Fighting the impostor, Part 1

A few days ago I wrote about Impostor Syndrome and how it’s affected me. Shortly after I found a video of this talk from Denise Paolucci at about it. Two things from it stuck out for me, and I decided to expand on them more, from my point of view. I’m going to do them separately so that I can give them each the attention they deserve.

The first I want to talk about is: take credit for your accomplishments.

One of the things to remember is that those accomplishment don’t need to be awesome. They really don’t. Some days your accomplishment list is “got out of bed”, “made a cup of tea”, and “didn’t go right back to bed”. Some days it’ll be something more. But when you’re getting started with working on getting over Imposter Syndrome you get what you can. Sometimes you just need to take the wins you get, no matter how small.

Got out of the house and walked to the mailbox today? Put it in the accomplishment column today.

Walking around the block? Put it in there. Because you did something.

Decided to go to the store because you’re out of cheese and sour cream and want to make a quesadilla? Put it in there.

You don’t need to show that list to anyone. Because it’s you taking credit for your accomplishments, for what you actually managed to do. You did it. No one else has to validate it for you. Only YOU need to validate it for you. Maybe it’s not ‘saved a whale’, or ‘reconstructed a knee’, but you did it and no one can take that away from you, ever.

Some days, for me, getting out of bed is an accomplishment. Some days it’s just something that happens. I need to remember the days when it’s hard and count the accomplishment, and remember a few days when I had so much trouble with just that.

Keep a list of what you did today. Because you did accomplish something. And you should be proud of yourself.

And maybe you did something that helped someone else, and they thanked you for it. They appreciated you for that. And you felt weird because for you, you could see every flaw in it, every mistake you made, how you could have done it so much better… that’s the next one I want to talk about, which is all about accepting complements.

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