"You Can Focus on You Tomorrow...You Come Last."—And Other Lies Impostor Syndrome Told Me
What is the lie—or lies— that your impostor syndrome tells you?
"You don't deserve anything good."
"You come last"
"You aren't enough as you are"
"You need to be what people need to be"
"You can focus on you tomorrow"
Introduce yourself: Who are you?
Share the journey: How did you get here?
I got here by trying to hide from myself. In my discomfort with myself, I ended up trying to mold myself into something that fits for everyone. I would try and help others not only because I wanted to be there for those I cared about, but because I was too afraid to sort through the truths of myself. In the process, I’ve given away so much that I barely had any left for myself. I sacrificed myself even when people didn’t ask me to. I willingly gave away my energy, resources, empathy, power, ideas, etc. I became the person for everyone else and didn’t know how to exist within myself and be there for myself. While molding myself into what others needed, I never took the time to figure out what I needed from myself.
Face your reflection: Is there a disconnect between your inner self and your outer self?
No and Yes. No because I'm actually very honest and in tune with myself. I know what I feel about certain things, I take the time to self reflect and call myself out on certain things. I allow myself to feel things (even if I try and ignore it at times) so my inner me is very vocal and very straight forward with me. The disconnect comes from application. I view 'wisdom' as being able to apply knowledge, and I feel like that's where the issue is. Actually DOING what I know needs to be done for myself. That's something I'm aware of and actively working on. Taking it one day at a time to put myself first and not self-sabatoge.
What do you do to remind yourself that you are enough?
I just remember how unique I am. I have a lot to offer and I just remind myself of what I can do and what I offer. I know I am an acquired taste that isn't for everyone and that's okay. Finding peace in knowing that I've always been enough as myself and not everyone is for me. Sometimes I'm the blessing to others for them to grow and that's okay.
Scenario: You walk into a room of your "peers"—describe who they are....do these people encourage you, intimidate you or both?
Friends who know me, like really. Those who hold me accountable, who encourage me. Those who sharpen me in more ways than one, who check in to see how I'm doing. They are the people who can tell me the truth and make me laugh all at the same time. My peers are working to grow and change and make a difference. They are creative and innovative. They create safe spaces for themselves and others. They're the people that will pray for you if you need it. They're amazing.
Who is in your "hall of fame"? How does this person(s) influence how you view yourself and your potential?
Too many people to count. I would say my family first. They know me all the way and they are first to tell me what I can do. I am a compilation of them and their power and weaknesses so they are always helping to bring out the best in me. I also have to say the strong women leaders who I've worked with ( Liz. Tara. Kasey. Mavis. Robyn) All of them have been amazing examples of what it means to be a woman in charge. To be a Director, a leader, a woman of color in charge, and advocate, and activist, etc. They have all in one way or another have provided me with gems on what it means to be my best. They have all in love made a way to help me the best version of myself professionally, financially, creatively, personally, and spiritually, etc. I really look up to them and they are all women I trust to tell me the truth and to help guide me.
How would you encourage someone who is afraid of their potential?
Take the time to think of what you're really afraid of. Is it that you WILL or CAN actually succeed? Is it failure? Are you afraid to grow and change? What is it that makes you nervous about living up to your potential? Know that what you want is possible, and that you are deserving. You are worth it. Your place in this world holds value and someone else's purpose counts on your courage to do what you know is in your heart to do.
If you haven't already, explain the work you do and why.
I do a lot of things. I am a photographer. Director. Filmmaker. I am an activist. I am a teacher (art teacher working with trauma patients). I am a story teller. All of these connect to each other and are important to me because I believe in sharing narratives. I love sharing stories and experiences. I LOVE HISTORY of people and places and sharing the truth about people and the history of who they are and where they've been in effort to connect. I especially love sharing the stories of those who are silenced. The medium that has happened to be my choice is visual art. I feel like visuals are so important to document history and to help share a narrative.