Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
I don’t know why I feel so under-confident sometimes. As if, my experiences are not my own. Like, I am not supposed to be where I am. When I am actually somewhere non-stimulating, I keep trying to get out of that space. I have been thinking about why I feel so disconnected and like a fraud all the time. What could be the psychological root for this?
As a teacher
Currently, I am working in an ideal job. It is all that I have been wishing for– Teaching late teens, about politics and sociology, well-paying and yet not working 5 days a week. It is literally what I have been screaming into the void, “why can’t you give me all this?”. (you= void) The void said, “here, everything you wish for, but only for six months.” Kill me. I cherish every moment of being well-paid.
When I am at this job, or prepping for the lectures, I feel that I am faking it. I am the best person to be teaching Marxism. I am the best person to be teaching to be the go-to person for politics and sociology. I have not put in my time. I have not put in the readings. Someone else must have read thousand more things, or could point out more nuances that I could. Someone else doesn’t have to prep this much maybe.
I know. I know. Rationally, I know that this job is me putting in the time. I know that I do already have a good base for this, and I am passionate about it. But, still, the people I look upto were better off when they were 27. They were more ambitious about growing in academia, that I seem to be. Am I copping out when I reject the academia machine, or am I really rebelling on my own terms? What a loser.
As a writer
Since the pace of my blogging has reduced, I keep thinking about how I have lost my voice. I no longer create intentional art. It is always this stream of consciousness vomit. I am tired of my angst, my self-righteousness, and my pain. Haven’t I looked at all these facets in all its depth already? Am I not bored of myself and my patterns? What do I want to say? Why do I write, other than just using it as a healing tool? Why can’t I write for fun, when people can doodle for fun? When I show up at the keyboard, why can’t I play? Writing for me is treating myself. Definitely. I like the dim light and music that I put on in the evenings to get myself in the zone to right. I forget what the point was other than fossilize traces of me. What do I want to remember? I am not ambitious, wrt external measures of success, but I do have many creative ambitions that I don’t really show up for.
I know. I know. I remember that what got me interested with blogging was a really cool confessional blogger. But then, she went on to write fiction. And I am here, with ideas rotting in my notes section. I cannot summon the energy and discipline it needs to show up for oneself. Oh, you want me to write some piece for your brand, I will do that. I have to do it for myself? Maybe next time. I rest on the laurel of having great ideas with a writer’s block. What a loser.
As a political person
I have a debilitating imposter syndrome when I participate in political protests, or even try to write about political stuff. Who do I talk to and how? I must read more to be ready because I am always not ready. I think of all the things I will have to lose if I am on this path– being stupid happy with my apolitical friends;, and being stupid, period. I think of all the things I will have to have already– clarity and tenacity. But here I am, standing as an audience to the suffering of the world.
I know. I know. I am in the world that is burning and I can speak from my own social location. However, there remains a feeling of taking up space where someone else could have been and said it and done it better. I don’t end up saying anything at all. Sigh, what a loser.
As a lover
Oh ho, this imposter syndrome, you guys… it is an unreal, out of body experience. (Welcome to my over-confessional stupid blog.) When I am in love in commitment, I feel like– it is just a phase that I am going through. This cannot be it. Is this it? And all such self-doubt. I worry about whether I am all present in the love. Could someone else love my partner the way they wanted to be cared for and loved? But when I am out of love, I am pining about hazy details. Did I ever love them truly? Did they even love me? And all such pain. Isn’t pain more real than love after all?
I know. I know. This is life. These are all our psychological patterns and I am untangling them one by one. If only I could build a monument to all the people I have ever loved. I have actually; maybe not as grandiose as a monument, but then a small tiny shrine, definitely. And when I did try to speak of my madness to my friends, well one of them did say– What a loser.
Maybe it is all about that. Me watching myself from the outside, and being a harsh to myself. How do I get back in my body?
I am grateful, don’t get me wrong, but I am such a drifter. My soul is barely tied to my body, and it feels miserable.
Edit: Midnight Aha moment- I have to confront the inner glorified self that is being a critical bitch.