Updated: Jan 13
Sigh……Imposter syndrome. Wikipedia states that it is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud". Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be.
Most of the time I feel impactful. Most of the time my drive and energy is amazing. Most of the time I feel productive and on purpose, especially as we transition into fall, which is my most productive time of year. But sometimes, I feel like y'all gonna expose me as a fraud!! Like one day y'all gonna pull the curtain back and see Richard Pryor’s character Herman Smith and be so disappointed that I’m not the great and powerful WIZ. And I will be standing there looking as deflated and exposed as Smith mumbling under my breath, “well damn, it was a good run, but the jig is up”.
I am sure that surprised many of y'all. Just as many people I respect and admire surprise me by sharing their woes with imposter syndrome. Why is it so prevalent?
I am just returning from a mountain retreat with a few sisters where we intentionally chose to share, shed, and grow. We have a podcast coming soon of us processing the weekend, but in the meantime please view our FB Live discussion here: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=401981980340153&id=235143833690636. We had a discussion called , “New Year Now” where we challenged ourselves to not wait until 2019 to plan and prepare for 2019. We also made an agreement to leave something that was holding us back up on that mountain. One sista chose to leave self doubt, another sista chose to leave procrastination, I chose to leave imposter syndrome.
Luckily for me my life is overwhelmingly serendipitous. Whenever imposter syndrome creeps into my psyche, I always get some unexpected encouragement and reassurance that the real imposters are my thoughts of inadequacy. On a day that I was really feeling the sting of this impostorism, I received the kindest review on my TiTi Talks FB fan page (make sure you like the page! https://m.facebook.com/Titi-Talks-235143833690636/). It read,”Some wake up and listen to the news, which is full of content that doesn't pertain to them. I wake up and listen to TiTi Talks because I know the conversation will be one that is of great interest and importance to me. If you're not listening to this woman on a daily or weekly basis your (sic) missing out on one of the best podcasts you could hope to subscribe to. It only takes one show to get you hooked. So, stop playing and have a listen. Then send her a message and tell her Cliff sent you”.
Looka here!! That comment made my day and snatched the edges of that imposter syndrome heffa, at least for the moment. The mountain retreat helped to quell her again. Literally the evening after returning from the retreat, I ran into a friend and listener who shared that they were loving how TiTi Talks was evolving. That meant that she had been consistently listening and truly following my journey. And that meant the world to me. I know external validation can be a slippery slope, but it damn sure feels good sometimes and NEVER goes unnoticed. I’m clear that imposter syndrome has legs. I know in days to come she will walk her uglass off that mountain where I thought I left her to come f*** with me, but with wonderful supporters like y’all I am certain she will be kept at bay. Your feedback and support is invaluable. Before I end this post I implore you to reach out to someone who is living in a way that inspires you and tell them what they mean to you. You never know, you just might be chasing away imposter syndrome from their psyche. Now......let’s go be great!