Monday, February 11, 2013

Impostor Syndrome



Yesterday, I went on an internet hunt for more sparkle.  Because, Hi!  Have you met me?  I love sparkle, and am always looking for new flash and glitz.  So I filled out a web form to ask about a particular kind of sparkle and how it might work with what I do, and then went back to doing what I do.

Today, I got a phone call in response to that inquiry.  And the person calling mentioned having seen my blog.  This blog!  Where I write about things like Poop Soup!!!  He didn't seem at all phased by it, and was even able to suggest some alternate fiber supply sources such that I might be able to avoid that particular recipe.  But I kinda freaked out a little.

I am a noob.  I make no claims to the contrary.  I'm new and I'm learning and I'm kinda making it up as I go along.  Okay, I'm completely making it up as I go along.  And I know, intellectually, that everyone else is, too, and it's okay.  But there are moments, like when I get accepted to juried shows, or do interviews, or speak to national representatives of international companies about setting up an account, where I find myself asking "WHO AM I?!?"  Who am I to own a business?  Who am I to make art my business?  Who am I to blog about fiber and yarn and fleece like I know?!  How did I get so lucky and, more paralyzingly, when will this incredible luck run out?  The intellectual "this happens to everybody" part is completely overwhelmed by the emotional goop of it.

One of my favorite fiber artists, Katwise, recently posted something I found very helpful.  She put a name to the feeling I described above: Imposter Syndrome.  This is a thing, and it is no joke.  And now that I have a name for this nefarious thing, I can look back over my journey to present and recognize how this very thing has derailed my train a thousand times already in both business and personal settings.  This, combined with my very human fear of making mistakes and my often debilitating tendency toward perfectionism, keeps me from growing bigger, daring greatly, and saying yes.

I'm not entirely sure how to recover from this strange ailment, but naming it shined a light on it fairly well, so I've at least made a decent start.  And perhaps someone reading this will have their own lights-on moment, and maybe, together, we can find a cure.  For now, I'm going to keep doing what I do, because I really do work here, this really is mine, and it really is awesome.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this commencement speech~ highly inspirational & down-to-earth at the same time. (I wish he had spoken at my graduation instead of the governor at the time... oh well...)

    Kate~ what you're doing is awesome. Your products are amazing! And I should take this moment to say that I'm teaching the Economics portion of the 7th grade curriculum right now & I talk about how the internet has made it so much easier to be an at-home small business owner. I use *YOU* as my example!! A small-business owner who's able to work from home with 2 small children doing something she loves... <3

    You keep on keeping on... your inspiration is father reaching then you imagine. :o) Love you, my friend!!

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