Before you go any further, I need you to do something for me. Stop. I need you to read this blog post from my very good friend Michelle Davey before you read what I have to say. https://michelledavey.com/feeling-like-a-fraud-in-the-horse-world/
Are you done? Good read eh? I have a secret… I know where the inspiration for that post came from. Me. Me and my Imposter’s Syndrome. Bet you thought you’d never hear those words come outta my mouth. But it’s true. I come across as poised and confident but the truth is, I’m human. And my ego can be a real Bitch.
A few months ago I was having an unusually tough time. I was feeling sorry for myself, beating myself up over something. Something that, looking back now, seems ridiculous. I was in the early stages of coming to terms with the idea of not teaching next year and trying to wrap my head around training horses full time. I knew then I was good at what I do, but I had big reservations about other people feeling the same way and, in turn, making enough to justify quitting my perfectly good full time job.
“You need to look up Imposter’s Syndrome.” This came from a close friend of mine. She’s a rock and also an important part of the team that keeps my equine athletes healthy and happy.
So I did. And my eyes popped out of my head. “I have that!”
I recognized everything about Imposter’s Syndrome. The feeling of not-enoughness, the fear of being exposed as a fraud (even though I’m far from it), and constant self doubt… even the doubt of the things I had already accomplished… a feeling of it being a ‘fluke’ (umm… WHAT??). The burning question for me… and my actual first line of defense was “Ok… I have that… but what do I do to get rid of it?” In my world… when something catastrophic like this happens, we text Michelle 😀
I believe it went something like this. “Imposter’s Syndrome. I have it and I think you should do a blog post about it. I don’t know how to get rid of it.” I’m pretty sure Michelle was thinking I’d lost it. Like literally lost it. She had never heard of it. So she rushed off to google it too. It was about that time we both felt like we’d hit the mental jackpot and were on the road to curing millions of people 😀
Just as I’d hoped, Michelle’s post helped me. It led me to the realization that I’m normal! Who’d have thought! As Michelle points out, everyone, at some point, experiences the feelings that make up Imposter’s Syndrome. It is human to experience times of not-enoughness. And, as she reminds us in her post, we need to take a look at our egos. My ego can be real awesome. She can be supportive and happy and confident and poised. She can also be insecure and panicked and cranky and judgemental. She can make me feel on top of the world and she can make me feel like a total failure. Recognizing her sneakiness has been instrumental to pushing Imposter’s Syndrome out of my daily life. It shows up once in a while still, but when it does, I check in with my ego to let her know that she’s not running the show (she also really likes to be the star… figures). I kindly remind her that I’m busy over here building an empire and I don’t really have time for her negativity 😉
If you’re anything like me and had an “OMG I have that!” moment, do me a favor. Sit back, relax and tell yourself that you are enough. Get those feelings that your ego is trying to convince you are right out of your head and pump the good stuff back in.
You are enough. You are worthy. You are deserving. You got this!