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I Feel Like a Fraud – All the Time!

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“My fears of failure and success are rooted in ImpIcon_Inspiration-Category_200x200ostor Syndrome.”

 “The term “impostor phenomenon” is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phoniness that appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women…. Despite outstanding academic and professional accomplishments, women who experience the impostor phenomenon persist in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise. Numerous achievements, which one might expect to provide ample objective evidence of superior intellectual functioning, do not appear to affect the impostor belief.”

The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention” in the 1978 journal Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice.

Even that headshot of me above is no longer who I am. 

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What if no one reads my blog posts or watches any of my YouTube videos? What if they do and the next one can’t measure up to the former’s success? What if I’m not as good as “so-and-so?” What if I’m no good at all? Will what I say and write resonate with anyone? What if I’m a big fat failure? What if I’m found to be a fraud? I ask these questions and often doubt myself and apparently, I’m not alone.

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’ “– Maya Angelou

“When I started out, I did compare myself to others. Was I good enough? Was I pretty enough for that role? But it’s the impostor syndrome that is injected in any artist out there. What it does is it keeps you striving for excellence, and wanting to do better, and wanting to get it right even when you feel like you never hit it. Doubt keeps you in the process, and it keeps you honest.” — Viola Davis, quoted on vanityfair.com, 6 Jan. 2017

I post a lot on Facebook. Hell, anyone can seem smart a few 100 characters at a time.

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The truth is I measure myself with someone else’s stick. I admit it. I hold myself up to other writers and people who are doing the same thing I want to do. Had the same idea I had, but they executed and I didn’t. I can’t tell you how many times, I have had this grand idea only to sit on it and then beat myself up when I see that very idea executed by someone else.

I could have been putting up YouTube videos based on the things I’ve written here. Hell, this blog has been up since 2013 and yet I make every excuse in the world to not produce content. As much as I voice my opinion on social media, I could have taped a video and posted it on YouTube a hundred times over.

The fact of the matter is, I fear that my opinion either won’t hold any weight or that people will see it and think, she doesn’t know what the hell she is talking about. But why, why am I so afraid that my thoughts on any given subject will not be valid? I don’t know. I often fear that people will think I’m not as smart as I portray or as well-read I as I pretend.

So, what am I doing about it? I unfollowed one of the main writers that I see as a constant reminder of either what I am not or haven’t done. I know she has no clue. It is in no way her fault that I compare her successes to my perceived inadequacies. This writer doesn’t even know who I am, has no clue that I would hang on her every word and get lost in what she is doing instead of letting it inspire me to bring out my own voice. 

This article helped me to get past some of that. Especially #5 & #20. Check it out and see if it helps you. Just admitting I have a problem has helped me release a bit of my fear and feel less of a phony.


 

Do you ever feel like a fraud? Let me know in the comments.

 

Merriam-Webster Impostor Syndrome 

 

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