Sometimes I will get a hankering in my heart to write a blog post. Usually I’ll have a topic in mind, but not always. Sometimes I’ll just want to connect with my peeps and express myself– to see and be seen.
See, this really good thing happened to Puttylike a few weeks ago. TED.com noticed us. Suddenly, hundreds of thousands of you began embracing your identity as multipotentialites. It’s wonderful. My inbox became a glorious lovefest of kind words and stories. I even got recognized once or twice around Portland!
The recognition and reaction felt incredible. It’s what I’ve been working towards these last five years. I was over the moon. But as an introvert, I also felt very exposed. I mean, two separate people called me a “legend” yesterday. How do I write anything that’s going to live up to that?! My inner critic was working overtime.
With people recognizing me in public, I worried on those days when I didn’t feel so well. I worried that people were watching me. My anxiety began acting up, and I had to talk it down, gently.
Even now, I fear publishing these words because I’m afraid that you will think that I’m complaining about my success, or that I’m trying to manipulate you in some kind of grand, marketing scheme.
I’m not looking for praise or reassurance. If anything, I’m just hoping that sharing my fears and insecurities will help you see that even “successful” people struggle with perfectionism, Resistance, and imposter syndrome.
I tweeted about these issues yesterday, and one kind multipod asked me whether imposter syndrome ever goes away. I’m not sure if it does, but as Amanda Palmer explains (in her brilliant book that I won’t stop recommending to everyone I know), sometimes public recognition just makes the Fraud Police sound their sirens louder.
I’m not sure if it ever fully leaves us, but I think it gets better as you connect with the people you’ve touched, and you see the difference that your work is making.
So thank you all for the kind words. Really, truly. Thank you.
I’m not perfect, and I may write some lame blog posts or disappoint you in the future. But I will keep putting my ideas out into the world, and I will keep learning, honing my ideas, and pushing myself to be vulnerable.
Have you experienced imposter syndrome or resistance following success or recognition of some sort? Share your stories in the comments below.
Emilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites integrate ALL of their interests into their lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe
scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.