imposter syndrome + other fears on the way to wholeness.

Screenshot 2017-07-16 at 11.02.48 AM

This Friday, I’m meeting with a woman I met several weeks ago, along with her life coach that she excitedly told me about when I tentatively revealed to her my interest in coaching. “This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss,” she texted me last night. “Especially if you’re really interested in true entrepreneurship!”

Entrepreneurship. It’s something I’ve wanted for years–ever since I first started blogging, really. I used to be an avid reader of blogpreneurs like Leonie Dawson and Gala Darling, and on numerous occasions I attempted to monetize my blogs. Various factors always broke my attempts down: some were external, like finances; most were all internal fears.

“Who am I to dole out advice on life matters? I’m so young,” I quietly lamented to myself. “I don’t know anything, really. To wish to be a teacher or a coach is so narcissistic of me.”

So I stepped back. I continued blogging, but stopped trying to make it in to a business. Briefly, I attempted to create an intuitive painting business during my daughter’s first year of life, but the same fears cropped up. I buried my longing for entrepreneurship beneath being responsible. But the niggling feeling wouldn’t go away.

This past weekend, I did another one of the journal prompts from Rebecca Campbell’s Light is the New Black. She encourages readers to answer the question, “What do you secretly long to be?” I answered it stream-of-consciousness-style, and let the words pour out of my pen (a few have been left out for the sake of keeping the topic of this post focused):

I secretly long to be a guide, a coach, a mentor–to make a career out of what I already love to do: get people fired up to achieve their dreams and overcome obstacles, to unleash love and encouragement on the fearful, to nurture and comfort the hurt…

I secretly long to be a life-doula, to lend my hand when people need help, to lend advice when people feel lost, to teach practices to help people accomplish their dreams…

I secretly long to be a leader, to inspire, to be in service, to be a channel for divine wisdom…

I secretly long to be a successful writer who is handsomely paid for my work, my work that inspires and helps all the people who need it in their lives…

I secretly long to be financially abundant, so that I can provide nurturance to myself, my family, my friends, the earth, and disadvantaged peoples…

I secretly long to create a beautiful, lush, abundant, peaceful, and workable intentional community and retreat in the mountains…

All of these stoke fear in me, I wrote.

Fear of responsibility. Fear of failure. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of rejection. Fear of hatred. Fear of being ignored. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear of being annoying. Fear of not living up to the role. Imposter Syndrome as the cherry on top. 

As high as I felt while I wrote my secret longings, I plunged down deep into the fears I also wrote down. I tried to let my wise self speak, reassuring me that fear is part of following our soul’s calling, fear is part of becoming whole. The deeper the calling, the more fear we have of it; it is, in fact, a sign that path is the right one.

The appointment with my friend and her life coach looms like a big, red circle on the calendar. My heart beats in excitement and trepidation. So many times have I tried to follow my soul’s calling; so many times have I failed. There have also been times where an opportunity ended up being too good to be true, and I ended up with time and money wasted. My soul wants me to hear what this life coach has to say. My heart wants to believe that this is the opportunity I am seeking. My mind is holding onto a healthy dose of skepticism.

But the true reason for my trepidation is my imposter syndrome. How can I think of being a coach? How can I think of trying to be a leader? I have so many flaws. I can’t even live up to my own standards, many days.

Then, at the end of a long and rather stressful day yesterday with my daughter, I opened ListheNB to a random page.


Be OK with where you are and all that you are right now–especially the bits that you are working on. The people you are here to guide are the ones who are a few steps behind you. You don’t need to have it all sorted, or be an expert…

It’s your humanness that truly touches people, not your superhuman-ness.

…You don’t need to pretend or prove that you have it together, rather, just share what you have figured out so far. We are all in this school of life together. There is no final destination, no end point, just increased consciousness and a deeper understanding.

…Sometimes words get in the way of truth.

Soften your mind, and your soul will be touched.

And I took a deep breath. And I was suddenly lighter.

I’m 25 and I’m still figuring it out. I’m still learning about life, and myself, and how to navigate my way healthily through all those two experiences contain. I still have so much to learn.

There is so much I have learned, however. I think of how much I’ve grown these past twenty-five years, and I experience a sensation of expansion, as though I am seeing myself and my life from an outside point: I see my life as a tapestry, not yet finished, but beautiful and whole and complex in and of itself. I see patterns beginning, ending, beginning. And I know that I am whole, and I am becoming even more whole.

I am here to learn. I am here to teach what I have learned. And because I am a mother, much of what I will teach will be nurturing and encouraging. And because I am a spiritual woman, much of it will be holistic and rather woo-woo. And because I am a writer in spirit as much as in skill, much of it will be through writing.

The awareness of my position in life does not take away my imposter syndrome; in fact, I doubt that fear will ever go away. But, perhaps it is this Venus Retrograde, perhaps it is my moontime right now, perhaps it is simply that I have lived a quarter century and am leaving my past behind–I am no longer willing to let my fears run my life.

Perhaps I’m not worthy of being a guide, or a writer, or a leader. But I think, perhaps, I’ll try anyway. The older I get, the more I find that helping others is what brings me the simplest, most lasting, pure joy. So I’ll follow that. And see where it leads me.



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