IMPOSTER SYNDROME

There is no way I can do this like everyone else. There is no way I will ever understand like everyone else is. No one else is struggling like me and seems to be doing just fine. I will never reach my goals and I seem to always be climbing uphill. Everyone thinks all I have accomplished is amazing but everything I have done is minuscule. I will never live up to everyone's expectations of me. Sometimes we can have a mountain-sized ball and chain attached to our ankle in the form of evil little thoughts that eat away at our confidence as we try to accomplish our goals and navigate this little thing called life. All of us have had these thoughts creep into our lives in one way or another, for some it is easy to shrug them off and for others, it may cause us to crumble under the pressure then let those thoughts crush our goals, dreams, and the very direction we want our lives to head toward.

Imposter Syndrome. This dirty little idea comes in the form of self-doubt, berating your performance, not giving yourself credit for your successes, not recognizing your actual abilities and competence, fear that you will never live up to expectations, and sabotaging your success in different ways. The biggest tragedy of it all is, especially in today's digital world where everyone's successes are right at our fingertips every second of every day, we rarely think about all the struggles everyone else went through to arrive at those successes. We conveniently don't think about all the hard work, failures, and the path laden with struggles that are no doubt quite similar to everything we are dealing with. We allow these thoughts to make us think we are inadequate, that we will fail at reaching our goals, and ultimately change the path of our lives for the worse. Sometimes they can even have the opposite effect and cause some to over-prepare and go crazy thinking they are not ready and never will be. This can be just as detrimental as someone spirals out of control in never-ending preparation and constantly losing every free moment of their lives to it.

The most important thing we can do to shrug off these feelings and break free is to understand that rarely in life do things come easy. Yes, while we may look at others who are currently our peers in work, school, or just our friends who may seem to understand things and finish faster, we need to start asking ourselves if they actually understand or are actually any better than you. Start understanding that some people are blessed with the ability to take a leap, no questions asked, out of the figurative plane just because someone told them it's all good and that's what needs to happen. Something I admit I will never understand, especially the jumping out of planes bit, I mean are you sure they packed your shoot right? That is the point though, just because they can take that jump and think it is all gonna be great and we cant, doesn't mean we can't jump out of this plane just as well and possibly even better than they can once we decide we are prepared and double-check our shoot. For those of us that can't help but think we will never measure up and think we will ultimately fail because we think it's too hard and others are better than us, think about this. Watch a video of a track sprinter. Yes, go do it now and come back. Did you see any one of those sprinters looking around at anyone else? NO! They keep their head down and straight ahead towards the finish line. Ignore that want to look around and think of others running style and you will reach that finish line and I promise you that you may even surprise yourself as to the fantastic end results. Then there are those of us that over-prepare. This can be a bit trickier to overcome and need a bit of self-observation. While being 200% sure we are prepared is technically not a bad thing, what can be bad is letting that consume us and have it ruin the other aspects of our lives. In this case, we must start to think back on how much our over preparation really affects our end goal. Start for there and begin to adjust our habits accordingly to reign our preparations back to a more healthy amount. Little by little, we can then see better habits take hold and watch as those little thoughts start to leave our minds.

Imposter Syndrome is horrible and preys upon our fears and although I may make it sound easy enough to fix in one tiny paragraph, know that it is a struggle that is well worth fighting off till the bitter end. Believe in yourself at all costs and never let it consume you! Always keep going and never give up improving no matter how hard it gets and I promise you you will succeed in all your endeavors successfully and with a healthier and happier life at the end of your struggle.

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Douglas Roark

Douglas Roark

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