Ever Felt Like A Fraud?

Maybe you have ‘Imposter Syndrome’?! But then again, maybe not…

The Imposter Phenomenon

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Via EmmaWatsonDaily

Some of you may have seen this term bandied around online and in press lately, and surprisingly it is not a new phenomenon. Coined in the 70’s, the study has only seemed to gain real traction now – as technology gets more advanced, expectations get higher and the definition of success gets pushed further beyond the horizon.

To put it simply the term impostor phenomenon occurs when an intelligent, talented and successful individual continually displays accomplishments but refuses to believe it is down to their own ability, but merely luck or effort.

The list of modern day sufferers is an impressive one, including iconic British women such as Emma Watson and Kate Winslet. Whilst men have been known to exhibit ‘symptoms’, it is amongst women that ‘Imposter Syndrome’ manifests most frequently and most intensely.

But Why?

Of course the study puts it primarily down to childhood and women’s representation in society. For millennia women have been portrayed by a largely male-dominated society as the weaker, less capable sex and women have apparently internalised and accepted this as truth.

Whilst I see the logic in this argument, I find it hard to get on board with. In this day and age women’s representation is become more equal and they are portrayed as anything but weak and incapable, so why would it be now that imposter syndrome is on the rise?

Something that I do identify with is the idea that women, as the more autocritical sex, do not automatically put their success down to ability, as men are more likely to do. Apparently women with the so called ‘imposter syndrome’ often attribute success to a temporary cause, for instance luck or effort, as opposed to men who often accredit their success to the internal, stable factor of ability.

So now what?tumblr_m8mjxsCuXZ1qahug3o1_500

According to research 70% of all people suffer from ‘Imposter Syndrome’. However, what I find the most surprising, from all my research, is that it is only 70%?

Who doesn’t suffer from a little self-doubt? Who has ever started a new job and felt convinced that they might not be up to scratch? Or pitched their boss for a promotion, only to get it and regret it immediately when the anxiety slowly creeps in?

Who are these illusive 30%; these superwomen who feel completely secure in what they do without ever questioning it? Who put in no effort and rely totally on their ‘ability’ for excellence? I confess I have never met anybody like this, and feel sure I never will.

To doubt and to fear is to be human. If you are having feelings of inadequacy or fraudulency, then it probably means you have pushed yourself out of your comfort zone. This is great! Only in this space do you learn and develop.

Those who fear failure also fear success. They fear growing and they fear losing sight of the shore, being the small fish in a big pond. These people are in the end only holding themselves back from reaching their full potential.

So accept that niggling sense of doubt and embrace the fear, because it means that you are moving onwards and upwards. You are pushing yourself to be all that you can be.

By saying ‘yes’ when you really wanted to say ‘no’ you have shown that you are not an imposter; you are in fact an incredibly brave and ambitious individual who deserves to be in the place you have carved for yourself. The only imposters are those who pretend they have never felt this way too.

What do you think? Join the discussion below.

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Why Fashion Is Too Serious!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Yes it is that time of year again… whilst the weather continues to bite and snow threatens,  Spring/ Summer 2016 is underway in the fashion world.

It is this time of the year, when bloggers of all disciplines suddenly become ‘Fashion Bloggers’ for the day in the hope of being given fun fashionable freebies to review, or being ‘spotted’ as the next Kate Moss.

(Due to not having tickets) I will not be joining them, but it did get me thinking about women and our complicated relationship with fashion.

Fun Fashion

Fashion happy smiling hipster cool girl in sunglasses and colorful clothes with skateboard having fun outdoors against the orange background
Vis iStock Photo

Bypassing the minefield of issues that I have with body image in the fashion world, where a size 10 is often considered a plus size, I love to observe how powerful fashion is at changing the overall mood of a person.

I don’t know if anyone ever saw ‘A Week Of Dressing Dangerously’ on BBC One? But I always remember an episode where one women spent a week wearing outrageous outfits, from pin-up to all in pink to bohemian, complete with dreds.

The transformation was incredible, this mousy woman felt liberated by her style and let go of herself. Her husband couldn’t believe who she had become and her family saw her in a whole new light. In short, fashion enabled her to let go of  all her inhibitions and she was able to just have fun with it.

Fashion doesn’t have always be so serious, sometime it is just fun for fun’s sake. We need to shrug off the judgmental snobbery and let go of what is ‘in-vogue’ and out.

Strong Fashion

iStock_000047102086_DoubleSaying that, I don’t consider myself the most ‘stylish’ of women. I get by on what I call a ‘classical’ style mainly  wearing a lot of black dresses and red lipstick. Though I would love pull off the high- end fashionista look, I just don’t have the time or the patience to invest in it. Plus I know that I am just not that cool.

The most stylish woman in my life is my mother. A woman who also wears a lot of black but doesn’t care what people think; she hates to follow fashions, loves colourful accessories and calls everyone ‘darling’. But it works well for her. It is what makes her unique.

My mother grew up in the 70’s working in the glamorous casinos of the West End, at a time when sexual equality was non-existent and you could get a ‘warning’ for not looking ‘dolled up enough’ or gaining weight. She would proudly tell me that she always looked immaculate for work, which to me felt like she was bowing to the pressure of a sexist and superficial organisation.

But she would always say the same thing (and it is a lesson that I have carried through my own working life):

“Clothes do more than just make you pretty. They can make you feel strong. Your dress is your armour and your make-up is your war paint. With these on you can go into work battle-ready.”

And she is so right.

Which is why every working day, no matter how I feel, – I put on mascara, throw on a pair of heels and smarten up with a jacket. And it always makes me feel ready to take on the world.

So whilst there are some that feel fashion as superficial, trivial and, in some cases, a way of objectifying women – true ‘fashion’, the fashion that we make for ourselves, is a way to have fun, show off and above all feel good about ourselves.

New York, NY - September 10, 2015: A model prepares backstage for the Desigual fashion show during the Spring Summer 2016 New York Fashion Week at The Arc - Skylight Moynihan Station
Via iStock Photo
Do you agree? Why not share your own fashion secrets…