Will the real Pema Schott please stand up?

I heard recently in a podcast that on the road to success if you don't feel like an impostor, then you most probably are one. It was brilliant: Impostor Syndrome as the barometer for being full of shit or not. 

It made me feel great because that is the way I'm feeling lately- like a total fraud. I've been publishing my podcast on a regular schedule- on each new and full moon; I just recently published an eBook and now I'm more than ever wanting to organize my writings and get more of my experiences down and into a book; and I'm on track to finish my Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling faster than I thought I would. I think of each of these things and think, "Who wants to hear my podcast? Why would they find my topics interesting? Why would anyone wants tips from me about reconnecting to our feminine essence? Who cares about my life enough to read a book? Who is ever going to hire me to be their therapist?" The thing is, my self-indulgent little project is now at 1,000 listeners per show, without much marketing or effort on my part yet. That's pretty excellent, if I do say so myself. But good feedback and all, there are nights that I lay there in the dark, staring at the ceiling, asking myself "What are you doing? Why are you doing this? Where is this going???" And to each of those questions, my response is often, "I have NO idea... now please leave me alone, self-doubt and anxiety!"

However, when I ask myself this: 

"What do you know about the lives of women?" 

... I don't feel like such an impostor. Women, I know. Their struggles, I know. Their dreams are my dreams. If my womb could tell stories... well, I guess that would be the point of my book.

Several studies suggest that impostor syndrome is more frequent among women. 


We're not really used to feeling strong or having power, collectively and oftentimes individually, are we? So, of course we are constantly and anxiously waiting for someone to expose us: A-HA, you really are just a fraud and you have no idea what you're doing here! I know plenty of women apprehensive and terrified to step into the shoes they know they are meant to fill in the world. BIG shoes. They are so scared of being handed that torch and even more scared of carrying it. Behind all of that is a deep seated fear of disappointing everyone. Anyone. It's strong it me, too. But if we all question ourselves, I think we are on the right path. Because if we were absolutely sure of ourselves and arrogant and boastful of all we know and have done, then the growth, the responsiveness, and the openness has ended. 

As paralyzing and gut-wrenching as these impostor feelings are, I'm glad they're there. They keep me in check. After all, "I know that I know nothing" came from one of history's greatest minds to- I believe- remind us to stay humble. So, yay!... when I feel like a fake-o and I'm afraid I have nothing to offer this world, I'll simply remind myself that even Oprah has days like these. Can you imagine Oprah curled up in a corner of her home, wrapped in a fleece blanket in the fetal position, questioning her worth?!?

Neither can I but I'm sure it happens. It has to. Otherwise she wouldn't- she couldn't- keep going.

So, on I go...