Note: I can never actually keep track of the timeline of my therapy sessions. They're an hour long, but feel more like fifteen minutes. And the exact wording of the conversation? Forget about it...Imposter Syndrome
I started therapy for general anxiety disorder a couple weeks ago, but this weeks session hit me particularly hard. I'd like to share what happened, because I think it bears something critical for those of us with imposter syndrome (which I just learned is an actual psychological condition and not just the woes of being an aspiring author--insert cheesy grin).
Here's what it is:
"Impostor syndrome, sometimes called impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome, is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be." (Wikipedia)During this weeks session, my therapist asked me to tell her something that I could say, "I'm good at that."
In all honesty, I was quite comfortable with shamefully replying, "Nothing."
See, there are things I like to do, but I'm not really 'good' and anything. In fact, I think I SUCK at everything.
Finding Your One Percent
Well, my therapist narrowed her eyes (that's only a guess--I was crying too much to tell) and asked me, "Is there anything you think you do well at all? It doesn't have to be 100%. Something that maybe you're 1%."
I admitted writing. And that was hard.
I've had some success with my writing, so I really couldn't say no. One percent isn't that much. But the real reason I said, 'writing,' is because writing makes me happy. Sometimes I even catch myself writing something and saying, "Hey! That ain't half bad."
You're not an imposter, so what are you 1% good at? Don't let your enjoyment of something be denied because you're not 'perfect' at it. Live in the moment and find something you're 1% good at, then revel in it! That doesn't mean you won't improve or write the pants off Stephen King after you polish off your cheese danish. But you are at least 1% good at something.
And that's pretty cool.