I am a black girl and I suffer with Imposter Syndrome. Oftentimes, I heard these words floating around but never understood it until my time came. It hit me in the midst of my last year of graduate school, perfect timing as I am looking forward to post graduate work utilizing my Masters of Social Work and starting my own business. I felt like I did everything right in life – I ensured that I became educated, traveled to be well-rounded, treated others with the utmost respect and received therapy to heal wounds so that I can be mentally healthy and happy, but it didn’t stop my fears of feeling like a fraud. These were some of the daily questions that taunted me and birthed what we know as Imposter Syndrome. The fear of me not being licensed or having enough years in the field made me feel that I was not valuable or credible to start my own business. I spent most nights questioning myself, “can I really do this?”, “will I be a good therapist someday?”, “I don’t think I know enough about mental health to bring awareness to others”, and “how will my business flourish?”
My accomplishments, which used to give me strength to endure and remain motivated, slowly gave me fears. Confidence that was built from learning to love again and value who I was, vanished as if the work was never done. I felt unaccomplished, not worthy, and most of all a fraud. I did not seek or practice healthy methods to combat this phenomenon – I turned to social media which was a huge mistake. I looked at my peers, competitors, those of my caliber and ultimately felt that everything that plagued me at night was true. I began to compare myself. I compared my goals, accomplishments, lived experiences, and I criticized it all because I felt that it wasn’t good enough. That my story was like every other story, not serving purpose or substance. It viciously attacked every part of me.
Exhaustion is what I felt. I would come home and prepare dinner to only burst out in tears at the dining room table. The fact that I am a black girl that’s educated and seeking to be and make a change while obtaining financial freedom is now struggling to find a place of credibility and worthiness – I am tired. This has turned into a battle that I didn’t see coming nor prepared to fight. Where is my tribe? Those that I am supposed to lean on for encouragement, support, and back up in this battlefield? Why is this such a lonely time?
I am a black girl and I suffer from Imposter Syndrome. There is purpose in every storm we face and there are positives for every negative. I have shifted my mindset to understand what this unedifying moment has taught me – and is that I am resilient. I did this by replacing every fear with an opportunity, every negative thought with a positive one, and spending one night crying but the next day going harder than before. See when I spent those nights being plagued by those taunting questions, I spent my days fighting for my power to preserve despite what I was feeling. I took the time to dig deep to uncover my value and shed light on how I got to where I am today. Reminding myself that I will be 2x degreed, another successful black business owner, and helping other black girls become survivors of Imposter Syndrome.
Have you struggled with Imposter Syndrome? Let me know about your experience below!