I am extraordinarily average. Nothing special. No incredible talents. No incredible personality. I am ordinary, moderate, and lukewarm at best.
At least that’s how I view myself.
This is Imposter syndrome: a voice in my head that convinces me that my successes are fake. The feeling suffocates me. It’s a constant reminder that anything I do is not good enough. Anything I say is pretentious. I am not knowledgeable of something even when my experience tells otherwise. This voice keeps me from understanding and respecting my own accomplishments, and overpowering can sometimes feel impossible.
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Imposter syndrome also comes with a terrorizing fear of failure. It discounts all successes by instead crediting luck. After all, I am a fraud. I’m not the person I make myself out to be. I have particularly struggled with Imposter syndrome as a Bharatanatyam dancer.
“You pulled off an Arangetram, you must be a good dancer.”
Maybe, except, I’m not sure if I am a good dancer at all. I am average. I really don’t think I am nearly as talented as others. Yes, I love to dance, but does that really make me a good dancer? In my head, pulling off an Arangetram was me tricking everyone into thinking I am a strong dancer.
For me, it’s the root of my insecurity. I feel lost and doubt myself constantly. I undermine all my successes. I genuinely believe they were due to luck. But how could all the hard work I put into dance possibly be just “luck”?
“Luck” shouldn’t take credit for my persistence and willpower. That was all me.
The Imposter syndrome does not only apply to dance. It applies to everything in my life. It has the capacity to hold me back. In the past, it has made me let go of opportunities and discount everything that makes me unique.
Overcoming this is an uphill battle. It takes a lot to fight against my own thoughts. With more and more self-confidence, the fear of failure will dwindle. Confidence will help me flick any paranoia off my shoulder and hopefully out of my life. Owning what I got is hard, but I am up for the task.
Sriya Reddy is a college student currently attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She is planning on double majoring in journalism and corporate communications and public affairs. Reddy is passionate about diversity, representation, and her culture and also prides herself on being a Bharatanatyam dancer. Some of her hobbies include writing, taking Buzzfeed quizzes, and going to museums.