The Angel and the Devil

So what is it like - a typical experience (for me at least) of imposters syndrome?  Maybe I can illustrate best by describing the setting up of this blog and it's attendant thoughts and feelings.

I think a good mental image of imposters syndrome is the old "devil on one shoulder and angel on the other" thing.   Pretty much everything I do will result in 2 voices in my head - and the devil will be the more powerful.  Each voice can take on different characterisations - and it can sometimes not be clear which voice is saying which bit.

So here I am - I have set up a brand new blog, written a couple of introductory posts and am writing the first proper one.  Nobody has read any of it - I am pretty sure nobody even knows it exists right now because it is new and I have not shared it or promoted it - and I have a strong voice telling me to delete it, hide it because after all who am I to think I can design well enough for people not to immediately click away from it if they visit (small voice telling me when they visit), how can I possibly imagine that my writing is good enough for anyone to bother reading to the end,  nobody is ever going to interested in this subject anyway,  and I am a selfish self-pitying lump for even trying to share this stuff - I am just looking for sympathy.

At the same time that small voice that told me "when" up there in the paragraph above is telling me - or trying to tell me - its OK,  your previous design work did not cause people to run away from the sites, you can promote this and people will visit (big voice telling me only to mock and laugh and say nasty things),  when you have written in the past people have read and come back to read again, this is a subject many people are affected by and they will be interested in it from another person's perspective.

With both voices there is much more besides - and they will come back against each point the other is making both seeking to be in charge - or to put it another way inside my head I am chasing myself around in circles biting myself in the small of the back.  Of course in between these 2 voices there is my conscious self - trying to side with the voice that says I can do it - that the risk is worth it (incidentally this blog is a risk - for me a big one because I am opening myself in a way I do not normally do and if there is one thing the angel the devil and consciouss self agree on it is the hope that nobody knows who I am).  At the same time as trying to side with the voice that says I can do it is the fear that I wont do it - that I am not good enough, that I will wimp out or give up - that it will be my fault.

One thing that just recognizing that imposter syndrome is a thing, and that I suffer from it has, allowed is my conscious self to think deliberately and consciously about  whatever  I am fighting myself over and start to put together my own more aware reasoning.  In the case of this blog I am trying to focus on such things as the fact that I have taught myself to build and manage websites in the first place - while the devil voice tries to yell that "everyone can build a website its easy "  I am aware that while it is fairly simple for people to use pre formed blog sites what I am doing is beyond that - I build sites from scratch using the WordPress system and not everyone can do that.  I also recognize how much I have learned - because when I started playing with websites it was using pre formed software but I have taken myself beyond that - I have learned how to do myself what used to be done for me.

So with all that coming from just fairly small process - the building of a blog - maybe I can give people an idea of what living with this is like because just about every thing I do - from housework to crafting to socialising involves to some extent that devil

shouting "you are useless" the angel telling me I am OK and me trying to get through the middle - and over everything is that all encompassing fear that people will find out - that people will see the real me and that the voice who is right is that devil.  The angel is the liar and I am just wisful thinking when I try to prove the angel right.

Post Author: The Imposter