Combating imposter syndrome

A lot of my fellow activists experience impostor syndrome. It can come when you find yourself chosen for an award; hired for a job / gig / contract in the mainstream world; asked to give a speech or write an article or what have you.

A few years ago, someone I had counted on as an unflagging ally and a core person in my life started demeaning my validity as a professional. At that time I was going thru some seriously rough times emotionally & financially; I was being shaken to my foundations and in order to rescue myself from the death-trap of inwardly agreeing with this person’s assessment of me I had to start reminding myself about some truths. To this day, when needed, I re-remind myself:

“I have been training & practicing for this all my life. I am a lifelong professional; have worked on the frontlines, in the trenches, where many conventional “professionals” would consider it outside their job description to go. My dedication to this work never wavers despite severe tests of hardship. I am as professional as they come.”

— FWIW if any of that is useful to any of you.

You guys have always struck me as consummate professionals of the highest order, with knowledge, experience, and competencies that run both deep and wide. You deserve this recognition and I hope you enjoy it.

P.S. Regarding “professional” office standards for dress, mannerisms, way of speaking, and such: Some of that — a lot of that — is an artifact of colonizer culture and as such needs to be unpacked & dismantled by any of us who have the leeway to do so.

On a somewhat related note – you might enjoy my mini tiktok rant about how the arts & humanities are every bit as essential to society as concrete & bridges.