It’s not something anyone wants to admit to themselves, let alone others. But fear is something I’ve had to battle my whole life.
It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what it is – and to be frank, I think there’s a lot of layers to it. But for this moment, I’ll narrow it down to one aspect. I carry an inner anxiety that tells me I don’t deserve to be in the forefront – and that when I am, I shouldn’t be.
There is a psychological term called “impostor syndrome” that, after learning about it, struck home. It essentially describes an internalized feeling of self-doubt that leaves you fearful of being exposed as a fraud. It can have numerous debilitating affects on an individual. As an example, though a person may be highly educated and skilled in an area of expertise, they may feel like they didn’t actually deserve their accomplishments. Instead, their mind plays through scenarios of how their peers might find out any minute that they aren’t as qualified or capable as they thought.
Impostor Syndrome can wreak havoc on confidence and peace of mind. It can rob you of seeking opportunities, striving for goals or taking chances to share what we can offer. If you’ve ever experienced this phenomena, you’ll know how difficult it can be to relax – and to trust yourself.
Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing [impostor syndrome] remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved.Wikipedia Definition
I have limited myself in many aspects of life because I struggle with this kind of anxiety. It’s easy to hide behind justifications of being introverted / shy, being ‘nice’ so as to let others win, or any other form of shadow seeking. I guess the point of writing this is for the purpose of vulnerability. As I’ve come to know, one of the best ways to contend against one’s own shortcomings is to become very open about it. Shame and embarrassment love to hide – and in this, I do feel a strong sense of embarrassment. I have said “no” countless times in my life when I could have extended myself and built a relationship, made a valuable connection, accepted a rare opportunity – and ultimately, walked through doors opened for me. I’ve excelled at convincing myself I wasn’t good enough.
I’m working towards changing that. The very fact I’m choosing to start sharing myself on this website – whether it’s a thought on a blog or a piece of artwork – it’s a deliberate act of acknowledging my own value. I will admit, as I write this – I want to delete it. But… nope. I’m gonna risk it.