Posted by: Mark Nielsen | January 31, 2016

Not an Impostor, Just an Imp

MN Sen. Al Franken as America’s Chief Executive Affirmation-Giver, Stuart Smalley


This thing– this feeling that “I’m an impostor, and everyone will find out any moment now.” –is true for so many people in all walks of life. 


Dana Carvey as the Master of Disguise… in this case, Turtle Man

 In my younger days, I used fancy psychobabble terms like “performance orientation” to explain why I’m *worthy* not because of what I DO (or have done in the past), but just by being the loved, lovable, loving, *blessed* and still-growing person that I AM. I still feel that way (most days, anyway), but I’ve mostly left the psychobabble behind. Now I simplify: “I’m important. I belong. Most importantly, I don’t need to prove it to anyone.” 
Blogger/novelist John Scalzi’s take on this below resonates for me, as an aspiring writer and former “prodigy” who STILL has not arrived at that “I’m a writer” place (as a career outcome) even by age 50. I may yet get there. I might not. The point is I don’t HAVE to be that — or do that– for my life to mean something. 
But for anyone who feels that deep insecurity of feeling like an impostor, just because you’re imperfect and human, don’t be deceived. You’re the Real Deal when it comes to being you. You don’t have to earn a doggone thing. Like that restaurant slogan says: “When you’re here, you’re family.” Furthermore, ol’ Senator Stuart Al Franken​Smalley was not wrong when he reminded us way back when that “You’re good enough; you’re smart enough; and gosh darn it, people like you.”

Impostor Syndrome, or Not


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