Fear, the Impostor Syndrome, and Progress
Every year I make some sort of goal for my blog – blog once a week, once a month, etc. I start off strong with the first week, and then I go quiet. The little voice inside my head keeps telling me so many reasons why I should stop. Among these are things like,
“You don’t do anything exciting in your life. You sit home and work from home all day with little social interaction, why would anyone want to read about that?” and
“You take pictures with your iPhone and don’t know how to edit them” and
“it seems so narcissistic to write about yourself” and
“you don’t even have any kids to brag about” and
“why would anyone want to read about your life” and
“your blog doesn’t have a theme” and
“your blog has a terrible design” and blah blah blah blah.
And so instead of deleting the blog or something, I just stand still. I don’t write, I don’t not write, and every day I mull over something I want to write about but then I talk myself out of it.
I have done the same thing with playing the piano. I used to be quite good. I competed and won awards and played difficult songs and I found joy in the sense of accomplishment. But then I stopped taking lessons for a variety of reasons. I moved from home and didn’t have constant access to a piano. I lost a lot of the skills I once had. So I have stopped playing, convincing myself that because I am not as good as I once was that I don’t deserve to play.
We can do this with so many things – “I’m not a body builder so I don’t want to go to the gym.” Or, “I’m not a photographer so I don’t want to post this photo on Instagram.” Etc. etc. etc.
But this is not living life the way that it is meant to be lived!
I’ve heard this described as the impostor syndrome – constantly convincing ourselves that we don’t belong while comparing ourselves to others. Someone once told me that 90% of people suffer from the impostor syndrome, but in my mind, I am surrounded by confident people who love what they do and do not care what anyone else is thinking. (Does anyone else feel the same way? Please tell me I’m not the only one!)
And so I have adopted the following mantras for myself whenever the self doubt starts creeping in.
Don’t let the fear of imperfection keep you from making progress.
I am doing this for me.
I just snapped these pictures from my bullet journal and the post-it note I have on my office wall. These are constant visual reminders to encourage me to do what I want as long as I am making progress. It is better to do something than to do nothing at all. Even if it isn’t perfect, it is enough, I am enough. God never intended us to be perfect right away! That’s not why we are here. We are here to learn and to grow and to try new things.
I blog for me. I blog to document and to build community and to remember the good and the hard and the beautiful. I don’t blog for the perfect photos or to have thousands of followers. I do this for me because it brings me joy. It is a creative outlet for myself that aids in self-discovery and healing. And that is ok. It is ok to do something for me. There is only one me and only one voice that is mine and this blog is my space for that.
Because if I just stop for fear of not being perfect, I will never learn and grow and make progress. And I believe that is our purpose here in this big beautiful world, to make progress and to grow and to love and to find all of the joy and happiness while doing so.
Please share with me – What are some of the ways you struggle with the impostor syndrome? What are ways you overcome thoughts of self-doubt? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
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