Have you ever felt like an imposter? Have you ever felt like the life you were projecting on the outside was a sham? Like you did not have the skills you were perceived to have? I think we have all been there before. I think a lot of people feel this way needlessly because they lack the confidence that they should own.
I have felt like an imposter many times in my life. I felt like I was not good enough and I did not have enough skills to do what I was doing with my life. This stems from a life of competition and basically being put down by teachers as a teen. The problem is that I was good enough. I did have awesome skills and I should have owned that.
I felt like I lacked skills as a dancer for a long time. I did not know how to see past the mind games some of the teachers played. I did not know how rise above the level I was stuck in with some kids that were younger than me. I knew I was better than that but I let most of my teachers intimidate that confidence out of me the second they walked in the room. I was always working hard because all I wanted out of life was to dance all day everyday and be good at it. I read books about ballet and researched all the steps. When I felt like I was never going to be moved up out of that level that was too low for me, I decided I had to work as hard as I could to move up. I had a notebook I kept in my ballet bag that I would write all the corrections I was given in class so I would remember them. I worked hard everyday in class and practiced things outside of class so I would get stronger. I wanted my hard work to be recognized it was a few months later. I finally got moved up to the next level and felt like I was challenged more. I had more hard work to do but I felt like I had moved beyond what had become easy for me.
There was a small confidence boost after I was moved up a level at ballet. This confidence did not last long. There was no end to the fight. There was just a different group of people in class around me to compete with. No matter how hard I worked it took the next few years for me to see beyond the hate and put downs of some of my teachers to realize the truth. I went to a summer workshop with American Ballet Theater and the teachers did nothing but build me up. They gave me helpful corrections, they gave me praise when I earned it and the literally applauded my efforts. I was a good dancer. But I could not see it until a few great teachers, Wes Chapman and Roger Van Fleteren, showed me that. They were so surprised that I thought I was a terrible dancer. Once I started to own that and be confident about it, my dancing became even better.
I went back to ballet at home with a different attitude. I knew that I was good and I was not going to let the teachers that ignored me take that away from me. I would continue to teach myself, learn from their corrections for my self and from others and be the best dancer I could be. I was not an imposter. I was a strong confident dancer.
I have been through this cycle with other things in life but like concentric circles each time it becomes shorter. Each time I remember faster that I am worthy and I can do it if I own it.
I think there was really only one time in my life that I ever was an actual imposter. That was when I was working in an office. I was good at it. I could do what needed to be done and do it well. But that was not who I was. I was not meant to be chained to a desk. I was not meant to be a slave to a job I hated. The sooner I owned that the faster I was on the path to become who I was meant to be.
Is there a part of your life where you are lacking confidence? How can you turn that around and own it? Let me know you thoughts in the comments!