Imposter syndrome. I experience it often.
I felt it in my previous job. Despite studying for over four years, interning for three, holding a graduate position, working freelance, working under a mentor – when I landed my job at a magazine, I was crippled by self-doubt and the worry that I would be “found out”. It made me anxious.
As an athlete I’ve always felt it. I was unremarkable. Or good enough but not extraordinary. I’m becoming more confident in my own abilities only now, in my mid-twenties.
When it came to being selected for representative honours in State Age Netball teams, I constantly second-guessed myself. Ultimately, my low confidence resulted in me giving away the sport altogether. That and some dodgy knees.
Now, probably more so than ever as a coach I feel like a fraud, often. Despite having been mentored for many years by a great coach, despite being fully qualified, despite having attended countless seminars, reading hundreds of thousands, potentially millions of words, still I worry that I don’t know enough.
In fact when looking at the lineup of coaches at a powerlifting meet just the other weekend I thought to myself, “I’m not good enough to be in this midst”.
The thing is, I would hazard to guess that many of the people you believe to be the most proficient, the most knowledgeable, the most capable, have at some point felt themselves a fraud. Felt they were masquerading.
I don’t necessarily see this state of being as a wholly bad thing. In fact, my belief actually means that I am always wanting to learn more, I am always a student and I’ll probably never believe I know “enough”.
It’s also important to remember that striving for excellence is great but the only person you should be looking to please is yourself. Don’t worry about mistakes, they’re learning experiences. You don’t need to be perfect, in fact, you’ll never be.
All of us have felt like an impostor, remember that you’re absolutely not.