Imposter Syndrome and the Drive for Perfection

I recently joined lots of other lovely creative ladies at the Creative Business Network,  a monthly meeting I always try and get to and the topic for the meeting was Imposter Syndrome. A conversation started by the brilliant Sarah J Perry which seemed to resonate very strongly with pretty much all of us in the room and it sparked off a lot of emotions and feelings for us all. A long debate then ensued and became an opportunity to help and support each other as we discussed how we all feel that sometimes, or even all the time, we just aren't good enough.

Imposter Syndrome and the drive for perfection by Tiddler & Fox

Thankfully, one piece of information came out of the day that really helped me with my feelings, which was that studies have shown that it's high achievers that suffer from Imposter Syndrome. This one fact has helped me to see that what I have achieved so far is ok actually, and that I have so much more to learn, and to grow and develop over time and that I shouldn't be beating myself up over the fact that I'm not yet quite where I want to be.

I am doing what I love but the impression I have of my own success can be fairly negative at times - not helped by the fact that I am impatient and just want to be at least two years down the line from here right now thank you very much.

What was also very helpful was knowing that I am not alone in these feelings and that women who outwardly seemed to have their shit together and perfect lives etc, are just like me; winging it daily and spending far too much time talking to their pets and wondering why on earth they thought this was a good idea!

Will we ever be satisfied I wonder or is that the nature of business owners and entrepreneurs, are we like this because we are driven, looking to be better all the time and never being satisfied with what we have achieved so far?

For about 25 years my brother was a professional golfer and a pretty darn good one at that. A superb teacher and player alike....but never satisfied with his performance. He would come in the top 5 at almost every tournament and often winning them, but it was never enough, he was driven to find perfection ALL the time. And maybe that is why he was a professional, because he spent thousands of hours practising, because it was never right, or rather never right for him. He worked harder than 99% of us would and that is what set him apart, that is why he had the success that he did.

And I am now finding that I am the same. I never had that drive before but life has led me down this path for one reason and another and now I find that my own personal drivers are forcing me to strive harder than ever, but will it ever be enough? But maybe that's a good thing, because it will drive me forward in ways that will help me to succeed and keep going when things get really tough and help me to be brave in decision making and go in directions that I may not ever have thought of.

I'm hoping that whatever I do and however I do it, I can be happy even if I never feel totally satisfied or capable.

Some further reading:

Article from the Huffington Post

Article from Elle by Nora McInerny Purmort

Article from Tinybuddha.com

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