The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SIXTY TWO: MENTAL FAKE NEWS
Ever watch American Idol? I don’t anymore and whether you do or not, I think you’ll understand this. Some wanna-be singer comes on and they sound horrible (hey, not everybody can do what they want to, no matter the passion they have for it). The judges tell them in kind words and not so kind words that they were horrible and then the singer tells them his/her family/friends think he/she sounds amazing.
Sometimes we do the exact opposite to ourselves.
Getting involved with people and their subjects has always been a problem of mine, even if I have more than an inkling of what they are talking about. I would listen and want to chime in but something (someone) in my brain would automatically keep my mouth shut. This mysterious voice would convince me that I had no idea what I would be talking about if I tried to expunge on the topic.
Or if that something (someone) allowed me to speak, a feeling would come across my thoughts AND my guts that I was speaking gibberish and the people I was talking to knew that I had no idea in what the hell I what was saying.
Maybe like this blog post.
And thanks to a recent podcast that I was listening to (Still Untitled with Adam Savage), I learned that it’s called Impostor Syndrome.
The definition of Impostor Syndrome based on Wikipedia is as follows:
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostorphenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or theimpostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
Have you ever experienced that? Dollars to doughnuts, you have. Most people do. We feel that, even if we are experienced in a certain subject and may have done it for many years when we start to speak about that said subject around people, they’ll think we have no idea about what we are saying. Or our ‘expertise’ is one based on self-proclamation.
If I was to ask you if you were an expert on something, whether it was taught to you in school or self-taught, you might tell me ‘I’m no expert on that. It’s just something I do.’ And the funny thing is… you ARE an expert on it.
We’re just scared to admit it and put our well-earn expertise under the magnifying glass.
Most people think of it as self-boasting and most people hate to think we do anything of value or we’re afraid that our expertise on something might be put to the test. Or maybe what we say will be disputed. Even if we are disputed and we KNOW the other person is wrong, the fear of confrontation keeps us from speaking up.
Hey, we all can lack confidence from time to time. I know I do. There are a few things that I feel that I know pretty well and talking about them in a public forum can make me pretty nervous.
My favorite thing to do is write. If you have been reading this blog since the beginning, you might have picked up on this. I absolutely love to do it. The idea of starting something new gets me excited and I want to jump right into it. I think about when I’m finally finished and allow the world to read what has come from my little old brain. I want to WOW people and I want them to say, ‘He’s a great writer.’
But when it’s time to push that PUBLISH button, I falter. I’m still excited, especially when I think I’ve written something pretty well. And yet, that imposter syndrome hits me hard and a voice from somewhere deep inside where it’s dark and hollow says ‘You suck and when you pull the trigger and let this out into the world, everyone who reads it will know you suck, too. You’re an imposter and you know it. Just GIVE IT UP.‘
It’s the fear, you see? We are afraid of looking like a fool. I think all people who love to be creative feel this way. Some just know how to cover it up better than others. I guess I few don’t have this problem at all and think their creative ‘whatever’ is the best and nobody can deny it. I’ll never be that way. Ever.
But there is a place inside me that wishes I was. At least, a little bit. Maybe they have learned to forget the fear.
Unfortunately, I’ll never be that way.
I soldier forth, though. I keep putting it all out there on the line. I keep turning a word and putting it out there into the world, into the void, and see what comes back. Imposter syndrome or not, I have to do it. I don’t think I’m a fraud. I’ve had a few people that had no reason to tell me a lie and say that I was good when I wasn’t. I do believe I have a few friends that might be like those American Idol people that just say I what I want to hear and then mumble under their breath ‘Man, that sucked.’ But there are a few that tell me what’s working and what isn’t. I listen to these people. The trust is there.
I suggest you to find a few of these people in your life that will tell you what’s working and what’s not in your creative endeavors. They are priceless, simply priceless. These trusted few will save you from embarrassment and keep that imposter syndrome to a minimal, if not entirely.
If it feels right, odds are, others will think so, too. And you can’t please everybody. Some will not like anything you do. Those people don’t have a creative bone in their bodies and should be ignored.
And if it pleases you, it’s going to please someone else. Trust me.
Don’t stop being creative. Imposter syndrome be damned.
-Loyd Elmore Jr.
November, 22 2019
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.