Imposter Syndrome

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I had never heard the term imposter syndrome until recently. Admittedly, I was on a huge high after self-publishing my first novel in January and receiving such great feedback from family and friends. My mood was heightened even more when I started getting fantastic reviews from strangers. My lockdown was spent writing, and many others had the time to catch up on their reading, which was certainly to my benefit.

I self-published book number two at the beginning of May and, while it is getting great reviews as well, the momentum doesn’t have the same feel as the first book did. After Googling trends about book publishing, the general consensus was book sales dip as Spring begins springing and doing outdoor activities seem more appealing after spending the colder months indoors. That compounded with the end of the stay-at-home orders should be enough to make my brain understand it will take a bit more time for my second novel to gain some traction, even though it is selling well locally and people are enjoying it even more than my first book.

But my brain did not buy into my logic. It went into self-deprecation mode, and I found myself feeling like I was merely posing as a writer. Thankfully, I have a solid group of connections who are willing to play Cher to my Nicholas Cage and deliver a well-timed slap to my face, Moonstruck style, circa 1987.

After having added 800 new words last night to the fourth book in my series, I am back on track. The handprint is still visible on my cheek, but I seem to have come to my senses and reminded myself that I have talent as a writer. They should make pills for this.

Have you ever been a victim of Imposter Syndrome?

The me that is me

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sunrise-18a

The sun peeks into my room at dawn,

and I greet it with a smile.

The morning brings the songs of life

and I do nothing but listen for a while.

I smile knowing that all is right

as I prepare to greet the day.

I feel like I am where I should be,

sadness and happiness equally weigh.

Every part of my life right now

is exactly what it should be.

I wouldn’t change a single thing

for these moments have brought me to me.

I have loved and lost and cried my tears,

my heart has been broken before.

But mending those breaks only fueled my fire,

left me stronger and wanting more.

 I know what I want, I know what I deserve,

and that I will never second guess.

It may be elusive and difficult to get

but I will never settle for less.

 The sun peeks into my room at dawn,

never knowing what it will see.

But I greet it every day with strength

and the confidence to believe in the me that is me.

 (image credit)

Fragments of myself

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I have been reflecting a lot lately – looking back at the phases of my life where I defined myself in terms of my relationships with other people.  I even introduced myself with those titles.  I was always a daughter, a sister, a step-mom, a wife (now ex-wife) and it has only been recently that I have begun to describe myself in terms of who I really am – me.

All of those monikers are still a big part of who I am, or was, but they are only pieces of my bigger puzzle.  I have found new ways to describe myself that truly incorporate the essence of me and not just how my being relates to other people.  After years of missing the most integral part of who I am, I have found the proper words to define myself.

puzzle-pieces

(image credit: loridennis.com)

In the past, I had deconstructed myself and put smaller pieces of me into everyone else’s puzzle.  I was happy to be the daughter or the sister.  I didn’t feel lost nor did I feel any sense of being an incomplete person.  I merely slipped into the shadows of the lives around me.  I became an extension of them and the fault of that circumstance was all mine.

After many months of contemplative thought I have become aware of a new sense of self – a confidence to simply extend my hand and introduce myself with only my name.  There is no longer a follow-up delineation of how I relate to anyone other than myself.  I am, in the simplest of definitions, me.

Those fragments of myself constitute a big part of my life but they are no longer words I use to acquaint myself with anyone new in my life.  Eventually those pieces of my puzzle will fall into their rightful place but that place is not the definition of who I am.

I’m not here to impress you

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I am me.  I have simple likes and dislikes (except for the occasional expensive bottle of wine). I live an honest life and I embrace the sense of humor, common sense, moderate intelligence and gift for the vernacular that was bestowed upon me.  I do not, nor will I ever use any of my personality traits to impress you.  But at the end of my journey through this life I hope that, with those traits, I will leave an impression upon you.

So often people spend so much of their time trying to impress the multitudes by being something they are not, nor will they ever be.  The downside to pretending that you are something so far removed from your reality is that eventually people see through the facade and directly into the real you.  Having the self-confidence to believe that you are truly unique is half the battle.  Having the fortitude to stand behind what you represent is the remaining half.

It takes little to no effort to be the person that you truly are and it takes a moderate resolution to negate any ill will towards people who do not embrace the qualities you possess. It takes even broader shoulders to not care.  If you have ever been told that you are one in a million, that is a gross understatement. There is no singular being on this grand planet that can ever take your place.

By living to impress others you do yourself an egregious injustice.  Trying to live up to the standards of others simply means you are ignoring your standards and your life is no longer about you.

Leave the impression on this world that you want to leave – not the impression you think others want you to leave.  Don’t lose yourself striving for their definition of perfection.  As you continue to embark on your personal journey you may find that your idea of perfection is much better.  The sense of accomplishment you achieve doing it your way will be that much more rewarding.