I have felt like this before. The inadequacy. The not-good-enough feeling. The ‘this-is-overrated-feedback’. Over and over again. Having been a bullying victim for a very long time, my self esteem has been crashed far too many times. The after-effect? Everything you do just doesn’t seem as good as everyone sees it. You will always look at things with a blind eye, through a broken mirror. So whenever you are praised for your accomplishments you feel that everyone else is exaggerating and you are the one who knows ‘its not such a big deal’ even when it is SUCH A BIG DEAL.
There’s this syndrome I came to learn about it’s called ‘The impostor syndrome’ whereby an individual has an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Some common signs that someone may be feeling like an impostor are: Perfectionism, overworking, undermining one’s own achievements, fear of failure and discounting praise. For me this is too relatable because I know how many times I couldn’t sleep because my already finished work isn’t GOOD ENOUGH YET. So you end up overthinking, overworking and most of the times skipping meals. Now to avoid that whole scenario of people having high expectations or faith in you, you’d rather just discount your accomplishments and make them less than what they really are, just to avoid being seen as a phony.
As stated in the Wikipedia, people who suffer from impostor syndrome tend to reflect and dwell upon extreme failure, mistakes and negative feedback from others. If not addressed, impostor syndrome can limit exploration and the courage to delve into new experiences, in fear of exposing failure.
Sometime back, I wrote an article here’You are not a failure’ whereby I talked of how my failure in Maths and Chemistry still affected me way past high school 😀 (Here is the article if you haven’t yet read it: https://lubnah.me.ke/you-are-definitely-not-a-failure/ ) And this is how failure takes a toil on you when you have such a syndrome. Perfectionist much? 😀
So I’ve been working on myself for a while now; my self-love journey hasn’t been easy because one first needs to accept their flaws and twisted thoughts and dig deep into the mind to remove the trash. Last week I started posting on my instagram account short posts on the same: I owe myself an apology whilst mentioning my accomplishments and things I should be more proud of than I usually am. I realized, I really do owe my precious soul an apology for keeping it secondary to other people’s opinions.
You know how we are so excited when we have achieved something and we call our loved ones just so they can congratulate us and share our happiness? The same way we should congratulate ourselves first thing before anything else. Treat and pamper yourself to the occasion. I mean, you did great!
The reason I decided to make this public is that I know I am not the only one beating myself up for glitches and failures in my work or other aspects of my life, even when things were beyond my control or simply by undermining my real worth and value.
Now this is to challenge you to join me in doing this, even if you’d do it privately in a notebook or so, but just try it out. Write ten things you are really proud of about yourself (If you can make it a daily thing then the better! At least one thing per day! It could be an achievement or even something about your personality that deserves an applaud. Then at the end of it, apologize to yourself for not appreciating yourself well enough. Remember, we can’t wait for people to applaud for us. We need to do it ourselves first and whatever praise other people bring to us should just be complementary.
*You deserve all the praise in the world for all your achievements; whether big or small.
*You are not defined by your ‘failures’.
*You are enough and good enough.
I’m applauding you 🙂