So! Had a busy day yesterday and helped pack BIG boxes for Operation Christmas Child. A few too many, it seems. Did a wee bit too much bending and lifting. I think I’ve gone through half a tube of Deep Heat today! Don’t feel much like getting up and doing anything, so thought I’d take a look at the Daily Prompt.
Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it.
What IS Impostor Syndrome, you may ask. Fortunately they provided the above link! In part it says:
Impostor syndrome (also spelled imposter syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome) is a term coined in the 1970s by psychologists and researchers to informally describe people who are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. Notably, impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women, although some studies indicate that both genders may be affected in equal numbers.
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I was drawn to this prompt because I recognize that behavior. In my post on Sunday, Autumn People, I mentioned that I have a hard time acknowledging and celebrating the victories in my life when I look back over the past year. Impostor Syndrome is exactly why. I have that very tendency to dismiss my positive accomplishments as just dumb luck. Rather than take any credit for them, I will almost always deflect whatever positive comments are made regarding my abilities and competency rather than own them.
What does that look like when it’s happening? Here’s a couple examples…
I was teaching kindergarten, but over the summer months one of my good friends opened a copy shop and needed some help. I told her I’d come in and give her a hand for a few weeks while I wasn’t teaching, but there was so much to learn I felt totally inadequate at the job. I picked things up pretty quickly, and yet I worked for her for weeks before I finally allowed her to pay me anything. And the fact was I liked the job so well, I never went back to teaching. I ended up managing the place a few years later. I felt my going to work for her and falling in love with the job was just a happy accident, while she felt my people skills were just what she needed.
In my 22 years as secretary at our church, I never allowed the council to give me a raise. I TRULY felt like they were doing ME a favor by allowing me to come and go as I needed so I could still be there for the kids’ games and such at school. I felt like if I’d been a better employee I would have put my job before my kids. I never felt worthy of what they paid me.
When I started blogging I simply couldn’t accept compliments about anything I wrote. There was always a poo-pooing of whatever anyone said. But then I met Plato at Plato’s Groove, and that man practically held me down and force fed me positive feedback until I’m nearly at the point where I can accept some of the good things about myself without flinching.
So while there’s a been a big improvement in my behavior, I still struggle every day with feeling like I’m just an impostor schlumping her way through whatever roles befall her that day. And most days I feel very unworthy of the good things in my life and the wonderful friends and family who people my world. But I’m workin’ on it!