Happiness

Fantasy self or goals: Impostor syndrome

If you read my last post about figuring out if your fantasy self is just an image to toss away or if it’s the goal you should be striving toward, you might have a better idea of what you’re striving for in your life.

However, you may still be stuck.

You may be wondering… How could I do this? Who am I to think that I could move to Toronto and become an editor and world renowned publishing house? Who am I to think my writing or music or business dreams are achievable?

Women, especially, struggle with impostor syndrome. Studies show that women will apply for jobs when they match 100% of the criteria. Men will apply when they match 60% of the listed job requirements.

I once applied for a job that asked for 5-8 years of experience in a field. I had three. But I knew this job was a good fit.

I didn’t get the job. But I made it pretty far, and in the end, it wasn’t my lack of experience that hindered me. The person who got the job was an internal candidate.

If I had just looked at the job description and not applied, I wouldn’t have had the experience interviewing that I needed to get the next job.

Every failure is a learning opportunity. But impostor syndrome makes you afraid to fail. More than making you afraid, it stops you from even considering the opportunity that would let you fail. Impostor syndrome tells you that doorways are closed off to you. But those doorways are wide open. It might not be easy, but you can do it.

I love the discussion of the fantasy self. Figuring out the persona you’ve been emulating allows you to cut that from your life and focus your time, energy, and physical space on what you really love. But some “fantasies” are actually the person you want to be. It’s important to realize when your fantasy self ends and when your real dreams begin.

Eliminating impostor syndrome helps you get there.

It’s an important to note that your dream self isn’t a “fantasy self” just because you’re not sure you’re capable of achieving it. I’ve talked about how my “fantasy self” loves book clubs. I am perfectly capable of being in a book club. I’m adept at reading and analyzing and talking about books–just ask any of my past literature professors. I just don’t enjoy the time and energy I spend on them as an adult.

If you have identified your “fantasy self” but your only reason it’s a fantasy self is that you don’t think you COULD do that… then wonder if maybe you’ve just identified a source of impostor syndrome instead.

Are you facing issues of impostor syndrome? If so, what are you doing to combat it?

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