Confession time: I suffer from imposter syndrome…I regularly have moments at which I feel like I’m faking it.  Like I don’t actually know what I’m doing and am faking my way through my career; in the darker versions, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop when everyone else figures me out.

Rationally, I know that this isn’t the case.  I know that I’m qualified and that I’m even sometimes good at what I do.  I know that I’m working towards an additional graduate degree to become even more prepared for my field.  But, still, emotionally, I have these moments where I doubt my abilities.  When I feel like I’m faking it.

I know I’m not alone in this.  I know it’s a common phenomenon (it has a name, after all). And I do what I can do shift the tape reels that play on repeat on an eternal loop in the subtext of my brain.  And I’m generally successful.  But that creeping voice also returns.

And so, I do the only thing I can do.  I act as if I know what I’m doing.  I act despite the fear that I don’t.  I do my best and I learn from my mistakes (usually).  I remind myself of my successes.  And sometimes call upon those friends that I know believe in me and will tell me about those successes when my emotional brain won’t let me remember them.

So, yeah.  Like many folks, sometimes I feel like an imposter in my own life.  And when I do, I force myself to continue to act in the role that the world believes me to embody.  Because, then, it becomes a reality.

And perhaps that’s part of the idea of t’shuvah (repentance): to turn within to our true selves, breaking through our doubts, in order to become closer to our true selves, instead of merely acting as them.  And maybe, it is the ability to act these roles despite the doubt, that allows us to realize the vision in the long run.

BlogElul 2016

Thanks to @imabima for this annual project and this text explaining it: The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with prayers of forgiveness, but I like to think of it as a whole-person preparation activity. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed. All month, along with others, I’ll be blogging a thought or two for each day to help with the month of preparation.  

If you follow @imabima on twitter, you’ll get to see links to all of the #blogelul posts!

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About rabbiisa

I'm a Reform Rabbi with a passion for education! I'm also a pop culture fan, political junkie, and NY Times crossword puzzle addict. I am INTP, a proud member of Red Sox Nation, and a fan of the Oxford Comma.

One response »

  1. susandelaware says:

    Brilliant. And yes, we all suffer from imposter syndrome….or at least, I hope we all occasionally suffer from self doubt. It is often the spur to continue to learn and to grow.

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