As I was I painting, I got to thinking about Impostor Syndrome.
Catchy words for a condition that we all feel at one point or another. Doing good and great things but feeling like a fake.
You know the saying “fake it until you make it”? It’s useful. It works.
But no one ever talks about how when you get to the point where you’re made, that the fake feelings don’t stop.
I personally swing back and forth. With art, and with everyone’s amazing reactions to my work, I can see my successes.
I can also see where I’ve missed the mark. Where I’m not good enough. And who am I fooling about being an artist anyway?
I’ve got a friend who’s good at what she does. It’s not art. There’s no tangible thing she can look at and see her work. She consults.
She’s got a good opportunity at hand and has been reluctant to follow up on it because she feels like a fake.
I think impostor syndrome goes back to objectivity.
We CANNOT be objective about ourselves because we see all the things. Where we’ve barely completed a thing. Where we faked a result. Where we fell short of the mark.
Where we hated ourselves for whatever transgression.
Of course we sell ourselves short when it comes to our own skills because we see everything and not just the good stuff.
This is the same thing I talked about earlier this year, where an artist cannot be objective about their art. We’re there at every stage of creation so it’s impossible.
So what do you do?
This is what I do: I have a few trusted friends, people who will tell me when I’m an ass and tell me when I’m awesome, these people are my treasures, I try to be the person they think I am.
They think I’m goofy and amazing. They see me leap to new heights and cheer me on. They don’t hesitate to point out my ridiculous side with love..They think I can do anything and they hold me accountable.
I WANT to be the person they see me as, and if they see me as that person, then maybe I already am.
So yeah, I still flip a bit on impostor syndrome, but not as much I would otherwise. And no narcissism needed.
Find your tribe. Or that one friend. Don’t dismiss their awe. And become the person they already think you are.
And my friend? Well, I hope she sees herself in this because she’s more amazing than she realizes.