Impostor Syndrome … “a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true.
I have written eleven books, but each time I think, uh oh, they’re going to find me out now.
If you were to ask my friends, family and colleagues to describe me, I imagine “confident” would be a word you’d hear regularly. That ‘confidence’ has led me to take chances and build a career and a life I love. Before the kids, I used to travel the world delivering training courses, sometimes to audiences of more than 300 people.
Yet I couldn’t shake the feeling I had blagged my way there. Maya Angelou’s words rang true for me so often. I was sure it was only a matter of time until I would be ‘found out’.
I can’t think of any time in my adult life when I haven’t either felt exhausted from the need to prove myself or felt exhausted from the need to live up the version of myself I had proved I was.
There was always something to do, something to achieve, something to prove. Sitting still made me feel lazy. It was proof I didn’t deserve all I had achieved. I think a lot of us use alcohol to drown out these critical thoughts and to grant ourselves licence to give in to the exhaustion; to stop proving ourselves for a little while without beating ourselves up about it – until we wake up foggy headed in the morning, of course.