I've noticed that the term 'Imposter Syndrome' has been thrown around quite a lot lately to describe how insecure people feel about their abilities. The idea that somehow, some way, they're going to be found out that they don't deserve the promotion, admiration, or the coffee cup that says #1 MOM! Too many labels are being created to explain our feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, or nervousness when it comes to putting ourselves front and center. People have told me they're Introverts pretending to be Extroverts or Overachievers and Perfectionists. Worrying about your artistic, social, or business performance is normal. We want to make a positive impression and be valued for our efforts, but it can be scary.
I was watching David Letterman's new show when he had Ryan Reynolds on as his guest. I thought it was funny that Ryan was explaining how nervous he would get before an interview, and David is saying he understands completely because he still finds he gets anxious doing his show. Both men have achieved great success, but there's always that fear they may not do well on their upcoming projects. In other words, it's normal to be stressed out when sharing our thoughts and ideas.
I believe that most of us worry that we won't live up to the hype because we continue to strive to be better and understand there's always more to learn. The idea that we're suddenly expected to have all the answers would put anyone into a tailspin. Many of our fears are unfounded because we have worked hard to achieve our goals, and people are taking notice. The thought that we've left no room for mistakes is impossible. Once again, communication is vital to discuss our concerns with each other.
We don't need to cater to a label. Instead, we need to examine why we don't feel good enough. Talk to the people in your life who will give you an honest assessment of your work. Don't be surprised if your impression of yourself differs wildly from your friend's image of you. We tend to be harsh critics when it comes to evaluating our self-worth. Unfortunately, this will keep many of us from believing we are worthy of attaining our goals and giving up before we've even started. Words of encouragement and support may come from unexpected people, and that type of signpost will let you know you're on the right path.
It's easy to trap ourselves in a mindset of limitations, so be aware of how you categorize yourself and why. For example, instead of believing you have 'Imposter Syndrome' and can't be cured, you can write out a list of your accomplishments. Hey, you remembered to pick up your kids at school; you are a #1 Mom! Pat yourself on the back for facing the different challenges in your life and recognize how setbacks didn't keep you down. We all have something to contribute to this world, maybe not Ryan Reynolds' "Deadpool" magnificence, but large or small, we impact each other in ways we may never know. I'm here to tell you to keep up the excellent work and know you're appreciated. Um, you did remember to pick up the kids, right?