Ever feel like an imposter?
Updated: Jan 20, 2021
I explored my feeling of being ‘less than” with a coach (cuz that is what I do). Myself as a sixth-grader, popped into my head. My long straight dull hair pulled back hard in super tight braids clipped in the back like a punishing headband, my skin dotted with acne, my stiff red and purple plaid shirt from Kmart, and at a new school, again. I was right back to that time and how it felt. I could once again feel the embarrassment of my jeans that were cheap and too short, my lack of friends, having to eat the free school lunch, and go home each day to our run-down apartment. Yeah, that is what it felt like to be ‘not enough.’
Who the hell am I to teach anyone anything if I am that girl?
The girl with the perfectly styled golden hair, Bonne Belle lip gloss collection, and the Jordache jeans – now that is the person who should teach and coach. She brought twinkies to lunch and sat with her friends, making braided ribbon barrettes. She had it together then, so I am sure she has it all together now and is the master of happiness and success.
Okay. I know that isn’t true. But man, it feels that way!
This feeling of inadequacy sneaks up on me and speaks loudly. It builds and can be debilitating. I carry that pain with me and give it way too much attention. That isn’t me anymore. So, why? It’s the story I told myself for so long that it stuck. It is easier just to let it be and not question its accuracy.
Part of growing up is to sort all of our life stories and keep what serves us and discard the bits that don’t help. My super-power to share with the world is what I learned from my experience (thank you, Sharon and Jessica 😊). A unique gift to be shared.
What I choose to keep is the fact that I bore through it. I survived that time, and I began to thrive. I found joy in meeting new people and trying new things. I got embarrassed and was different than most kids. I still don’t know if I was in remedial or advanced math for that 3- or 4-month period. All I know is that I got sent to the library during math and was able to play a math computer game.
The gifts I gained were empathy, compassion, and confidence. I am a survivor. You are too. And we can choose to be our best selves. I have learned, and am learning, how to help others do the same. I am here to guide someone who needs some help.
Like most things, this is a practice. That little girl in braids worries will rise again. When she does, I will stand in front of the mirror, put my hand on my heart and say, “Sweetheart, you were amazing then, and you are amazing now. You aren’t that girl anymore. You are a goddess and need to rise to the occasion.”
I am on the hunt for others who are tired of their story and ready to rise.
(Did goddess sound like an over-the-top word choice? Yeah, I used to feel that way too. But damn, I am getting used to it. This warrior chick has a sword and a cape that I wear with my fandom t-shirts. Screw Jordache.)