My life over the last decade, and especially the last few years has been all about advancement. From graduating college, landing my first corporate job, building a brand that could mirror my salary, and stepping into real adulthood through marriage and home ownership. As I reach new heights in all areas of my life, it’s been incredibly important to me to make sure I don’t lose what I’ve worked so hard to earn and figure out on my own in my career and personal brand. I’ve climbed my career ladder pretty quickly over the last four years and since starting this blog, I’ve made progress I didn’t imagine attainable for years in half of the time. As impressive as it should feel, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t ever doubt myself.
Often, I’m the youngest in the room and expected to be informed enough to assist men who’ve been in their positions longer than I’ve been alive and as much as I prepare, I feel like I might be wrong. I end up finding lifestyle bloggers on Instagram with more followers, curlier hair, better campaigns with bigger brands and feel like I don’t deserve to be considered one. I feel pressure to know more, be more and do more if I plan to get better and excel higher. After reading “Lean In” and talking to some of the women on my team, I’m realizing that imposter syndrome is something most of us experience, whether often or every now and then.
Why is it that no matter how hard we’ve worked to get where we are, or to create what is ours, a part of us feels like we got there by luck? We fear that someone will find out we’ve faked it ’til we made it and then let everyone else know. We allow viewing other peoples accomplishments as a chance to shrink ourselves and question why we haven’t experienced the same thing. It also doesn’t help that there’s a narrative of gender equality floating around that can easily make you feel like you’ve advanced due to an attempt to be “fair”. What we need to remember is that your success, your achievements, whether well-established or fairly new and uncertain, are real. You have to keep in mind that you didn’t make it this far because no one saw your value. It’s not likely that you tripped and found yourself in the position that you’re in. You probably worked your ass off to be where you are today. If you’ve worked consistently hard and deliberately, you’ve created your successes.
You don’t need validation from anyone other than yourself to believe that what you’ve accomplished so far is enough to be proud about. Some of the women you admire most like Oprah, Issa Rae and Gabrielle Union have all opened up about their imposter syndrome, and look at all they’ve done! The only imposter in your life, is your fear of not being worthy. If you’re feeling like a fraud, believe it or not, you are doing something right. This Monday, go towards the unachievable. xx