But I think the biggest part of my inability to get this blog up and running is that I have convinced myself that there’s no point. That I’m no good. I mean, seriously, in this world of blogging, where blogs actually look good, really good, why would anyone want to read my stuff once, let alone come back again and again?
An abandoned blogpost that I rediscovered today really got me thinking. I spent last year feeling so excited about resurrecting this blog of mine, but I also spent just as much time sabotaging myself. I told myself that there was no place for me in this brave new world of blogging. I’m an old school blogger and I’m about words. I’m just not that great at beautiful pictures and styling and promotion so if I can’t do that, how will I ever be a great blogger?
It got me thinking about a post I’d read earlier in 2016 by Helen @bookishbaker. I read that post and immediately had one of those ‘Oh god YES, me too. Thank f*ck I’m not alone’ moments. Because until I’d read Helen’s post I hadn’t realised there was a name for this, at times, crippling trait. Imposter syndrome.
If you look up the actual definition of Imposter Syndrome, there are many references to high achievers, and while I am not one of those, I often wonder if this syndrome has prevented me from achieving everything I dream of. I am very well acquainted with the nagging voice in my head which tells me ‘you’re going to get found out, everyone will realise you’re not good at anything, that you’re not a nice person’. The voice which often pipes up when I’m starting to feel a little bit brave about reaching for my dreams. The voice which persuades me to shrink myself back down again to the smallest version of myself. The me who is much happier to avoid taking any risks. I remember telling a former counsellor about that voice. Those exact words that it repeats over and over ‘you’re going to get found out’. The thing is, if I told you that I knew someone who was always saying these things to another, constantly belittling and berating them, and chipping away at their self-esteem, you would call them a bully, or worse still a bitch. So why do I think it’s okay to do that to myself? I’m not sure I’ll ever work that one out.
And I turned 40 last year. And rather than gracefully accepting that I’d reached this amazing age, I didn’t take it very well at all. I was struck with an inertia which was fuelled by a ferocious belief that I have just not achieved much in my life. Without wanting to come across all cliched, 2016 was one of my worst years. My depression struck me more times in a year than I can remember, my husband lost his job, my nephew was diagnosed with a genetic disorder, my father was taken seriously ill (much recovered now), Brexit, Trump, deaths of childhood heroes…the world seemed out of kilter.
But here I am, and here’s 2017 sparkling with possibility. This is a new year. A new start. A new chance. So I’m going to try and be brave. I’m going to blog more, spend more time making and enjoy time with my family, and well, just generally try to be more positive. And whenever that weasly voices pipes up, I’m going to tell it to ‘shut up!’.