Imposter Syndrome

Stand in a quiet place and give yourself a chance to yell. Let that shout reverberate into the wild or wherever you find yourself. Your voice belongs to you.

I took a look at the work I was moving on before I got onto a plane to Korea a few weeks ago and I gasped when I got back. I had this moment of horror on this past Wednesday in particular when my inbox (truthfully not numerous just filled with importance, urgency, and fear) showed that I had some pieces of information that were too old to be acted upon, three good pieces of press that had ramifications, and an invitation from an old friend that made me gasp out loud in its greatness. I was happy but I was also afraid.

The person that made those plans and asked for that information was not an unfamiliar person. It was really me that was asking those questions, making those arrangements.. but that person seemed so confident in what he was doing. With each click of the mouse, I was working through a plan in my mind that I knew was pressed clean like starched shirts but it just felt too risky to be real.

Sometimes people call this impostor syndrome but I’m familiar with my impostor as a real man. He buttons his shirts incorrectly and confidently strides through the day care with his son. He sends emails with humorous grammatical errors to hundreds of people. He dances in a room full of people who are much more fit and good-looking, having a good time.

That guy is a fucking terror but also, he’s got some great ideas. I don’t like to admit that he’s real, yet much of the time I really want to be him.

This nervous wreck of a man sitting here now, sighing at wild plans and grandiosity, is probably the real impostor in the story. But in my life – my real life – I’m both people. I need to learn from both sides, especially as my emotional state becomes more and more of what needs to be. I’m getting to a place where I can see the balance in my driver’s side mirror as opposed to my rearview or trailing its bumper. I’m in safe distance more and more.

By the end of the week, I was able to make lists based on what I’d written while slightly sleep deprived and anxious. I looked at my whiteboard today and said, with a laugh:

“Okay, okay… I get the point you crazy motherfucker. Let’s try to do this and get a night’s sleep at the same time.”