So it transpires that I have a condition called imposter syndrome.
No I’m not pretending to be a superhero who wears their underpants on the outside. And I’m definitely not an undercover spy, and I can’t claim to be royalty.
Nope, imposter syndrome, as it turns out, is a condition where the sufferer feels like a fraud and doesn’t believe they deserve their success, and fears they will be “found out” by their peers and bosses. Continue reading
Say you’re running a marathon. You love running, you’ve trained hard and you’re running for a good cause, yet about halfway through you hit a wall – not literally but figuratively. Your energy levels slump, every movement creates a shockwave of pain radiating through your body, and your heart wants to leap out of your chest. Tears prick your eyes as the evil little thoughts start to infiltrate into your head – “You can’t do this,” they say. “You’re tired,” they say. “It’s ok to give up,” they say.
After writing my last post on being paralysed by fear, I was reminded by the boyfriend that four years ago I was s*** (his words) at camping.
|A previously successful camping adventure
Yes I remember that first experience with him well – a long weekend just outside Oxford. I had camped a couple of times before – nothing too strenuous and I’d survived.
So in my head this was going to be a lovely drive in the countryside, and a couple of nights, cocooned in a cosy, little tent while the stars twinkled above us. It was still the honeymoon phase of the relationship. Camping; I couldn’t think of anything more romantic.
Until we arrived. It was October – and that was the problem.
Almost a year ago I quit my editor’s job to go freelancing. That was a big decision; it was tough. But equally it was liberating. And now I can’t imagine having to step foot in an office everyday, let alone share a commuter train twice a day with stressed-out lemmings.
But this almost-year of freelancing has been interesting and more difficult than I expected it would be. If I thought quitting my job was hard, that has been nothing in comparison with grappling with the fear and self-doubt of venturing out on the hare-brained idea to climb 40 volcanoes by the age of 40. The woeful tally so far being a big fat one! (I sit here writing this with the self-pity coming off me in waves).
The fact is, in the past 10 months I’ve experienced a rollercoaster of emotions – from the jubilation of employment freedom to the finger-biting worry of where the next pay cheque will come from, and a whole mish-mash in between.