This morning I was reading from Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, & the Will to Lead.
In it, she tells about a talk she attended her senior year of college (at oh, you know, Harvard) that addressed the idea of imposter syndrome – that thing where many people, women in particular, feel like a fraud when they’re praised for their achievements and accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy, they feel “undeserving and guilty, like a mistake has been made.” At first I misread the word “undeserving” as “underserving,” and of course I soon realized that this was more than a coincidental slip up.
There’s no way we can give our gifts fully to the world when we’re preoccupied with thoughts and reasons why we aren’t worthy, why we aren’t good enough, why we don’t deserve… acknowledgment, respect, love, attention, joy, to be seen, to exist. Whatever it is we (consciously or not) feel we don’t deserve, it keeps us stuck + holds us back from showing up in our fullest, truest light.
No matter what we ARE able to share from there, it absolutely WITHERS in comparison to all we’ve got in reserve.
Now, I’m quite aware that accessing and fortifying one’s worthiness in order to be of better service to others may seem a bit like defeating the whole point. We are all worthy, just by nature of being. But sometimes we have a tough time believing that, and we need stepping stones on the path. So if you can’t quite find your way yet to wrapping yourself in worthiness just for you, just because, well maybe knowing that it’s the best way to share your goodness with others will help light the steps along that path. Either way, once you’ve seen that truth, you can’t unsee it and will soon find yourself more often acting and being from that place.
And what a place to be it is.
What say YOU?
Have you ever felt like an imposter, a fraud, like you didn’t deserve a compliment or accolade?
I feel like this is one of the most tender, vulnerable admissions a person can make.
No need to share it here (unless of course you’re called to. If so, then have at it, Lovely!)
Otherwise, facing up to it in ourselves is challenge enough for one day, wouldn’t you say 😉
I would however love it if, in the privacy of your own You, you would consider doing the following:
For every example you come up with, think of at least 3 counter-arguments, reasons why the opposite is true, and/or examples of the opposite being true.
Rebut yourself, Woman!
Speak a new truth into being, Man!
Let the evidence speak for itself on your behalf and come share anything that comes up for you around that!
Can’t wait 🙂