Thoughts on going after things that scare you, and feeling just a little bit like a fraud.
*Originally this was reserved as a brief quip in my weekly newsletter, but it evolved into something more and I thought it was worth sharing on the blog. I think when we talk about things like this, they lose a little bit of their power over us. If nothing else, just know someone else out there is feeling the same way you do.*
I have a tendency to sell myself short. Call it imposter syndrome, call it a lack of self confidence, call it a symptom of living in a patriarchal society, but I often undervalue my abilities, my thoughts, my time, my worth. Can anyone else relate? I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling.
Mindy Kaling posed this question in her 2015 book of essays ‘Why Not Me?’, which was really more of a challenge than a question. Her book humorously touches on themes of approval and entitlement, and she asserts that the key to confidence is to simply feel like you deserve something.
I come back to this question a lot, and find I often use it as a personal mantra to embolden and encourage myself. ‘Why not me?‘ I say as I push for the promotion that I know deep down in my bones I am qualified for. ‘Why not me?‘ I encourage myself when I see my friends pair off and start families, a quiet (but necessary) reminder that I’m just as deserving even if I haven’t met my person yet. And most recently, ‘Why not me?‘ when the desire to write a blog turned over again and again in my mind.
‘Why not me?’ I say as I push for the promotion that I know deep down in my bones I am qualified for. ‘Why not me?’ I encourage myself when I see my friends pair off and start families, a quiet (but necessary) reminder that I’m just as deserving even if I haven’t met my person yet.
Sheepishly, I’ve wanted to be a blogger for years — it’s laughable how I thought the blogging arena was oversaturated back in 2008, and that there was no room for me. And finally, how many years later I’ve finally gathered the courage to begin. But I’ll admit to you — sometimes I cringe when I post things on social media — am I annoying people? Does anyone even like this content? What makes me qualified to share any of this with an audience and think they would care?
But pushing through those doubts is more important than any hypothetical negativity on the other side of the screen. Maybe this endeavor will be a total flop, or maybe it will turn out so much better than I could hope to expect — time will tell.
Will I ever get past this feeling of being unqualified, of feeling just a little bit like a fraud? I hope so. Sometimes when I speak with someone younger I surprise myself with how much advice or experience I have to offer. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep ignoring the negative voice in the back of my mind, and not letting being scared stop me.
I hope that if you take anything away from this little jumble of thoughts, it’s to please do the thing that’s been weighing on your heart — whatever it is.
Because life is short and you deserve it. So, why not you?