Impostor Syndrome

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.”

Up until a few months ago, I had never heard of “impostor syndrome” – but slowly, from friends to family – I started hearing it…. Then realized I suffered from it too. This became very apparent last week as I prepared for a bikini photoshoot; I started questioning my confidence, feeling like I would hate every image the photographer got, that I’d get trolled and laughed out of the model/photographer/MUA group I belong to on FB. I was convinced that if I waited until next summer, I’d be able to lose the weight and look better. I started questioning everything I had done, overcome, and, most importantly, my mission, vision, and word.

When it comes to weight, body image, eating disorders, I’ve run the gambit. I’ve traded one eating disorder for another and gone between a depressed, anxious 220 lbs to excessive dieting and exercising, 115 lbs competing in bodybuilding, losing my period and two miscarriages over the year after, back to a happy, healthy 210 lbs. I’ve had orthorexia and binge eating disorders, I’ve suffered from drug and alcohol abuse and dependency, sexually abused as a child, and sexually assaulted as an adult. This can seriously fuck a person up.

And yet, even in all the shit I’ve gone through, it still never felt “enough”. Yes, I had an eating disorder, but anorexia or bulimia is way worse, right? I was sexually assaulted but it wasn’t violent enough, right? I’ve been overweight/obese, but it’s not “fat” enough, right? All of my trauma never felt like it was “bad” enough to warrant speaking out about it – other people have had it way worse than me, right?

What in the actual fcuk?

Trauma is trauma. The emotional and mental damage is still there. The PTSD is there. The anxiety is there. I still doubt and question myself. I still have anxiety about it. I still relive those emotions. I still fall victim to thought patterns. I still use food for comfort.

Let me tell you this; you are enough. Your life is enough. Your experiences are enough.

Everything I believe I’ve gone through and still struggle with, I believe, has been leading me to where I am. My whole goal in life – my purpose – is to help women (and men, though I can relate more to women, obviously) with finding peace with their life. To teach them that they are worthy, right now, for love and respect – not only from other people, but, most importantly, from themselves. For me, there would be nothing more fulfilling than helping women overcome their heads to achieve a life they love – cause, let’s face it. How many of us don’t try things because we’re convinced we’re going to fail? When we live in our heads, it stops us from living because we’re convinced we’re going to fail.

And even though I still struggle with that myself, I hope that living authentically and being open and honest about my struggles, that others can take strength from that. Even if I fail, I’m hoping that people will see that I, at least, tried.

Because, you know what? It’s hard willingly putting yourself out there for people to watch and judge. It’s stinking hard knowing that people may call you out on the legitimacy of your word – because every single persons thoughts and beliefs are different and it’s hard to remember that even if someone disagrees with you, doesn’t make you wrong and them right. Hell – you could both be right! Based on your observations and experiences and their observations and experiences, you could both be right!

This has been the hardest thing for me to remember – especially when it comes to something like sugar. I firmly believe that I am addicted to sugar, to the bottom of my soul I believe this. All of my experiences says this. And yet, I see on a very regular basis that this is false. They’re saying the studies were flawed, etc. I quieted about my opinion because I started doubting my experiences and opinions… then I found someone who said, yes, sugar addiction is real! FINALLY! This is a perfect example of a contributing situation that may cause impostor syndrome. Just because you have never experienced a situation doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I can look at porn with no adverse effects, but others are addicted to it. Just because I don’t deal with the addiction doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Everyone is on their own path. Everyone will have their own opinions based on their own experiences. It doesn’t make your path or opinion or experiences any less. Your voice and your word is important and shouldn’t be quietened just because someone else’s voice is louder. You never know who might be listening and taking inspiration from what you have to say.

10 comments

    • Thank you for your comment! I honestly don’t know where my strength comes from. It’s been a process, though. A big part has been identifying areas that I need to change – awareness is a major step. Meditation, Reiki, and yoga had been a huge part of my recovery and change. I also read/listen to a lot of books. Keeping an open mind is vital – because if you want to change, it’s not going to happen with past thought patterns or habits.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What were you recovering from? Not the actual pain which must have been caused by something. What was that “something” that brought all this upon your wonderful soul?

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      • That’s a really tough question. I’ve certainly been through a lot of really shitty situations that caused plenty of pain – mostly mental/emotional. Part of it would be expectations – expectations from family and friends and society saying that I need to look and act and behave a certain way; that I need to conform to certain ideals whether or not they are what I want.

        Also, not necessarily recovering from, and possibly the ultimate rebellion of the expectations of others, but taking ownership of my life by my terms – and with that, not letting the shitty situations of my past define my future.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Via writing, I think you are doing a great job. I am not interested in any specific situation or character that caused you that much pain. What I like seeing is that you giving your pain a voice and a strategy to handle it. When someone does not try to give me pain, I am shocked. I am actually prepared for the worst, yet expect always the best. A positive attitude of mine inspired by reading Dale Carnegie’s book “Stop worrying start living” since my teenage. Resultantly, I don’t have any such “too” painful experience to process.

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      • I’ve put that book on my list!

        Admittedly, I was pretty self-centered and hot headed when I was younger. It’s taken a very long time to get to a place where I, not only knew I needed to change but also wanted to change. Learning and growing personally also gave insight into others – that when someone says or acts in a negative way towards me, it’s a reflection of them and what they’re going through. That empathy and understanding is very helpful… not perfect but helpful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow… your soul has traveled a lot from a hot headed Kaylee to this beauty with brain 🙂 How has your love (hubby or Boyfriend) been of any help in your path to happiness?

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      • I’ve been blessed with my husband. We started dating when I was 16 so we’ve been through it all – and not all good! He’s certainly been a major influence in my life – he’s very calm and relaxed – a perfect balance when we were younger! He’s always supported me in everything I have done and he’s always loved me unconditionally. He’s happy that I’ve found this path and that it’s made me a calm influence for him as well. He’s been going through some struggles now, so I can support him like he’s done for me for so long. If I had the mentality like I did 20 years ago, our relationship would be extremely strained.

        All relationships require balance and that balance will shift depending on the season. During the early part of our relationship, he gave and gave – and I took and took. Now it’s time for me to be the giver and he lean on me .

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow.. first love and the only hubby… the love of your life.. how lucky are you both! I believe the ones who have awesome relationships, they should write their secrets in form of blog posts or books. That will help many first-timers like myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Honestly, that’s the hardest question I’ve been asked. I think part of it is because of where I am in my recovery. I don’t necessarily think of them as a horrible something I have to recover from – but it’s a horrible something that happened to me. That acceptance without labeling is very freeing!

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