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Imposter Syndrome: When You Are Your Worst Critic

... and yes, you do know "that thing"

Like just about every other post I've written, I'm up late blogging because my kids are sleep and its the only time I get peace and quiet.

Its also when feelings of self doubt like to come hang out and keep me company.


In my previous post, I spoke on how I suffer with anxiety. One of the many complications is dealing with imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is defined as:

"a psychological pattern in which one doubts one's accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".

I'd further add we also typically see ourselves as unqualified, dumb, or as my circle likes to refer ourselves #WTF{insert profession/ certification here}. It's draining, and on top of feelings of inadequacy, I'm afraid I'm annoying because those with imposter syndrome often look to their family, friends, and peers for validation and encouragement. I'm guilty of building someone up one day, then turning around and having my own meltdown later.

"nobody can say it like you."- Rachel O'Brien MA, IBCLC

This past week has been a whirlwind for me and this post barely got written- in fact my queue of incomplete entries is growing by the day. Why? Because imposter syndrome has me feeling incompetent of speaking on those topics. Pumping, nursing positions, equity... why would anyone care about what I have to say when someone else already did it, and probably better? Because as my good friend Rachel O' Brien, IBCLC said at the last LC in PP conference this March, "nobody can say it like you." I truly hold on to that. She also told us to speak in our own voice. My audience isn't necessarily the same as hers, so what may reach one person in her circle, may not speak the same to someone in mine. So, I tell myself what I know and what I have to say matters. I lean into the validation my friends and family lend. I release, run into a corner, cover my eyes and hope for the best. (No, I really do this, you can ask my husband.) Because sometimes when I don't hold back, pretty cool things happen. Just this year I have:

  • Been appointed to USLCA's advisory board

  • Elected President of the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition

  • Taught a breastfeeding troubleshooting seminar for my job

  • Launched this blog

  • Recorded my first vlog with generally positive reception

  • Guest appeared on a podcast

  • Co- hosted 2 virtual events

  • Been pegged for a few projects I can't really talk about yet ;-)

Apparently people see value in me that I struggle seeing in myself. So for those of you who are questioning yourself and your abilities, you got this boo. And I do too.

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