Becky Hartung

WRITER. CREATIVE. HUMOR RESEARCHER.

A Letter from a Recovering Imposter

I first heard the term, imposter syndrome, while I was reading Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In. In the book, Sheryl wrote, 

"Many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can't seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are-impostors with limited skills or abilities.”

After reading that paragraph, I knew deep down that this was describing me. I refused to admit it to myself, because admitting that I failed to take ownership of my accomplishments felt like a failure itself. Instead I exchanged humility for self-doubt, and it cost me so many unnecessary sacrifices in my personal life, marriage, relationships, and career. 

So, here I am, just a girl, who is in full acceptance that I suffer from imposter syndrome.

I retweet a lot of powerful people on Twitter, I have very passionate conversations with friends at coffee shops, and I work as a writer for a women's lifestyle publication, but most the time I fail to listen to the advice I give others. I want to empower other women, but I forgot to believe the same things for myself. I allowed my shyness and feelings of adequacy to keep me from getting ahead, breaking down walls, and changing culture. 

The very thing I encourage women to never fall victim to.

Maybe you feel the same.

Allow me to assure you the power that honesty can have in moving you forward. You are powerful and strong, and it is okay to show it. Recovering will probably lend itself to a few failures along the way, but those are the parts that grow us-not hold us back from our seat at the table.