© 2019 Nikki Van Ekeren
  • Nikki Van Ekeren

Choosing Yourself and the Imposter Syndrome


As I often do, I started my day with the words of an author that I look up to. Today, it was Seth Godin. His podcast, Akimbo, never fails to get my mind thinking in new ways. Godin has a way of helping one stop feeling sorry for themself and start getting out there.


His most recent podcast was entitled “The Great Pretender.”He discusses the topic of the “imposter syndrome” and choosing yourself. Godin was challenging his listeners to lean into the imposter syndrome and ride it out. Technically, we are all imposters when we are forging ahead into new territory. And, isn’t this what we are all striving for?


These topics hit close to home. I love writing about empowering oneself and strive to continually do so in my own life. When I fall short and have a hard time, I feel guilty of imposter syndrome or fearful that one will call me out on being a fraud.


My gut instinct has been to keep on going, to keep writing and to keep sharing even when I feel the discomforts of putting myself out there. I am feeling this way, perhaps others are. Maybe one person will feel better from my words. (Ha, even if that one person is me.)


Can we continue to try to be our best selves while falling short?

Can we proclaim that we are a work in progress and be okay with that?

Can we persist when we feel judged?

Can we stop believing that our work will be discovered by someone and discover ourself?


This last question relates to the topic of choosing yourself. It means feeling value and worth…just because. It means your voice is heard because you hear it. And yes, it literally means picking yourself and your title.


In conclusion, here’s a poem on the subject:


“choose yourself”

for some reason,

i have always thought

that one day

someone would discover

my work

and splash my name

across the mass media.

it is as if i am putting in my time,

hunkering down,

for that one moment.

that moment

when someone

will choose me.

then,

all will be okay.

i will be a success.


well,

it is time to rethink

this strategy.

i am the only one

who can choose me.

i am the sole human

who can make my art

and then share my creations with the world.

as an artist,

this is in fact

my job.

i get to work hard

to share what i have learned and created

and hope that

it may help someone else.

time is not running out,

it is actually keeping me afloat.


when i choose myself,

i embody gratitude.

i can unlock my purpose

which then sets my mind free.

marketing my message

is not as challenging

because i do not attach it

to my ego or identity.

my voice

is tethered to the notion of generosity

and this intention

invites me to thrive.