Wining Wife®

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Month: October 2011

Jumping In

 

parachute

parachute (Photo credit: o0bsessed)

 

Sometimes you’ve got to go with your heart – no matter what it is your head is telling you. This can be really difficult, especially if you’re anything like me. I’m a planner by nature. I like to know where I’m going and how I’m getting there. The concept of jumping into something is quite scary, and for me it’s akin to diving out of a plane without a parachute. All that being said, sometimes, you’ve just got to go with it.

 

Sometimes you come upon a business opportunity that you need to act upon. Once you’ve got the idea, and you start making moves towards bringing that idea to fruition, things move very quickly. When you stop to think about it, it might seem to outside eyes that you’ve acted in an extremely impulsive manner when you’ve just been going on a hunch. This is the way I’ve done business. It sounds nuts, but it’s worked out. Perhaps it’s “The Secret,” but perhaps it’s just feeling like I need to get a jump on things.

 

The same thing can happen in relationships. It’s always been said that they come around when you’re not looking for them. That’s pretty much true. Sometimes you’ve just gotta throw away all of the ridiculous fears and decide to trust someone and to trust your instincts. Pacing yourself is good, but sometimes you just “click.” I’ve rarely let intuition in with relationships…instead, I wind up analyzing everything entirely too much. However, like in business, when it’s right, it’s right – and you know it.

 

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On Feeling Like an Impostor

 

English: A Beijing opera mask

English: A Beijing opera mask (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So many times, very intelligent and bright people in graduate school and academia are said to suffer from “impostor syndrome.” This is the feeling that no matter how successful one appears to the outside world, no matter how many accomplishments one has on his or her resume, that he or she is going to be “found out” to be an impostor. According to Clamse and Imes (1978), “The term impostor syndrome is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phonies, which appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women.”  (Though, since this study, it’s been found that many men also suffer from impostor syndrome.)

 

I don’t really know where impostor syndrome comes from, but I’m willing to gander that there  are many successful people who suffer from it.  There are two points to be made here. True impostor syndrome involves people saying that it was only luck that got them in a particular position or achievement.

 

I actually began writing this a while back, thinking that perhaps I was one of the many who suffered from this, but really, when I reflect upon it, I realize that I’ve worked very, very hard for everything I’ve accomplished. It’s not easy to go out on your own and run your own business – especially when the economy is lackluster. Not many people would take that risk. But, I’ve done it, fairly successfully, for the past nearly four years now.

 

I’d like to take a moment here to define what it is I mean by “success.” For some people, “success” means something like making lots of money and having some sort of expensive items. To me, “success” means setting out what you meant to do. Each year I do better than the last. I get to write and edit for a living. With a new adventure around the corner, that’s still important to me. I want to do what I love for a living. I want to spend time with the people I love. Life really is a grand adventure.

 

For those who are feeling the effects of impostor syndrome, I give the following advice. Stop. Make a list of the things that you have accomplished. I have my own list. If you look at my resume, CV, or list of publications (the latter of which needs to be updated), you’ll see some of the items on that list. Ask yourself if you really could have gotten through your trials if you were an impostor. My guess is that your answer will be a resounding “no.” In times when there’s a lot of self-doubt going on, it’s important to realize just how far you’ve come. I’m amazed at all I’ve accomplished in the nearly four years since leaving my Ph.D. program behind. It’s amazing to know how much can be accomplished in a couple of weeks if someone fully focuses on their goals.

 

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