Imposter Syndrome

My name is Kerry, I’m 44 and I have Imposter Syndrome.

Yep give me a compliment I'll put myself down. I'm the queen of the self deprecating. I feel a fraud on a daily basis and apparently this feeling has a name, it's a syndrome and it's quite common (especially in women).

Wikipedia describes Imposter Syndrome as 'a concept for high-achieving individuals who are marked by an ability to internalise their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud’

Even now reading that description I’m thinking ‘I’m not high achieving’ but the fraud bit totally and utterly resonates with me. I am a fraud.  I’m convinced it’s only a matter of time before I’m found out and the Life Fraud Squad are kicking my door down.

I feel a fraud at work, sitting in a meeting nodding my head and agreeing with errrr…. I have absolutely no idea half of the time. 

I feel a fraud when I ring my parents/friends for a 5 minute chat knowing full well I should be spending more time with them. 

I feel a fraud when I feed my girls rubbish food because I didn’t manage to get my act together to order a shop from Sainsbury's (for the 3rd week in a row).

I'm a fraud because I'm a perfectionist. 

I strive for everything in my life to be so bloody perfect that when it doesn’t happen it floors me every single time. Those perfect mental tick lists define me. 

I compare myself to all the other mothers at the baby/toddler groups who look like they have their act together, make up on and hair styled, whilst I'm late, arriving with Freya still in her PJ's and Rice Krispies in her hair. 

I compare myself to the young up and coming crowd at work who seem to climb up the career ladder weekly whilst I'm still hanging on  by my little finger mid way up. 

I compare myself to my fellow actors who regularly get work whilst I'm dining off my performances from 3 years ago as there are no new ones. 

I compare myself to the women on the train whose one bottom cheek doesn’t encroach on the next seat whilst my overhang should pay a full fair fare on its own. 

It's taken me until my mid (ish) 40's to realise that life is passing me by so quickly and I’m missing all the good heartfelt moments because I'm trying to be so damn perfect and failing at every corner.  Something has to change. So with a deep breath I’m going to say: 

I’m not the perfect mum, I’m a good mum

I’m not the perfect wife,  I’m a good wife

I’m not the perfect daughter, I’m a good daughter

I’m not the perfect friend, I’m a good friend

I’m not the perfect employee, I’m a good employee

I’m not the perfect size 10, I’m a good size 14 (ok a slight lie there...a size 16)

"Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It's means you've decided to look beyond the imperfections." [unknown]