Vision, Art & Faith meet Imposter Syndrome
Within the past year and half, my life professionally and personally has grown in ways I could not have imagined and with this success has come waves of Imposter Syndrome. Arlin Cuncic, writer for www.verywellmind.com defines Imposter Syndrome or (IS) as "an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context".
As a dancer that means I have moments where I doubt my abilities & talents and compare myself to others. As I step into bigger and better opportunities and/or as I am being pushed or challenged within these new opportunities I have moments of feeling insecure, unfit and uncertain about myself and career.
For me this internal experience has led to thoughts or feelings that go a little something like this:
Who am I to teach this workshop, or perform among these artists, or even really be here at all?
Maybe I'm not really that good of a dancer because of this, that and the third.
I just got lucky, it wasn't my skill or talent that got me here.
IS really sunk in since moving to Belgium, where I've started creating my own work and projects and stepping into more leadership roles. For example, in my new project Creative Living For Dancers, I coach dancers on refining their approach to their careers and lives while encouraging artistic expansion through dance entrepreneurship. I've also began sharing my love for the history, culture and movement of stepping in Belgium through performances and workshops.
I mean who am I to teach other dancers about entrepreneurship or an entire country about stepping? Who am I to represent an entire culture? There are TONS of other amazing steppers and coaches in dance entrepreneurship out there who could do a better job than I, so why me?
During strong moments when I can find the energy to fight my thoughts I reply:
Why not you Briana? You're smart, energetic and a great dancer. You've built a career internationally through your entrepreneurial efforts. Not to mention that you've experienced stepping culturally and professionally AND you chose to take the leap to go to another culture and share a piece of you, a piece of your home and community. What's so wrong with that? Why not you?
"Maybe I just don't feel good enough", I say.
Good enough? Let's put your 10 years of professional experience aside and dive deeper. Who have you already impacted? What good things have come from your work?
And just like that I dig myself out of the hole by not focusing on one small itty bitty detail but the whole picture which puts everything into perspective.
Other times I find comfort in my friends, and who have said,"You know Briana, most people that go through imposter syndrome are usually the one's that are in the right place and deserve to be where they are".
And just like that I'm put back into the present moment and in gratitude, realizing that maybe I am deserving, and maybe I am strong and qualified enough to accomplish my dreams.
When I slip back every couple of weeks or so, I reassure myself about where I'm at with a reconnection to my why and the joy I receive from the work that I do. Then I dive deeper into it one step at a time, while remembering that I'm exactly where I am meant to be. As challenges pop up, I see them as questions that merely need answers while trusting in my knowledge or approach to find the answer. And that these challenging moments positively push my growth as a person.
And that's what its all about, remembering who you are and allowing anything that comes across your path to make you a better version of you. Because nothing or no one else can tell me who I am.
Thanks for reading and remember to always have faith, keep a vision and make art in everything that you do.