I don't feel like the person that people tell me I am. Praise is hard for me to accept. It's not that I want people to stop telling me the good about me and when I do good work. I'm sure it sticks somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind. When I'm told something bad or negative about myself or my performance, I tend to give it undue credence or am already expecting to hear such things. Why? Probably because I had already thought those bad things about myself first. I suffer from a form of perfectionism that rarely lends to productivity.
I spent my college years believing that I was only lucky and not as good as my grades and professors told me I was. I had a good chunk of time serving my LDS mission where I felt good about myself, because everything I was doing had a purpose in bringing truth and the goodness of the Lord to people in need.It was such a beautiful time in my life. Once cracks were made in that, I became worse and have lamented over it ever since. It is a terrible feeling to believe that you are not worthy of success, love, and the "you" that others see. I have survived by hardening my heart and succumbing to cynicism. That isn't good. Also, it's probably not totally true; it's something that I tell myself to avoid letting it out that I am a blubbering feely deep down inside.
After coming home from my mission in England, I had gone through a string of jobs only to end up working at my old high school job at McDonald's. I was a lowly grill worker trying to figure out how my life had hit the shitter so hard after all the promises I believed in from my service to the Lord. I thought my co-worker was on break and that my exclamation would just evaporate into the grill vents. "Fuck me, I feel sooo jaded!" Sunny, my co-worker, was right behind me and she started laughing like crazy. She kept doing impersonations of me saying this throughout the day. In a weird way it helped. It helped me to know how silly I was in that moment. It helped me to know how serious I was taking it all and that I needed to chill the fuck out and laugh it off. I like laughing things off now....It is the best therapy by far.
I only share all of this, not to punish or shame myself, but to help others, because I know there are others that experience this. I am growing from grace to grace with regards to this feeling of being an imposter. I have been posing as "me" and that is a fallacy, because I am that man and I must embrace the good in me.
3 years ago