Have you ever told yourself that you can’t do something? Or heard a malicious voice in your ear, whispering oh so convincingly, that you aren’t good enough?
That voice, if you let it, will tell you that you only got offered the promotion because they couldn’t find anyone else. When someone invites you out, the voice will mutter that they’re only being kind, that they don’t really want to be your friend. The voice will belittle even your greatest achievements and the things you are most proud of, and will tell you that you’re a fraud and it’s only a matter of time before you’re found out.
This, my friends, is imposter syndrome. And I’m certainly not alone in struggling with this. Even Michelle Obama has spoken out about it.
I put up with it for years and gave that little voice in my head far more power than it rightly deserved.
It has never spoken more loudly than when I think about my book, Star in the Shadows. I have never felt the presence of imposter syndrome more keenly than when I talk about my novel – causing me to blush, stutter, and doubt myself, doubt every word I have written, and cringe at the thought of others reading it.
I haven’t got an easy solution for you if this is something you are also struggling with. My tactic has been to clench my fists, grit my teeth and tell the voice to shut up. I believe that the fear of not trying and regretting it is greater than the fear of trying and failing, and this has spurred me on.
I would urge you, dear reader, to tell the voice to be quiet. You have more to offer than you possibly know – do not let imposter syndrome rob the world of your gifts.
What to say when you talk to yourself, by Shad Helmstetter. I read this in 2018 and loved it. Of all the self-help books I have ever read (none of which helped, by the way), this is the only one that stuck.