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Syndrome n.

“A group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.”

Not exactly a Phobia, like Trypophobia, that reaction of wanting to shiver and toss up your lunch at the sight of different nasty ass creepy patterns of clustered holes in things. ~blech, twitch~ I don’t recommend Googling that term if you’re even close to having this.

Not exactly a Disorder, like ADD, that condition where your attention………………ooh! squirrel!

Oh, I mean, what was I saying?

I’m neither qualified to, nor even interested in trying to, explain the difference between a Syndrome, a Phobia, and a Disorder and that’s not remotely my point in this post.

Currently Wikipedia has a list of 1,429 Syndromes and the one I’m writing about isn’t even on it. Seems like in our current day pretty much anything can be turned into a syndrome given enough time.

So, syndromes are sort of like Pokémon. I just don’t recommend that you try to collect them all or you’re going to be basically a shivering puddle curled up inside a closet somewhere.

Do you either work in a technical profession, or have an artistic hobby, where you’re actively working around, or associated with in a social community, other people who do the same thing as you?

A situation where your specific abilities are too easy to try and compare to someone else?

Huge shadows to stand under.

Skilled professionals and artists are by nature often our own worst enemy when it comes to trying to determine the value of our skills and abilities. Toss in an environment where you are constantly seeing other professional’s own skills, knowledge and abilities and you have a recipe for some real self-esteem issues.

Society has tagged this sort of situation as “Imposter Syndrome”. A situation where you feel like your own skills and abilities just aren’t good enough. That you haven’t earned your place in where you are in your profession or your output in your profession or hobby just isn’t as good as others who do the same thing.

Feeling like you’re basically a fake, or an imposter because everywhere you look there’s someone to compare yourself to that’s quite possibly better than you are in whatever it is.

The thing is, those people are quite likely doing the exact same thing and feeling the exact same way. Including comparing themselves to YOU and feeling like they’re the ones who aren’t as good. Somewhere in your circle of fellow professionals there is someone who looks at you and wishes that they knew what you know or could do what you do as well as you do.

Fighting this feeling is a constant battle and even potentially capable of going in completely the opposite direction and becoming someone who feels they ARE better than everyone else. In other words, an asshole.

But, here’s the thing. I have a secret for you.

You’re not an imposter!

You’re a work in progress.

If you weren’t, you’d be basically dead. Being alive means that you’re always growing in knowledge and abilities whether you actively try to or not.

Ok, maybe there ARE others out there who are technically better than you are in these things.

So what.

There’s always going to be someone who’s more talented or more skilled than you are and there’s always going to be people out there who are better than they are.

This is actually a good thing.

This means that you have tons of resources available to further improve yourself and your own skills so that you can compare those to the only one that you should be comparing to, YOU.

Are you better at your skills than you were 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 2 years ago, last month, whatever?

Compare yourself to YOU because when it comes down to it, you are the only one who’s abilities and skills should be compared to.

Strive to be a better person today, or tomorrow, than you were yesterday and you will never be an imposter.

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