Are You a Fraud?
I got a text from a friend yesterday that out of nowhere asked, “Do you ever feel like a fraud.” And my answer was, “Yes. All the time.”
The fact that you were compelled to read this means... nothing. But it does say that you believe that you are an impostor. So in other words… you believe you are full of shit. Some days you think you are pulling it off and some you are terrified that everyone is onto you. You’re not alone. According to a study in the International Journal of Behavioral Science 70% of people feel this way.
Does it make you feel better to know you are not the only one in the boat? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way the way in order for you to get to shore, you’re going to have to paddle alone.
Ask yourself the following question:
Am I living authentically?
If the answer is "yes" you’ve gotta figure out where those inaccurate feelings are coming from. If the answer is "no" assess what is inauthentic and rectify that. It might be that you have a fear of being seen. It might be that you have a fear of failure. It might just be a fear of feeling vulnerable (which generally is the root to all of the above). No one else can help you with that (outside of a therapist). It’s your fear. It’s what’s in your head. You own that boat. No one else sees it or feels it and I guarantee if you ask someone for their honesty they would tell you they don’t see what you’re feeling.
The way that I look at it, in my admission of weakness I’m releasing the fraud, showing humanity to others and kindness to myself. I’m exactly the opposite of a fraud. I know my weaknesses. I know where my fears are holding me back. I know that I am the person who can and should change the behaviors that keep me from solid ground. So I just say "Fuck off" to those feelings.
I also know that sometimes it’s okay to act more confident than I’m feeling. To show people the version of myself I want to be. The reason that’s okay is that eventually that pseudo confidence is met with actuality. Like Jim Carey, I'm become the mask I'm wearing.
A lot of people have a lot of ideas about how to get past their impostor-ness. And they are probably all very legitimate, tried and tested.
The ways I recommend are as follows:
Be honest. Know who you are for real and know if you like that person. The person you are can always be changed (people are capable of that) but only you can determine that.
Be fragile. If you break you can always put the pieces together. And sometimes there will be pieces that don't fit that leave space for you to find what's right... for you.
Be kind. You should be your best friend and in that talk to yourself the same way you would talk to your best friend… in support, in love, in kindness.
Be proud. See your successes and celebrate them. You’ve been able to experience a lot in your life that no one else has. You need to acknowledge that. Because no one else can claim your life! No matter how single white female they may try to be.
To recap: If you are an impostor, say fuck it to the fear. Be you. Be real. Be honest. I believe in you as much as I believe in myself - which is a whole damn lot.