“I don’t know. I just feel like a fake.”
I feel like I’m pretending to be someone I’m not.
I’m not that good at anything.
I’m not really all that “special” and I feel like someone just found me out.
This was me.
On a not-so-great-day about a month ago. (Full disclosure: this “day” lasted about a week. Or so.)
I usually feel ok in my skin.
I like who I am.
I can contribute to the chatter at a cocktail party.
I can add to a conversation with the moms at a school event.
I can even get by, and hold my own, during a bilingual meeting at the office.
When I’m momming, I’m ok at it, too. I mean, I’m not always present, but I try.
More or less, I go to bed feeling ok with who I am.
But every now and then… those feelings of doubt creep in.
The record is playing Lionel Richie and then… scratch…
Back in the 80’s we’d liken it to a run in your nylons or tights. But, praise Jesus fashion has evolved and we don’t have to wear “nude” hued panty hose anymore. We’re all allowed to have different shades of legs.
But a run?
Today, the snag I’m referring to is like the black screen of death on your
You can’t do anything to get the screen to go away. You try to reset, you turn the device on/off… nothing works. It’s just a black screen.
Your stomach drops.
It’s the same with feeling like an imposter.
Your stomach drops.
You feel… found out.
…and you feel like you’re not enough.
You feel shame.
Brené Brown says that shame is “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.”
Here’s the thing: we’ve all felt this way.
We’ve all felt in over our heads and under the gun.
We’ve felt under-prepared, under-educated and under-qualified.
We’ve all felt like we aren’t quite good enough.
We’ve all felt like we’re burning the candle at both ends and in turn, disappointing everyone.
We’ve all felt judged, by others… by ourselves.
But after everything shakes out, after the screen unfreezes we realize that… we’re ok. Everything is going to be ok.
I’m no psychologist or mental health professional (but my best friend is, true story). And I know that the feeling of not being enough can be attributed to, almost 95% of the time every time (that was a nod to the movie Anchorman, for those of you still with me), comparing ourselves to others.
I’ll say it again: when we gauge who we are, where we are or what we are doing off of our perception of who others are, where they are or what they are doing, we’ll feel less than every single time.
Kylee compared to Beyonce?
Kylee compared to Mary Poppins?
Kylee compared to Joanna Gaines?
Kylee compared to… Kylee?
There you go.
I am uniquely me.
You are uniquely you.
We shouldn’t get bogged down with our notions of where we should be or what career we should have or who we should be.
We cannot be an imposter of ourselves. We can only be US.
May I suggest that we live in a magically-curated world and we’re comparing ourselves to artificial standards, kind of all of the time?
Look at that amazing #flatlay on Instagram! Look at her BEAUTIFUL WHITE furniture! Look at her children who are totally coordinated and not dirty.
We see some influencers having the.time.of.their lives [for 30 seconds while someone holds their purse so they can take a picture with their mouths agape SMILING at the camera nonchalantly with their shoulder turned in, their leg turned in and their smile screaming, “I AM SO COOL!” ] and we think, “WHY ARE THEY HAVING SO MUCH FUN AT LIFE AND I AM NOT?”
We live in a world that’s constantly telling us that we need to hustle, go, learn more, be more and have more. Be prettier. Be more fit. Be more thoughtful. Speak up. Go, go, go. BE present. Be woke. Be aware. GO.
I’m going to put this out there: it’s fine to sit back, in your semi-dusty living room, next to your mismatched throw pillows from Target, wearing your sweatpants from Costco (me) and say, “This is who I am. And it’s ok. It’s more than ok.”
It’s funny how in a world filled with artfully curated moments I’m the one feeling like an imposter.
If you’re feeling as if you’re not living up to your potential…
Or, if you’re feeling shame or frustration, let me just say this, you’re not alone.
I hear you.
You’re not alone.
The relationships you have… that’s your legacy, that’s my legacy.
The way we adjust our perspectives and welcome empathy into our lives for our children to see and pattern their lives after?
THIS is what is important.
The other stuff?
It’s just noise.
Noise that we see on social media, on TV, in magazines… in life!
So ignore all of that – take a break from it, if need be – and rest assured and know that you matter. You’re here for a purpose.
There’s a SOLID plan for you. For me.
Just as we are.
I’m a huge Brené Brown fan. Her research-inspired books have changed the way I behave. They’ve changed the way I approach
I also LOVED Rising Strong. I wrote about it here.
Who is Brené?
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.
She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership.
Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 35 million views.
Brené lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie.
Note: I am an Amazon affiliate. That means if you buy a book using my link, I get a small commission. (Do know that I read the books that I’m interested in and write these reviews because, well… I want to share.) Legal statement: Kylee Broughton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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