When it comes to imposter phenomenon, or as it's more commonly known, "imposter syndrome", I often feel a sense that someone else belongs more than me. For example, with these meditations, I will often feel someone has done it better or will do it better, and I just don't belong in the arena at all.
I feel like I should be on the outside, looking in at the people who are doing it right. I feel as if I'm going to be grabbed by my shoulders, shaken, and demand an explanation as to why I thought I, of all people, believed I was good enough to do this.
The funny thing is, I don't ever fear this should happen to other people. I don't question if other people should make meditations or workbooks. I don't question if they're valid. It's as if this only applies to me, and I'm the only fraudulent person in a sea of qualified "real" people.
The even funnier thing is, nearly everyone else feels this way too. So if we all feel like we're the imposter, and surely everyone else is good enough, where exactly are all these so-called overly qualified people?
The topic of imposter phenomenon came up for me today as I listened to a podcast on NPR. As they said, it was originally coined as "imposter phenomenon" and not syndrome, because syndrome applies it's something that can be diagnosed and cured.
Does that mean there's no cure to this often-times crippling feeling? At the time time, no. There's no cure. But there are tools a person can learn to manage it. And if you can manage it, you can still go after all those goals and dreams.
What really helped me, was to reshift what I wanted my end result to be. I let go of the need to be perfect (which is really a need to avoid criticism), and let the new goal to be satisfied. Now, my goal is not to be perfect. Or to be the best. Or to arrive knowing everything. My goal is to do a good job, and to know I did the best I could.
This sounds simple, but it really did feel like a huge weight fell off as I thought about it. Once I let go of perfectionism, and gave myself permission to aim for my own self-defined version of complete, I felt much freer and lighter. I also felt as if I was operating within realisitic parameters, and not setting myself up for failure.
And I believe it's this fear of falling short of perfect that leads to the feeling of being an imposter. I have let go of the need to show up being the best, because honestly, what is the point of life if I start at the finish line? I'm now giving myself permission to grow and learn and explore my creations through my own unique learning process. And through that process, I have no doubt I'll create far better work than anything I would've done that was "perfect."
I've put the episode of NPR below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
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