Am I An Imposter?
Someone recently asked me on Instagram (on one of those “ask me anything” stories) if I ever have Imposter Syndrome. I wanted to be very clear on what Imposter Syndrome is before answering, so I took to google and found the definition:
the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.
My initial response after reading the definition was a big, fat YES.
Feeling like I’m not deserving has haunted me since childhood and is something I consciously work at letting go.
And, on top of the emotional piece, let’s face it, there are so many things I don’t do the “proper” way. I remember learning Lightroom and Photoshop when I started in the photography industry 7 years ago and, let’s just say, tech is NOT my super power.
When I went to an in-person class or took online classes, I was that girl who asked a million questions because I just did not pick up on it quickly. In fact, I gave up on Photoshop for the first two years because I struggled so much with it.
And my blog? hahaha I have completely hacked my way through designing it! Need a white box? Oh, I’ll just screenshot the white area along the side of the page and upload that to my site. Side note, if you find any errors on my blog, feel free to let me know 😉
I have a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Social Work degree, but exactly zero degrees in photography or business.
So, does someone like me, with no photography degree who doesn’t always do tech stuff the “right” way deserve to have a successful photography business?
Does someone who is impulsive and unorganized have the ability to totally switch careers at the age of 35 (I’m 42 now) and make way more money and be much happier?
Well, here I am. Doing it. Running two studios on the opposite side of the country and also running a course for entrepreneur moms. Here I am making my clients feel and look beautiful and creating photos for them that will last an eternity.
So, I guess I should ask myself how in the world I could believe that I’m an imposter? Why would I let myself immediately go to that negative place?
No one did the work for me. No one built my portfolio or went to all of the networking meetings or provided great service for me so that my business could run off of referrals.
I decided to take a look at the definition of success:
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose
Nowhere does it say that things have to be done a certain way. Nowhere does it say that we have to have certain qualities or even qualifications. And it definitely doesn’t say that we have to measure up to anyone else.
I’m really glad I was asked this question about Imposter Syndrome.
As I sit here in my hoodie and slippers on my couch with toys strewn about the floor and dishes in the sink, thinking this through has reminded me that I do deserve this business and everything else I have. I legitimately achieved what I have as the result of my own efforts and skills.
I would love for you to think about the things you have achieved as the result of your effort and skills. No did that for you. YOU did.
So, what is it that you feel proud of achieving?