Celebrating Faking It.

I read this article yesterday about the imposter syndrome (which is one of my favorite syndromes) and it really hit home.

There are moments in my clarity about cluelessness when I get to witness a remarkable thing. A coworker makes a brilliant point. My co-parent practices superhuman patience with our angry toddler. A friend performs an act of extreme generosity. When that happens it’s like a flash goes off in the room. You see it. When someone does something truly good when you understand that no one knows what they’re doing, you notice. You appreciate. You feel like you’ve leveled up just bearing witness to the thing. These are the moments you think, Humans are awesome. Anything is possible. I have a lot to learn. It’s a good feeling.

I love this idea even when applied to ourselves. That if we find the truth in our ineptitude and not shy away from it, we can also find true pride in our successes. If you’re trying to convince yourself you’re awesome at everything, you might miss when you are really truly awesome at something.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the minutes in my day and how I spend those. I’m valuing self-care a lot more, not trying to pack it all in to the point where the anxiety of “it all” paralyzes me and I do nothing. Nope. I’m avoiding that trap now, but I’m still trying to find that balance. That balance between productivity and peace. I sleep better knowing I’ve done something important with my time, but if I try to do too much important I don’t sleep at all. And part of trying to find this balance is really trying to find truth in my talents and my faults. I don’t want to waste time by doing something I’m terrible at, no matter how much I think someone else wants/needs me to do it.

It’s the first day of December and I want to use the next 31 days really trying to forge new habits so that I call allow for greater effectiveness in how I change the world. I’ve been driven to action since the election (see here: http://northalabamaprogressives.com/) but I don’t have a lot of spare time so I’ve been really thinking about that balance and how I choose what to give attention to. I don’t have a real formula yet – but I’m definitely working on it 🙂

Here’s to not being afraid of our faults because none of us really know what we’re doing.

2 Comments

  • Colleen

    I really liked that quote too! Imposter syndrome is very common in my field, i think especially because of society’s perception that scientists are smart & know everything and because there are a lot of overconfident scientists! I spent a long time thinking I was bad at it until I met a person that does things like what the quote mentioned. She said to me that no one knows what they are doing and that was a huge epiphany for me. Now when I remind myself to look at things from that perspective, and to listen to myself when I tell my son that no one is good at something new, it really helps!

  • Lucy McConville

    I LOVE this post! Especially that last part about feeling a call to action since the election…feeling so passionate and driven by that…then looking around at my full plate and thinking, “Oh…with what TIME?!” That is when the re-examination began about how I spend my time, how I (don’t) take care of my health so I have enough energy, etc. Exactly!! My birthday is Monday and I’m using that as the jumping off point to begin a year-long “turn around” in my habits, replacing old bad habits, with good new habits. Yesterday I wondered why I felt so excited about that…I mean, it isn’t exactly fun to diet and drink less and work out…lol. But I realized it was because I KNOW I am going to feel so much better and then I will have the energy to make a difference in this world.

    In your own reorganization of your time I sure hope you won’t cut out blogging…because you have no idea the good ripple effect of your blog posts!