“Is there anything you’re worried about before next week, Ally?” Inside my head I’m screeching ‘yes, being bloody well found out as a fraud and ejected from the building.” Or “everyone laughing in my face when I say something” or “being asked what the actual fuck I’m doing there”. Yep, the imposter inside my head has fired up again. The little gremlin that pops up and laughs in the face of any mustering of self-belief I can rustle up. What I really want to say is that yes I’m worried about making a fool of myself, and yes I’m worried that I won’t have anything sensible to offer and even yes, I’m worried people will pull my pigtails and steal my lunch money.
They won’t of course because they’re not in fact children, I’d even go as far as to say that the majority are friends of mine but still the imposter won’t shut up. Why can’t I believe that I have something to bring to the table? Something that isn’t just lame jokes and being a figure to poke fun at. I look at my friends and see confident self-assured people who can step up and bring their shit to the table, knowing their voice is valid. I ‘jokingly’ describe myself as being a wallflower when actually I’m gobby and love being the centre of attention. I’ll happily get up on stage and talk in front of a room full of people, I’ve even been described as being a natural, however inside my head a voice is always saying “Ally, you’re talking shit again. People are rolling their eyes. They’re bored. They’re wondering why ON EARTH you were asked to present” and fuck me, it gets so boring.
But then when you speak up about feeling like you’ve accidentally got yourself into this situation and are they sure someone’s not going to come along and escort you off the premises it feels a little bit like you’re fishing for compliments. When you come across as confident and self-assured but are really being eaten up inside by self-doubt you’re bound to get a side-eye or two as they think you just want MOAR people to tell you how brilliant you are. You put your head above the parapet and get yourself into situations you’re not that comfortable with and it feels like your only payment is to make a knob of yourself by waffling on whilst people wish they were anywhere but listening to you.
There’s only one thing for it, and unfortunately it’s not to constantly anaesthetise your imposter with gin. It’s time to sack up, trust the process (yep, that sounds wanky) and believe that whilst I might not believe in myself other people do, and they’re not daft.