It hits me almost daily that I have no idea what I'm doing, or how I got to be where I am.
Whether it's when I'm building my restaurant or making music or being a parent, I don't feel qualified. I'm not the best general contractor or piano player or mom, and yet I'm still out there in the world trying to pass myself off as these things. I get nervous that one day everybody is going to see through me and realize that I'm really not who I claim to be.
It's apparently a real thing called "Imposter Syndrome." The world defines it as a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud".
My husband says he feels the same way at his job. My mom just told me she feels it too. And so do some of my closest friends. So...apparently we're all walking around thinking we're a sham and not deserving of our successes, while the rest of the world views us as accomplished and confident?
What an incredibly lame way to live.
It dawns on me tonight that we don't have to live this way. Like most self-inflicted punishments, there's a way out. Reader, if you too happen to fall victim to this fraud phenomenon, I invite you to try to ditch it with me. I'm no self-help expert, but I see it as a 3-step process.
1) Don't make false claims. Just lay all of the ugly truth out there. I'm not the best piano player. And I'm a newbie in the restaurant business, and I'm not nailing motherhood. Boom. Uglies, I see you.
2) Then own the part you've played in your accomplishments. I'm not the best piano player, but I can really pen a tune. I know I'm not great a building a restaurant, but I'm awesome at making people feel at home. I know I'm not being a great mom, but I'm rocking it when it comes to exposing my kids to nature.
3) Finally, get over it already. Clearly if we all feel like imposters, yet nobody is noticing, then clearly we're all focusing way too much on ourselves. Everyday, there are tasks to accomplish, problems to solve, and most importantly, life to live. No sense in missing out on anything because we're scared of what other people will think of us (especially since other people aren't thinking about us).
And with that, this songwriter/chef/mom is off to snuggle up with the babes. Reader, I wish you a week devoid of worry about who's looking through you. We all deserve to be right where we are. -Em