Imposter syndrome

Image by Andreea Ilie

I find imposter syndrome to be one of the most difficult feelings that our generation has brought to light and is learning to deal with. To recognize it in yourself, see how it limits your possibilities and begin to overcome it are three separate feats that seem almost insurmountable when all you feel is that you’re not worth it, and you’re not enough. You don’t deserve success, you are not as intelligent or creative as you might have had others fooled that you are, and every achievement is credited to good timing, luck and a chance opportunity that you played no part in creating for yourself.


There’s a lot of inner noise this generates. A lot of treachery. And a lot of good time, wasted. How do you move forward when you begin to lose ambition? When you turn down the volume on your dreams in hopes you’d reduce the voice that otherwise spells ‘fraud’- often loud enough outside of your head for others to begin to hear, smell, see on you-to a whisper? Do we wait for luck and timing to pull us out of this, too? It would only take us so far before we’ve come full circle. 

How much of it could be due to our habit of striving for perfect narratives, in words, feelings and pictures, that the last decade seems to have been mostly about? How much of it is a symptom of our detachment from ourselves, and from real people and situations? Have  we taken a step outside of our own skin and left our immediate reality, to dwell in a gray space that no one else’s supposed to see, yet it is more densely populated than we are ready to admit to each other?

Do we look out on life unfolding before us with crafting ambitions for what could be, as if it lay static and blank, screwed onto an easel? Do we anxiously sharpen every drop of rain and every cloud, add deeper blues and warmth, erase blemishes and even out skin tones, only to look back at the world again and then in the mirror, too, and find that nothing is what we make it seem? Is that what it is?