I’m fairly sure that everyone has these days. Days where they feel blurred in the background, like the real you just isn’t being seen. When everyone on social media seems to be having big discussions and you can’t think of one measly tweet. You’re not especially sad or miserable. In fact, you’ve got it pretty good and you’re feeling guilty for not appreciating all of the gifts that life has handed to you.
It’s more of a vacant feeling, like you’re a car that’s run out of petrol, or where you’re trying to talk to someone new but the art of small talk is failing you pathetically.
I had one of these days recently and I felt it a bit more than usual. I was surrounded by sparkly people with amazingly inspiring and fascinating stories. We talked, ate and drank our way through an entire two days of “work” (yes, this was a work trip at a pretty swish hotel – 16-year old me who waitressed at Pizza Hut would never have predicted this outcome!)
However, the intensity of the environment put me on edge every so often. When I say intensity, I don’t mean it was weird or awkward, just that spending so much time as a group was quite full on.
I also held onto anxieties about ensuring the trip ran smoothly and that everyone felt comfortable with one another. I was intimidated by the women I was spending time with – they were all so different and had so much to say about things. I devoured our conversations but my inner niggle was telling me “You will never be like them. You will never be this interesting”.
It was maybe due to my age, but I couldn’t help feeling inexperienced. Like the 13-year old who’s finally been allowed to sit at the grown-ups dinner table but can’t keep track of the conversation and sits there quietly waiting until they can join the younger kids again. Though in this case, I was waiting until I could go home and cuddle my boyfriend and resume the normal order of 9-5 life.
UGH, why do we always gotta feel so inadequate, ladies?!
The thing is, it’s so easy to dwell in that feeling. Where you’re not in your comfort zone, and you’re like “wahhh why are all these people so much cooler than me, I will never amount to anything, I may as well just lie under my duvet for the next ten years eating pizza and watching Friends re-runs”. Which although does sound quite nice, in reality just isn’t practical.
But anyway, getting sidetracked. So after all of that, once I got home from the trip I found out that two of the other people I was with had felt exactly the same way too! That they weren’t good enough, and had felt “unworthy”. Which was so ironic and made me realise how silly the whole thing really was.
Forgive the cheesy statement, but I feel like no matter what our background is or what funny anecdotes we choose to share, we are all just as worthy as anyone else to be where we are in that moment. When Imposter Syndrome strikes, I think it’s nice to know that literally every other woman feels it, or has felt it, including your boss, your mum and your heroes. And if we’re open about it, everyone wins.