A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article (read it here) after watching Queen Sugar, the amazing TV show on Oprah’s network which is directed by Ava DuVernay. Last week, I made the decision I would write a recap of each episode every week, so I started with Episode 3 (read it here). I posted the article on twitter, then went to bed. The next morning I wake up, Ava DuVernay liked my article, retweeted it and is now following me on twitter.
Guys, I almost fell off my bed because I just couldn’t believe it. Moi? Ava DuVernay is following me? Who? What? When? Where? I was in shock, overjoyed, and grateful. But that feeling lasted for maybe 2 minutes tops.
It was quickly replaced with panic. ” Ava is following me? On purpose? Maybe it’s a mistake! Even if it’s on purpose, she’s probably going to be disappointed by my tweets and subsequent articles. I need to shut down my twitter! I have stop this commitment I made to write weekly recaps of the show! Run and hide somewhere! Abort! Abort! Abort!
All these thoughts invaded my mind and quickly suffocated my joy, because of a retweet and follow from someone I admire. I got what I wanted but I was ready to self-sabotage because I am terrified of success. I didn’t feel worthy of it. Impostor syndrome was quickly settling in and I was crumbling under its weight.
This is isn’t the first time it has happened. I wish for the things that I want, work for it, then the minute I catch a glimpse of success, I start to self-sabotage. I run from friendships and love, I downplay great ideas I have at work, stop working out when I see progress. I’m afraid to get the things I wish for, and because of it my actions are not always aligned with my vision.
I have such big dreams guys. I want to own the #1 blog on self-transformation through compassion. I want to write best-sellers. I want to host sold out conferences on cultivating self acceptance. I want to be on Supersoul Sunday with Oprah. I want to a world change maker. But look at me folks, I can’t even handle a retweet from Ava DuVernay. I am not afraid to fail, I am afraid to succeed. What if all these things do in fact come true? The thought of it is overwhelming.
Why am I telling you all this? Because this comes back to the necessity of self-acceptance, of deeming yourself worthy of the things you want, and giving yourself permission to go after them. Are you like me, constantly self-sabotaging because you prefer the safety of your comfort zone?
Why not you? Why can good things happen only to others and not you? This is what I tell myself every time the feeling arises. I really mean every time, because this feeling of impostor syndrome might like never leave. You might always question whether your dreams and you belong so high. And it’s not so bad. Impostor syndrome keeps you grounded, but don’t let it clip your wings. Dare to soar high. Why not you? Why not you? Why not you? Yes you.
You have to deliberately choose yourself, and continue to take actions in the direction of your dream.
Why not you? It’s always time to your turn.
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.