The Unworthy Imposter
I have been writing and telling stories since I was three or four years old. And yet, I have this incredibly persistent, very cunning voice that loves to tell me I am a fake, not a real writer, and definitely not a good writer. My friend Sarah used to call this the ‘unworthy imposter syndrome’.
What I have come to understand is that you can’t get rid of this voice (Damn it!). No amount of therapy or self-helpery fixes it. You can run from it, try to bury it, scream at it and rationalize with it, all to no avail. It will keep showing up, day after day. And oh how it loves to show up right before you hit something juicy!
What you can do is welcome it in. Make it your pal. Expect it to show up. Expect it to REALLY show up every time you even think about writing.
I’ve started talking to it. Our conversations usually go something like this:
ME: Well hey, there. Thought I’d see ya today. How the heck are ya? Lookin’ good, did you do something with your hair?
UI (UNWORTHY IMPOSTER): Who do you think you are? Everything you write is mediocre. It’s shit. And you have ALWAYS been a faker. You’ll NEVER be good—
ME: I know, I know, I’ve heard what you have to say. But I’m going to write anyway—
UI: The fridge needs to be cleaned out and the—
ME: Hey, thanks for trying to protect me.
UI (really loud now): DON’T DO IT—
ME: I can see you’re just a scared little shaky bunny, terrified of running across that wide open field of possibility today. Me too. But, hey, you are in good hands with me.
UI (quieter now): Bullshit.
ME: Remember, the Universe has our back. So just cuddle up, scream if you have to. And understand that no matter what you say, I’m doing this.
The more often I show up and write, whether it’s just my three pages in the morning ala Julia Cameron or an entire TV pilot, the less fodder this voice has. And the more confidence I have when I talk to it.
I needed a coach to help me meet my writing deadlines every week, to help me create a discipline and stick to it, to help me create momentum. And now I get to support my clients in the same way.
We can all learn to face this voice with love and humor, and when we do, we get rock solid in our power and do badass things!