"Imposter syndrome? What the heck is that?" You may be asking.
It's a bitch. That's what it is.
But in all seriousness, Imposter syndrome refers to
A concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud." – Wikipedia.com
I am typing this right now at 11:07 PM, Sunday night as I prepare for week two of my new job (this will probably be published later). Why is this on my mind now? Because it always is.
I am considering how I am, as I stated above, entering week two of my new job. It is my first real job outside of school, in an industry I wanted to get into (whether I am passionate about being in this industry is another question). The pay is pretty good in this context, there are great benefits, lots of autonomy, and the support system is great. What negative thoughts could possibly come out of this? In order to parse out these thoughts, let me explain how I landed in this place.
At my job at school, I was promoted to a position that gave me visibility and communication privileges with the staff (directors). As per tradition, the big wig directors usually try to extend themselves in order to use their network to help seniors in the two highest student positions find jobs outside of school. I put off talking with them for a long time, but finally got around to it. As a result of my discussion, I was put in contact with someone in one of the directors' networks.
Weeks went by, the final week of school came and went, graduation came and went, and then I found myself out of school for 3 weeks. During this period, I applied to probably 200 jobs, and only got an interview for one. I had this meeting coming up, and was like "what do I have to lose?"
I went into the meeting not expecting much, but as luck would have it, a position opened up about 5 minutes before I walked in the door. The person I spoke with asked me if I was interested, and if so, told me they would connect me with the appropriate party to move forward. I had an offer on the table for another part time job I interviewed with on my own as well. Long story short: three interviews later, and a mish mosh of a hiring process later, here I am.
All that to say: I have not felt like I earned this job. I feel like without that foot in he door, I wouldn't have gotten this, and it makes me feel like a fraud. This feeling isn't new for me though. Many of the "accomplishments" I've "earned," or things I have done are marred by this imposter syndrome feeling.
Why is that relevant?
I was reading a post someone wrote about being multi-passionate, and thought about how I have labeled myself as a "multipotentialite," or someone who is multi-passionate. I have had a creeping suspicion though.
I am led to believe I am one of these folks, however, lately I am starting to think I need to do more soul searching. I say this because I'm not positive that I am truly multi-passionate, or just not fully diving into opportunities because I don't believe in myself (self-worth/anxiety/depression). Thus, I commit to many different "likes," but never develop them fully for a multitude of "fears." I do think that I am multi-passionate somewhere in this body/mind of mine, but I do think there is a dysfunctional marriage between these two things.
All this to say, I am never fully satisfied in anything I do because I always find some way to tell myself I am not worth the opportunity, I got there because of some fluke, I am not qualified or under-qualified to be there, and I will get "found out." With this job, I prepare for the following day thinking about how I should quit before I f*ck up, and how I don't deserve to be there.
I still haven't found a way to squash this, since it is just another tentacle of my anxiety. There are a number of other places I could go on about regarding how this manifest itself, but no need for that. What I have been doing for years now is just trying to tell myself to get through the next day. If I can get through this day, maybe the next one won't be so bad. Sometimes that doesn't work and I crash, or can't find it in me to do anything, but most of the time just winging it keeps me going very marginally.
Just needed to get that off of my chest. I know it's a weird post to publish in the midst of this "31 Days of Gratitude" thing I have going on. I am also trying to produce more content on here though, and to be more transparent (within reason) with regard to things going on in my head. That was, after all, the intention behind this blog when I first got started.
Do any of you experience Imposter syndrome? If so, what are some ways you cope?