"Impostor syndrome describes a situation where someone feels like an impostor or fraud because they think that they have duped the people around them, their boss for example, into believing that their accomplishments are of a high calibre, but in fact believe that their accomplishments are nowhere near as good as the praise or promotions they are accorded based on those accomplishments. They have a fear of being "found out" one day to be lacking the skills and intelligence they are perceived to have. Usually, their accomplishments are just as good, and the person is applying an unfairly high standard to themself (and not to others). It's especially common in fields where people's work is constantly under review by talented peers, such as academia or Open Source Software, or taking on a new job." (Geek Feminism Wiki)
I don't know if you know this about Moco or myself, but we suffer from SEVERE imposter syndrome. We're still waitng for the day when everyone opens their eyes and realizes, "Hey...you know what? They're not that good...at all, why do we keep bringing them around?" At first, we were excited about it, like we were getting away with something bad, but the longer we continue to be around, the more the paranoia developed. Why? Why were we allowed to even be in the same space as our more talented peers?
This is particularly true when we end up at rope-centric cons, like Bondage Expo Dallas (BED). BED has quite the reputation for bringing out the big guns, a veritable who's who of rope. And yet somehow, viola! Here be Moco and Beemo. Like....what??? How could we even deserve to be listed on the same shirt as international presenters whose teaching experience is longer than our actual relationship? We're just a couple of no-good scrubby kids from Charm City, making the joint a million times less classy with our rap music and our brass knuckles and my Lilo and Stitch cosplay (more on that in a future post, probably).
But BED came and went like a blur and I actually felt...not so imposter-y. and I don't know why. Come Sunday at 6 pm, I felt like I was a real presenter for once. and now just because BED really knows how to care for their presenters, which is all too rare in today's world of BDSM conferences and events. I felt like I actually knew what I was talking about, that the entire class was engaged. and maybe even more importantly, they were enjoying themselves the entire time. and it felt so good. I'm hoping I'll always feel that way when we present or perform, but I'm pretty sure the feeling of non-imposter-ism is fleeting.
I'm told imposter syndrome is a fairly normal occurrence, that everyone feels like they haven't deserved whatever accolades they've received. I wonder how they handle it.