I’m Kate, and I’m a complete fake, fakey, faker.
There, I said it. That was tough. For a long time I have known on the inside that I’m a complete impostor, but it’s much harder to write those words for all of you lovely people to read.
(Come to think of it, no one will actually read this post because why would they? I’m a fraud.)
I’ve got a painfully classic case of impostor syndrome. And not a single day goes past that I don’t worry I might get found out.
Now that I have started admitting this to a few trusted people, I’ve discovered that I am one member of a very non-exclusive club. Some no-name, underachiever called MAYA ANGELOU once said: “I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh-oh, they’re going to find [me] out now.”
Common characteristics include:
Feeling like people (read: the whole entire world) have an inflated sense of your abilities. TICK.
A fear that your true crap-ness will be discovered. Eek, TICK.
A tendency to attribute any success to factors outside your control, e.g. luck, all of the luck. TRIPLE, BIG, FAT, TICK-A-ROO.
So many women suffer from pervasive feelings of inadequacy, often it’s work-related, but for me, and others I’m sure
I hope, it seeps into every aspect of my life.
It’s like I just can’t get my head around being a legitimate adult, and it’s not because I’m a Peter Pan-type character who doesn’t ever want to grow-up. I desperately want to have my shit together, and I guess externally I do, the problem is my insides don’t match my outside.
Everything I have achieved in my life has been an accident or, in some cases, due to the fact that I am really good at putting on a front. I live in the constant fear that someone is going to tap me on the shoulder and whisper in my ear, “Hey Kate, I know what you’ve been up to, you big fake. The game is up. We’re taking it all back – your job, your relationships, your plans for the future – you’re not worthy. #sorrynotsorry”
And what could I do about it? Not much because they’re right. I’m not a real adult, I’m not a real career woman, I’m not actually capable of having mature relationships and plans. I’m an impostor, a kid playing at being an adult.
I have an awesome job and I have a lot of responsibility. It’s a job that’s been ten years in the making: I worked my way up from the bottom, slogged it out until 2am some days, and have made very conscious decision about where I wanted to go and how I would do it. But, I still front up to work at 9am every single morning hoping that this won’t be the day my bosses discover that I’m actually really talentless and everything thus far has been a fluke.
I have had serious boyfriends, moved in with them, talked about proposals, babies and the future. And although I have been present and willing in all of those conversations, the persistent thought during most was, “You’re just a little girl playing happy families, YOU couldn’t possibly someone’s wife or mother HAHAHA.”