my bones. This meant I had to leave relationships, friendships, a reality that was no longer serving me. I had to pull the chord. I had to disconnect. With no looking back. Quick snip and done. Sounds cold blooded, I know. But, it's your life we’re talking about here. Your precious life. Your once-around-trip. Your Life is not a dress rehearsal. It's-your-one-and-only-once-around.
I had to leave– no choice – a toxic, abusive marriage. No time for Plan B. No room. For the lives of my children. No thought of me, yet, in this scenario. I had long ago lost my Plan A. Probably at the altar. When I – under God- kissed my life away to the devil. That, however, is a story for another time.
There have also been times when I have been asked to leave. Wow, what a blow. In that moment, a crushing blow. But hindsight is 20/20. The universe was telling me in a very real way to, wake -up-and-get-the-fuck-on-with-your-one-and-only-once-around. The universe was sounding the alarm. The Universe has always had my back. It has yours too.
So, what do I do now? What do I do with this realization. Why would God, the Universe, Source Energy, or whatever higher power you believe in, put this desire,these dreams in my head, on my heart, in every fiber of my being, so that I should walk around feeling like an impostor?
So, that I should create a marvelous, amazing experience with my talent and then feel unworthy among my peers? Hell, HELL to the NO. NO. NO. NO! ( I hear Megan Trainer’s theme song in my head as I write these words; it’s a nice accompaniment).
I’m sticking with Plan A. The Plan A that I created years ago while daydreaming *read *manifesting* - in my tiny bedroom that I shared with my bro back in the days when we lived in the ‘hood.
My Plan A. The Plan A, that got my skinny, scared, but, determined ass into University. The first American born girl, in my family, to move out at 18. Let's be absolutely clear here, a sin to God Almighty, that a girl, a Persian Jewish girl, no less, should move out of her father’s house for anything but marriage, was leaving to become and ACTRESS – (Sacrilege!! Jezebel!!). And, to University, thank you, thank you very much. Oxford, University, too, I'd like to add.
I haven’t revisited Plan A in quite some time. Well, mindfully, any way. I’ve been trying to find that girl, that bad-ass, take no prisoners girl. Happily, we’ve made significant contact. The weeks post The Woman on the Rise Luncheon, have proven fertile territory for all that I am creating.
Thank you, BRA, for the enlightenment, the tools to help set me free of one more chain.
While Plan A was prematurely buried, she has resurrected, stronger, wiser and more determined than ever before.
She’s back, and now, it’s abundantly clear that there is no room for Plan B. Ever before and never again.
There should never be a plan B when dealing with your dreams, your hopes, your loves. There has never been a Plan B for the safety of my children. Their well-being. There’s never a Plan B for what is obvi doing the right thing. So should there never, ever be, nary a thought to, devising a Plan B as a back-up plan. Never settle for less than your heart dreams. Fuck that shit. Stick to Plan A. She knows what she's doing.
Kick Impostordom to the curb. No place for it in your one-and-only-once-around.
You’re worthy. FULL STOP.
Stick to Plan A.
Plan B is a Lie.
And if no one’s told you today, you’re fucking amazing.
If that makes you feel uncomfortable (it does me, when people compliment) – fuck it – you’ll get used to it.
Say, in your best Scarlet O'Hara voice, "Why, thank you kindly". Adjust that crown on your head, and walk tall. You deserve it.
Currently, in my one-and-only-once-around, my creativity manifests itself as a Chef and Writer. Striving at feeling neither Impostordom nor unworthy. Cheers!
Please visit my newly remodeled website: www.cafeleza.com