“You’ll be amazed how much you have in common with Edith Wharton (who struggled to feel worthy of success), Louisa May Alcott (who badly needed money), Madeleine L’Engle (Who could have papered an entire house with her rejection letters), and other writers …” ~ Nava Atlas, The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life
“I have challenged fate to chess and am now attempting to keep all my confidence from puddling in my boots. What if I’m the only one betting on myself because everyone but me can see I am not suited to play at all?” ~ Mackenzi Lee, The Lady’s guide to Petticoats and Piracy
“Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.” ~ A. C. Benson
I’ve done a lot of work on self-love over the years and I was feeling pretty smug. I believed that for the last chapter of my life, I didn’t have much work to do. I could just sit back and enjoy doing what I love with very little struggle. Then a few things came into my awareness and I realized that these shifts and changes I feel coming are not just happening on a global level, but for me on a personal level as well.
I might have missed them if I wasn’t someone who pays attention to every encounter, every bit of entertainment, and everything I read. One of the first indications came only a couple of days ago, when spiritual teacher, Amanda Ellis was very vulnerable in a video she posted on Instagram. She shared with us her almost debilitating bout of self-doubt. I was moved by what she said and the first little inkling that she and I had something in common jangled in my heart. I realized that I’ve been feeling unworthy of my new group of guests that I found through PodMatch. They are all so talented and seemingly confident in what they are creating, that I’ve had a little feeling of imposter syndrome. Who am I to be interviewing these amazingly talented people?
The next confirmation I got was from the TV show, Ted Lasso. Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, one of the new characters in season two, asks Ted when she first meets him, if he’s good at his job. He hesitates a moment and then says, “Yes,” to which Dr. Sharon answers, “Well, as good as you are at your job, I’m twice as good at mine.” I loved that she was so confident. I wanted to be like her. Then in a later episode when Ted goes to see her, and challenges her for charging for helping people, I felt a little uncomfortable because I feel guilty for asking people to support my work with money. But in this latest episode, Dr. Sharon admitted to Ted that he taught her that she needed to be more vulnerable with her patients in order to give them the most help. “You helped me be a better Doctor.” And that’s when it all came together in my head and heart.
As I just wrote, I’ve done so much work on loving myself throughout the years, but since I’m still here, I’m obviously not done yet. If the human race is to evolve, our personal work can never end. So another piece of my effort is to believe that what I create for others is worth financial compensation. Creators deserve to be paid for their work because a great deal of time, energy, and sometimes education goes into creating each piece.
But the biggest realization I’ve had is that, I can no longer play small. I’ve written my book(s), started this blog, and my podcast for a reason. At this point I don’t know who will be affected by them but they are important. My second book is important, but I’ve put off finishing it because I feel inadequate to the story that wants to be told. It’s kind of big. I’m not a big person. I’ve worked to stay small. And yet, it feels like those small roles I’ve played in my life are over now. I’ve even had conversations with my recent guests about this very subject. They and I have stepped into creative roles that could potentially put us in the spotlight. And we’ve talked about how we have to be okay with that.
I hope, if I become more famous, it doesn’t happen like it did to Brené Brown. She’d been a researcher, hunkered down in her lab studying how guilt and shame affect us. At some point she was asked to do a TED Talk, and feeling like she was an imposter she agreed to share some of what she’d learned. Her talk struck a chord with millions of people. It’s one of the most watched TED Talk videos of all time and she has shared how debilitating it was to become famous almost over night.
If I gain thousands of followers, I hope it happens gradually. That would be fantastic. I would have time to get used to the additional attention. But sometimes we’re thrust into situations and have to learn to navigate our new life the best we can. I’ve got to trust that I will be able to face whatever comes because there’s no going back now. In a way, I’m excited to see what happens.
I haven’t written this in a while, but I appreciate all of you who follow this blog and my podcast. I love it when you comment. I hope you will share both of them with your friends and family. Let’s create a supportive community. And I hope you won’t be afraid to follow your dreams. You never know who needs your message.
Blessings to you all,
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.
Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.
2 thoughts on “Imposter Syndrome”
Hi Lucinda, I was going to write a comment via your comment button but for someone reason I’m getting a message something like, ’safari can’t find this’ and my other search engines aren’t ‘picking it up either’, so I’ll comment here:)
I am so proud of you for being vulnerable in sharing your experiences and feelings. It seems like that is what it’s taking to truly live in this cosmos and as the ‘new human being’. Your ‘references’ and this blog is perfect timing as my ‘financial’ story was just published on Income Movement’s Medium platform last Thursday. You’ll receive a link later this week as I’m sending out groups of emails, strategically timed so I don’t have too many email responses to read at once. Since I now published the article I may eventually “have” the courage to be on your podcast with my ‘money and worthiness’ story:).
Oh, Rita. That’s fantastic! I’m looking forward to reading your article and having you as a podcast guest.