When Impostor Syndrome Creeps In

I have a lot of great pictures from my television appearances, and I cherish these photos because, let’s be honest, it’s not every day that I have a glam squad to give me a fabulous blowout and full face of flawless makeup. Even though I like to pretend that I go to preschool pickup looking amazing, I usually only dress to impress when there is a TV camera in front of me. Topknot and yoga pants, friends. That’s how I roll. However, there is one particular picture that really stands out, and it’s not just because I love those fabulous red shoes I’m wearing. This picture always reminds me of just how far I’ve come and how much further I have to go.

My mom snapped this picture of me right before one of my “Today Show” segments. The director told me to walk over to the infamous “Today Show” desk for a quick teaser they would record in a few minutes. When I looked over and saw that all of the anchors were still seated at the desk, I panicked. “That desk… over there?” I muttered. “Yup, that’s the only desk in the studio,” the director replied.

While I had met a few of the anchors for roughly 30 seconds before we had a segment together or waved to them as we passed in the halls of the “Today Show” studios, being asked to mosey on up next to all of them was more than a little intimidating. I wasn’t there as a fan looking for a group selfie, but as a contributor, someone who is supposed to know their stuff because they were sharing their knowledge with millions of people on national TV. No biggie, right?

“You can go home now, Al, because I’m here to do the weather” was the first quip I could think of, and while everyone at the desk let out a giggle, I felt the familiar doubts creep up and I knew what it was: Impostor Syndrome.

Even though I have worked tirelessly for years to build my blog, spent countless hours prepping for every TV appearance, and carefully crafted opportunities to add to my resume, I find myself wondering when everyone will finally figure out that I’m a big fraud. Impostor Syndrome is sneaky that way. It always finds the perfect moment to shake you up and knock you off your game.

Impostor Syndrome is sneaky that way. It always finds the perfect moment to shake you up and knock you off your game.

Impostor Syndrome is real, and I feel the effects of it a lot, but I’m tired of allowing those feeling to creep in and shadow everything I’ve worked so hard for in my career. Basically, Impostor Syndrome is crap and I’m done with allowing it to cloud my judgment. I want you to do the same.

 

We all feel self-doubt in our lives. It might be when we have to make decisions for our education or our career. Or it could be the daily decisions, big and small, that we make for our children that feel overwhelming and daunting.

When we set the bar high for ourselves or we feel deeply invested, Impostor Syndrome is likely to sneak in. If we didn’t care or we were fine with mediocracy, Impostor Syndrome would keep on walking right past you. But when it comes to those things we love dearly, like our children, or the things we value deeply, like our careers, Impostor Syndrome saunters in and throws us for a loop.

Studies show that as women, we feel Impostor Syndrome more than men. While men chalk up their success to hard work, grit, and intelligence, women often say our success comes from being really lucky or the helping hand of someone else.

Why do we do this?

I’ll be the first to tell you that luck has nothing to do with your success. You have everything to do with your success. Then I’ll turn around and look in the mirror and question myself and everything I’m doing from my kids, to work, and even the paint color I just picked out for the bathroom.

So maybe what we can do to stay authentically confident and to realize our value and worth is to be each other’s cheerleaders. Let’s remind each other how awesome we truly are. When life gets hard and we doubt ourselves, let’s be the ones that remind each other that we can do this. Maybe we just need a nap and a little more coffee and we can make it all work.

So maybe what we can do to stay authentically confident and to realize our value and worth is to be each other’s cheerleaders.

So from now on, when I look at that picture of me standing at the “Today Show” desk, I will think “Dang, girl, you rocked that segment and those shoes!”

Own these opportunities and your success and happiness. You’ve achieved all of them because of your work, dedication, and because you are authentically you. And if you need me, I’ll be right here waiting with my pompoms ready to remind you that you are amazing.

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