My wife and I in costume at Realm Makers 2019
Adam Maisen, LPC-S/TA
Last week was a wonderful experience for me: conversations with Terry Brooks, lunch with Brent Weeks, awesome networking with speculative fiction authors from all genres, cosplay, and lots of Starbucks. My wife is a speculative fiction author and I had the exciting experience of accompanying her to the Realm Makers Conference in St. Louis, MO.
I was reminded of a few things on this trip. All people experience "imposter syndrome." Maybe it is about trying to build a professional identity, or being a first-generation college student, or an aspiring artist, or feeling broken by past traumas, or anything.
Maybe it is thoughts that we tell ourselves like, “I am not smart enough.” “I am not pretty enough.” “I am not strong enough.” “I am not…”
All people experience "imposter syndrome."
As much as we may want to say that we don’t care about what others think, it is simply not completely accurate. The reality is that every person is just that—a person.
Every successful person had to start somewhere. Terry Brooks and Brent Weeks are both extremely accomplished authors in the fantasy genre. While my wife and I were hanging out with these men, we realized clearly that they got where they are through hard work, determination, and A LOT of struggling.
Over the years, I have come to realize that imposter syndrome and comparing oneself to others can become absolutely paralyzing.
There will never be another Terry Brooks or Brent Weeks. There will never be another me or another you! With this, I encourage you to embrace what makes you who you are with courage and strength.
Every successful person had to start somewhere.
You have a unique story that has shaped your life. These experiences may include gut-wrenching pain, bliss, or many other emotions in between. Whatever your experience has been, you have a story to tell. The exciting news is that your story is not over.
One of my mentors once told me that life is like a chapter book. Each chapter has a beginning, a middle, and an end. I find this perspective encouraging. It means that we continue to grow throughout our lives, regardless of what has happened. Each chapter builds on the previous chapter, and plot twists happen along the way. I have grown so much through my experiences and God has taught me new things in each chapter of my life.
Your story is not over. Embrace the "I am..."
So, the question is, how do we grow and move to the next chapter when it seems like our character development becomes stymied? I believe that we need to accept ourselves and recognize that regardless of the past, the future is not yet written.
I learned last week that characters in a book are more interesting when internal and external conflicts arise. Writers need to create these experiences for their characters. However, conflict and hard times are natural parts of the human experience.
If we are to grow, we need to acknowledge and fight our internal conflict, the “I am not…” Your character may not yet be fully realized. Never give up! Embrace the “I am…!”
If you or someone you know is interested in taking the next step to emotional healing, contact me today. I would love to join you in your journey. If you send me an email, I will gladly schedule a 15 minute free confidential consult with you.