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Dealing With Imposter Syndrome

Dealing With Imposter Syndrome

In the last couple of months, I have been plagued by the question; “am I really good enough?” I have asked myself this question over and over again, and whenever I try to answer the question, I am faced with another, just as complex, “Why do I think so?”

For context; if my answer to the first question is yes, the next question would be, why do I think I am good enough considering certain circumstances? If my answer is no, the next question is, why do I think I am not good enough despite the evidence that says otherwise?

As you can imagine, I end up so confused, I don’t know what to believe anymore.

I know that I am not the only one who has struggled/ is struggling with this thing called Imposter Syndrome. And to be honest, I did not even know it was a thing until someone mentioned it.

The National Institute of Health defines Imposter Syndrome as “a behavioural health phenomenon described as self-doubt of intellect, skills, or accomplishments among high-achieving individuals.”

Let me clarify, I honestly do not think I am a high-achieving individual. I believe that there is so much more I should be doing and much more that I can achieve if I put in the necessary work. However, a lot of times, that sincere admission tends to take away the “shine” from the progress I have made so far.

“Progress”; another word that I have come to learn its importance in recent times. We all seem so focused on our destinations that we forget the journey. It’s like setting out to meet up with someone you have not seen in a long time, at an agreed spot. You may be excited about meeting with that person at that spot, but if you ignore planning your journey to get there, you may end up getting there so late, you may not be able to enjoy your meeting with that person because so much time has gone and you are probably even exhausted from the journey.

While we look at the destination as the most important thing, we may never get there if we do not appreciate the journey. And if we do, we may not enjoy that achievement because the journey just did not make sense to us.

Most times, we question ourselves, our abilities and our achievements simply because we are solely focused on the destination – marriage, promotion at work, higher pay, a successful business, etc. However, in focusing on these destinations, we are taking our eyes off the journey, thereby, missing the path that is right in front of us.

I definitely want all of these things; get married to a beautiful lady and have amazing children, establish a successful business and make a positive impact in Africa. All of these are beautiful, and should always be at the back of my mind, and not in front of it.

Let me explain it this way. Imagine you had to make a journey to meet your friend that we talked about earlier at a restaurant, and all you could see while driving or walking was the restaurant, would you know when you have missed a turn?

You see, sometimes, progress is not about moving forward. It is also about realising where you made a wrong turn. Remember that you can be moving forward in the wrong direction. When we focus on where we are going, we may miss a turn and may not realise it until we are so far away from that destination.

In the same way, when we focus on what we want to be and achieve, we may miss out on the path that would lead us there. Remember what I said earlier, your destination must always be at the back of your mind else you will simply be on a journey to nowhere. But it must not take the front seat in your mind, or else it would blind you from seeing what is ahead of you.

Based on this, I have learned to take things one day at a time, one step at a time. When I think I am not doing enough or I am not good enough for what I want to see in my life, I remind myself of where I am heading and focus on the journey ahead. Appreciating each step and turn, reflecting on each decision, not to have regrets or wish I could have made another decision, but to learn from it.

Every missed turn is a lesson, and every lesson will be tested by life itself. It would be sad if life happened to test what we have learned and we are unprepared because we missed the lessons at those turns.

So, the next time you are doubting yourself, remember that you are on a journey, and every progress is important to you reaching your destination.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

What do you think?

Written by Temitope

Temitope Durotoye is a Hope and Self Discovery Advocate. He is proudly African and loves to see young Africans be the best versions of themselves.

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