An Open Letter to Imposter Syndrome

Oh, hi there, Imposter Syndrome.  Fancy meeting you here!

I’m in the middle of writing an article for my day job.  The article has been really difficult to write for reasons that aren’t relevant right now.

What is relevant is that I’m stuck.  I’m trying to edit a paragraph to tighten it and make it flow better, but it’s just disintegrating on me instead.  And surprise!  Here you are, Imposter Syndrome, turning up exactly when things get hard.  Just like you always do.

I know what you want.  You’re hoping to watch me go to pieces.  You want me to get frustrated.  You want me to cry.  You’d like to see me start saying things to myself like “This is too hard.  It has to please too many stakeholders and some of them scare me.  What was I thinking?  I should have said ‘No, I can’t write this piece for you.’  What makes me think I can write this?  What makes me think I can write anything?  I suck!  I should give up!”  Blah, blah, blah.  You know the drill just as well as I do, Imposter Syndrome.

But you know what?  I’m on to your bullshit.

If I let myself go to pieces because I’m struggling with this article, at least an hour of precious time will pass.  I’ll get frustrated and angry and maybe end up crying.  I might walk downstairs and get a chemical-and-calorie-ridden cinnamon bun out of the snack machine and eat it.  Maybe I’ll lock myself in the restroom for a few minutes. Or maybe I’ll go next door to Starbucks for a five dollar cup of milk and sugar with a little bit of coffee down there in the bottom of the cup.

Whatever.  I’ll still end up right back here, staring at this broken piece of writing with a deadline on my six.

Even though you might stick around for the show, Imposter Syndrome, I’m not going to give you what you want.  Sure, I know you’re still there, lurking at the edge of my attention.  Some things can’t be helped, and I’m afraid your presence right now is one of them.

But it’s time for you to hear me for a change: I’m not quitting.

You can say whatever you want.  You can hop up and down between me and the work so much that you look like you’re doing the peepee dance, but you’re not going to get me to stop and feed you.

This letter is all you are getting from me, and from everyone like me who is as fed up with your crap as I am.

So I say to you, Imposter Syndrome, the immortal words of Bianca Del Rio:

Not today, Satan.  Not today.

No love,


2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Imposter Syndrome

  1. I am so happy to know that I am not the only one who has to deal with that particular voice. Dan Harris, of the new anchor fame, wrote a book recently called ‘10% Happier’ that deals with anxiety and all those self doubts. He originally had what I think is a much better title for the book – “The Voice Inside My Head Is An Asshole”. Ain’t that the truth!

    So thanks. And hope you got past it today. Or yesterday. And tomorrow.

    • I like the title he didn’t go with better than the one he did! I did get past it. And may we all get past it whenever it turns up at the door!