I never, ever thought that THIS would be the first thing I would write about in this space. I had visions of writing messages of positivity and joy and inspiration for this first post, but I also promised myself that I would share my real life here too.
So, can we talk about "impostor syndrome" for a minute? If you're not familiar with this concept (bless you, you are a lucky soul) it's basically the idea that your success and accomplishments are based on deception (when they actually aren't). I've struggled with it my entire life. I was on the honor roll, basically a 4.0 student for my entire academic career, but I would never call myself a "smart kid" or think I was very intelligent at all. I LOVE to write, but I would never call myself a writer. I have a masters degree in art education, but I would never dream of calling myself an artist. Now, I live on a ranch, and I absolutely cringe at the idea of calling myself (or anyone else calling me) a rancher. It makes my skin crawl.
After I launched this website two days ago, my DM's on Instagram were full of the sweetest messages from you all. Things like, "I love what you're doing!" "Your account is one of my favorites to follow!" "You inspire me!" These messages absolutely brought me to tears, but I would be lying if I said I believed them with my full heart.
I have this constant nagging voice in the back of my mind that whispers things like, "You're fake. You're tricking them into thinking you're something you're not." And isn't that about the worst feeling in the entire world?
I can work so hard to do things like: get good grades, write a heartfelt caption or blog post, get myself through grad school, and launch a scary new business from scratch, but I can't even accept and believe a compliment from someone who sees and appreciates the result of all that hard work?
I wish I had a magic solution to this problem. I know I'm not the only one who is dealing with it - it wouldn't have a name if I was - but I do think we need to find a way to move past it. No matter what you do in this world, teacher, doctor, lawyer, waitress, farmer, rancher, your accomplishments matter and you earned them.
Whether you believe in God, or some other higher power, I'm here to tell you that the little nagging voice telling you you're a fake isn't coming from a positive, loving entity. It's time to start shutting that voice down and appreciating our own hard work and embracing the titles that come with it.
I hope that in the days to come, if you're reading this (Hi mom and dad!!) you know that you are truly capable of anything you set your mind to. Whether that's starting a new business, going back to school, switching careers, or doing any big scary thing. And if someone takes the time out of their day to write you a sweet, heartfelt message, please know that they mean it. Accept that compliment and keep sharing your story. It's important, folks.