“It’s a Poor Frog Who Doesn’t Praise His Own Pond”
Last night while scrolling my facebook timeline, I noticed a Madame Noire article titled “Impostor Syndrome” Afflicts Even The Most Successful Among Us and I just had to click on that link.
The article opened with the author writing about how people who are on top of their game and who have hit their zone give off the illusion of confidence to most of us, yet struggle with moments of doubt and second guessing, therefore bringing on the “impostor syndrome” (Damn, folks are always trying to diagnose any and everything these days) label. It mentioned how Facebook Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandeberg struggles with thoughts of her accomplishments being unwarranted despite being a Jill of All Trades and a Mistress of quite a few of them. However, that part of the article didn’t stick out to me. It was the following paragraph that moved me and inspired me to pen my first post here on “Straight No Chaser” on this topic:
“Many minorities experience the “impostor syndrome”, convinced that their achievements are only due to Affirmative Action. Many people who deal with this syndrome actually turn out to be pretty good employees but , just won’t take credit for it.”
*sighs and sucks teeth*
When will “we” stop believing and drowning in our inferiority complexes?
If you ask me, RIGHT NOW is the perfect time to stop it.
I hate to sound naive, but I’m keeping it one-hundred here! If you as an author, musician, athlete, etc put in the work…the sacrifice… the hustle and effort to make your dream a reality, then there’s no ‘impostor syndrome’ because you are not an impostor. You did that, Okay! Save that ” awe shucks” “lucky me” shtick and OWN YOUR SUCCESS! EMBRACE YOUR SUCCESS!
Turn that “Why me” into a “Why not me”! You’ve worked, sacrificed and worked and sacrificed some more to realize your vision and mission. You’ve earned the right to take credit for your success. Only you and your circle know how much you struggled.. .how much you have endured. You don’t have to answer to any man or woman who DARES to question your success and its legitimacy!
When I think about that quote in the article, I wondered ” Are most people afraid to embrace success because they fear that they wont be true to themselves and the people around them?” If that’s the case, that shouldn’t be an issue. Catch this: Success and money do not change who you are at the core. It only amplifies who you are. Don’t worry about it because it will eventually come out of you in your actions anyway.
Am I advocating flossing your success and walking around like you’re the only thing that’s poppin’? Absolutely not! What I’m saying is embrace what you have accomplished without guilt and without shame and complexes.
When you take this route, you miss out on so much. You miss out on opportunity. If not the opportunity, you don’t really enjoy the ride. You don’t enjoy the moment because you convinced yourself that you don’t deserve it. It’s not fair to you, and it puts all of your efforts and drive in vain.
Think of it this way: You and about four other people completed a project and it was hit at the office. You know you did the brunt of the work but one wanted to take credit for it. You wouldn’t let that slide in that situation, so don’t let it side anywhere else. Owning your success will lead to more confidence and eventually more opportunities to grow. Don’t throw that away on a syndrome or a complex!
About the author
Jannelle is the author of “Wild Cards”, “Thirst” , “Thirst II” and “Love’s Hangover”, and is a fresh face in African -American Contemporary fiction, spending time on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list in African-American women’s fiction for two of her four titles. She’s also a freelance journalist, who also credits her father suggesting her to write books. The proud North Carolina A&T alum lives in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina.