Imposter Syndrome: High achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a fear of being exposed as a fraud. [Dr. Pauline R. Lantz & Suzane Ames-1983]
I was listening to this weeks episode of one of my favorite podcasts The Friend Zone starring Dustin Ross, Assante, and Hey Fran Hey and they had Chescaleigh in as a surprise guest! If you don’t know, Chescaleigh who’s stardom rose from YouTube is now a writer, contributor and analyst on Comedy Central’s ‘The Nightly Show‘.
In this episode of the podcast, Chescaleigh talked about her rise to success and how at the start of her TV career, even now, she suffers from imposter syndrome!
“I’ve been at The Nightly Show for 7 months now, I still do my YouTube videos and I do MTV’s ‘Decoded‘ on the weekends! The Nightly Show is so different for me. Being in a room with 12 other writers who’ve written for Letterman, the Daily Show, written for all sorts of awesome people…and then here I am like ‘the girl from YouTube’!”
Her statement resonated with me because here she is with all of her success and accolades and TV credits, still feeling less than because she didn’t have the same path, years invested or experience as her peers! I know that feeling first hand! I was only three months in the classroom working alongside teachers who had 10-20 years of experience on me! The same veteran teachers who had been teaching for years and were still having student discipline problems were asking me -a twenty-something, 3 month teacher who had students ready to fight each other over being disrespectful to me- how to get students to respect them!
Fran quoted the great Maya Angelou when Angelou admitted her fears of success:
“I’ve written 11 books but each time I think ‘Uh Oh!’ They’re going to find out now! I’ve run a game on everybody and their going to find me out!”
Now isn’t that something? THE Maya Angelou -Tony Award nominated, 5 time Grammy award and Pultizer Prize winner- admits to having fears of not being good! But it’s understandable! No matter how successful we get, we still have a fear that we aren’t good enough or qualified enough for the amount of success we have! I’m a teacher and all though I haven’t been teaching long, for the amount of time I have been teaching and the small accomplishments I’ve earned here and there, I still don’t feel qualified to be teaching others! Just like Angelou, self-doubt flutters through my mind. Main thought being “Oh no, these kids are going to find me out! Find out that I can’t teach!” That’s crazy right? Especially when my student’s test scores increased and their behavior problems decreased since last year! [That doesn’t sound like a big accomplishment but in the world of education, it is!!] When it boils down to it, I must be doing something right!!
We all have our own journey and we all have our fears! Your journey and success is your journey and success! No one can walk that path and no one can take your success from you! Imposter syndrome is no joke but the only remedy is to believe in yourself and stand proud in your accomplishments! You’ve worked hard for where you are; enjoy all of the fruits of your labors instead of hiding them from yourself!
Do you suffer from imposter syndrome?! How do you handle it?!
Also, check out the ‘Imposter Syndrome’ episode of The Friend Zone guest starring Chescaleigh below: