Sometimes we all feel like an imposter. Feeling like a fraud because we are faking the smiles on social media. Faking the joy on our faces when spending time with friends and family. That’s why I often ask myself: Am I an imposter?
Hiding our insecurities and vulnerabilities
We all try to hide our insecurities and vulnerabilities as we believe that only those who are strong, independent, and seemingly immaculate will be successful in life. But let me tell you, this form of self-doubt is something many successful people experience daily. Because what we see and believe is the perfect life that is portrayed by everyone is not the reality of what is going on behind the scenes.
And I think it’s true when I say, we all feel like that sometimes. Yes, even the most confident person reading this has moments of self-doubt and inadequacy. But in those moments it’s important to remind yourself, that it’s ok the way it is. That it’s normal to feel self-doubt and that this self-doubt will be what sets you up for success in the long run.
Why self-doubt leads us to success
Self-doubt isn’t only a performance enhancer; it also makes you a wiser leader, teacher, parent and friend, because coming to terms with it makes us more compassionate and gives us greater insight into ourselves and others. But the problem is, that there is a fine line between using our self-doubt for success or sabotaging our chances of success through self-doubt.
And I think we can all relate to situations in which people have advise us to be more confident. Yet, the big question is, how can we become more confident? Instead of working on our own depiction, we compare ourselves and our achievements to those of the weakest around us. We conform to cultural norms, believing what society values is what we value and how society defines success is how we must define success. This pattern of thinking is unsustainable and leads us down a spiral of self-doubt, questioning our life in every way possible.
But life isn’t about figuring out everything and finding out where you are going. Life is about living and experiencing. And life, by all means, isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Life is full of ups and downs, and it took me a while to figure out, that in the end it doesn’t matter where you are going, it’s all about the journey. The journey of finding your passion, the thing that drives you and makes you feel alive. Now don’t get me wrong, finding your passion isn’t the key to solving your self-doubt and what leads you to success, but it’s the first step in the right direction.
I am only human
And I took that step, which is why today I am a 23 year old student, finishing my university studies, while working on growing my photography and social media business. Before you think this is on of those typical success stories trying to motivate you to think outside the box and get up off your couch to reach for your dreams, let me tell you about my current project and how it relates to everything I’ve mentioned before.
Currently, I am back at the place I was at 6 years ago: The Youth Psych Ward. 6 years ago, I spent most of my senior year of high school in and out of that same psycho ward. I didn’t know where my place in life was. I felt insecure, struggled to find out who I really was. Those days were filled with self-doubt. In fact, at that point I had lost the will to continue my life the way I was living it. I felt inadequate, unloved and useless.
Now 6 years later, I am back there. Yes, I am still struggling to become the best version of myself. Yes, I am still struggling with the intrusive thoughts making me feel inadequate. And yes, I sometimes feel like an imposter. But none the less things have changed. I am back at the place where I felt the weakest, but I stand there as a leader, an inspiration to the new generation of young people struggling to find their place in life. I am in the psych ward feeling more alive than ever, pursuing my dreams and passions. And what truly lead me back here was my passion for photography, something I found while seeking for the why behind my life.
My passion was my saviour
My passion has lead me down a memorable path. I now have the chance to inspire young people with the work I do; giving them confidence helping them accept that self-doubt can be a tool to help them grow as a person. I have met amazing people, inspiring me to turn my life around and work towards my deepest desires. And I really must admit that I am on a great path.
We all struggle, it’s human.
Yet still I find myself struggling and think to myself, „This can’t be it; Things are going so well. Why am I still struggling? Am I an imposter? What is it, that I am doing wrong?“ But the answer lies in that final question. I am not failing; I am not doing anything wrong. What makes me say that? Well, life isn’t all black and white. Nothing is right or wrong.
What I am saying is, yes, I may be dealing with a lot of self-doubt lately, but don’t we all struggle with that? Isn’t that what makes us human and helps us succeed in life, in pursuing what we dream of? I would answer that question with a big YES! Because the self-doubt I am experiencing is what makes me human. It gives me the ability to question myself, to act and to change what I believe and will help me succeed. The self-doubt is a mirror of myself, showing me my weaknesses and how to combat them. Once you realize that, it opens up the door to success.
Self-doubt is my strength
So, here I am, writing this blog-post, a seemingly confident person, telling you about self-doubt. Seems kind of fake if you ask me – And if you were wondering: Yes, I feel like an imposter, a fake or a fraud, because deep down I know that only a confident person would dare to write these lines and speak out to a great amount of people. But I know that I put in the work; I used my self-doubt, my feeling of inadequacy to lead me to success. That is why I am writing this post; I may be successful, but I may also have self-doubt – and that’s exactly my point: We may experience such contrary feelings and moments, feeling like an imposter, but isn’t that what makes us human?