One of my favorite podcasts is The Hilarious World of Depression. I’ve blogged about it on Instagram before. Anyway, I was listening to the latest episode and the host paused his interview to discuss “Impostor Syndrome,” which can be common among people with Depression. The blogger/writer he was interviewing had a major case of Impostor Syndrome. I do as well.
Impostor syndrome is a term coined in the 1970s by psychologists and researchers to informally describe people who are unable to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
I have a friend who says he wants his epitaph to have the word “Poet” on it. As a result, he writes poetry… and it’s pretty good. As he confessed this to me, I felt my heart resonate with his passion because I wanted to be known as a Storyteller.
I love engaging with an audience, no matter the size nor medium. There were these moments when I used to teach at churches and seminars that I could feel the people’s imaginations engaging alongside mine. It was a joy and an honor to facilitate those shared experiences. I love the small blog posts I write on Instagram because they let me check the “told a story” box off in my head. I feel a deep satisfaction when I publish a new blog post on my website because it feels right to invite you into my story.
And, at the same time, I feel like a fucking fraud throughout the entire process.
I think that, at any moment, people will realize that they can spend their time reading someone more entertaining, verbose, grammatically correct, and/or cooler than I am. I worry that my fear and insecurity will come across more than my passion. I’m scared that someone will have an aneurism over my deliberately starting a sentence with a conjunction a little while ago, will call me out over it, and all of you will nod along in agreement.
As I write this, I am a finalist for a job writing content for a tech company in Dallas. The final round of the interview was simple: write an article reviewing their competitor’s software. I was leaving my Side Hustle at Whole Foods when I got the email with the assignment. I almost asked them to remove me from consideration as soon as I realized that I was up against two other people… the Impostor Syndrome was screaming at me that I was about to be exposed as the fraud I knew I was.
You know what, though? I finished the assignment in four hours (I was given an entire week for the assignment) and was proud of my work. I walked away satisfied because I told a story with passion, focus, and honesty. It was me, reviewing a product, and making the company I was writing for look good in the process.
My name is Dallas Begnaud.
I want it said of me when I die that I was a Storyteller.
I’m not the best.
I might not even be in the top 50%.
But it’s who I am.
And I thank you for listening to my story.