Imposter Syndrome

I must have been living under a rock. It was only this weekend that I heard / read / watched about Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes! My news feeds were suddenly filled with her contents and I was very wowed by it. I thought I was evil, as I was so in awe of her ability to cheat so many people, while at the same time, I was pretty disgusted how unethical and dishonest her ways were. So many mixed feelings. I was amazed to the point of watching the YouTube video with my dad. On one hand I was chastising how dishonest she was, and on the other, dad was like, “oh my, she is amazing, you gotta give it to her”.

So yea, that was the general tone of my weekend. 😀 Imagine the conversation multiplied to everyone I hung out with because I was so in awe.

Then again, this was also something that I have been lamenting about, but at a much more commoner, everyday scale of things. Guess I was buried in hard work for a long long long time in China, and when I was back in Singapore, I was in a totally different industry toying with an entire different game altogether. Now that I’m back into the original field, I am feeling somewhat lost / sad / empty, because things do not seem to function the way I was used to. There feels like farce everywhere. I do not feel like I’m on solid ground, because everyone seems to just be “winging it”. Conversations and questions are no longer the sharp terse ones that cut right to the core of issues. Questions just feel like empty white noise that are just symbolic of “hey, hear my voice, I attended the meeting”. Or maybe it is that empty, because everyone’s hiding behind the monitor with their videos turned off, and thus, that voice empty of substance is to be heard.

I don’t want to be critical because (I really hope) that is not who I am. I also do not want to have this judgment as calumny (new word learnt, yay!) as there may have been much better reasoning / rationale behind that I have yet have the wisdom to see. BUT, I find it really hard to bear. This emptiness. This lack of substance. I don’t know, something is just not cutting it.

I don’t even know how the Theranos / Holmes feeds got me venting about this lack of substance. Maybe it is the farce, the superficiality of image that people (many many people) are putting up; and the pain of this picture being so clear to me on the lack of substance holding up the facade. I find it very painful to watch.
[Sidetrack: fortunately, recently I have been catching up with my ThetaHealing books, and one para was such a good reminder. “Being a good psychic means seeing the truth, having kindness, exercising understanding, and having tolerance. Tolerance is a major virtue here, because you may not like what you find in someone’s mind.”]

Many people are trying pump up their appearances, everyone’s trying to appear successful. It is like instagram/Facebook feeds manifesting in real life human beings. I feel really bad for them because this emptiness will soon erode whatever that is left of them. Don’t they feel insecure that they are not on solid ground, but standing on a foundation of nothingness? Unless they are Holmes who feels zero in her conscience about putting up the lies and pretence?

Maybe it is the aphorism of “fake it till you make it” taken overboard. It is one thing to fake happiness for a day until you get out of the rut and hopefully get into a more optimistic frame of mind. But it is another thing altogether to keep faking happiness day after day. It is more important to get help, seriously. Faking confidence to get through a major presentation or a job interview does help with things (e.g. there are neuro-linguistic programming methods to get through such events), but to do that day after day, pretending that you are on top of things day after day? I am really not sure about that. How do you not get eaten up from inside of you? How many years can a person put up a front of having everything together when it is all just air and emptiness inside? How many years before the bubbles gets eroded away in spite of its already lack of substance?

Or maybe the problem lies with me. [Soft reminder: the external world is a mirror reflection of our inner projections.] Maybe there is still some tinge of “imposter syndrome” in me. [Ooooh, I just learnt this term, it is quite a good description of many feelings of inadequacy, undeserving, unworthiness, not being good enough, etc. “The term ‘imposter phenomenon’ originated from a 1978 paper by researchers at Georgia State University in Atlanta, US, which looked at over 150 highly successful women, from high-achieving students to those with PhDs. The study found two things: Not only did these women not experience an internal sense of success, they were convinced that they had fooled everyone into thinking they were capable and successful.”]

So there are so many layers on concepts in this altogether. One side of the equation shows the external facade of appearing successful. The other side shows the internal judgment of being a fake / fraud / imposter (whether or not there is a real / false external facade) for just being / looking successful. Putting it altogether, it is just a whole collapsed idea of guilt and inadequacy and just plain tonnes of sh*t.

I don’t know how my intended short rant can lead to this chain of blabber. Ah well. At least it is out of my thought bubble into black and white texts. I will re-read and re-digest them when I am better able to get some clarity out of whatever-the-heck I am meant to get to.

Thank you for your attention~ it feels so good to be writing again. ❤

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I think this makes complete sense to a lot of people who’ve used a skill to move up the corporate hierarchy until they realize that their work doesn’t really matter anymore. Among those who can convince themselves that their jobs must still have value by virtue of salary alone (or who just can’t let go), there ends up collecting a lot Bernie Madoff and Elizabeth Holmes types, people who get caught in their own belief (or fear of disbelief) that somehow the Ponzi schemes they’ve started will work out because more and more greed-fueled money is being thrown into them. Sure, there’s a degree of sociopathology involved. But there’s also a mythology of self-worth as measured by salary that encourages and perpetuates it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. leapingtoes says:

      My brains are still not making sense of things right now, and jumping all over the place. Today I found a weird belief in my system “my self-worth is determined by my mother” (gasp!!!). And I started wondering, who determines self-worth, shouldn’t it be an indeterminate figure… wouldn’t it be based on a pool of values (similar to that of basket of goods, except it is intangible)… etc etc. and I found this article, which I thought I’ll bookmark here. 🙂 .

      omg, my brains are a mush this week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting link. I agree with most of it… not everything. It brings up more of a response than I could write here. My take is that “self” worth is just that. It can be pretty different from what others see in us, and I don’t know how you see yourself from your own perspective. From my admittedly limited perspective through your writings, you’re an intelligent and traveled, at least bi-lingual and multi-cultural, well-educated but open-minded architect trained in what’s probably the architectural “Mecca” of the civilized world. And you seem to bring this together in an ethical character that wants to make a positive difference in others. To me, elicits a sense of cultural status, expertise, and worth to humanity in general.

        As for, “my self-worth is determined by my mother”… Ya, I get it. But like I said, more of a response than I could write here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. leapingtoes says:

        Yea, it is going to be a long response. I’m going to write the next post about it! I am in the middle of another healing journey and so much stuffs is rising to the surface .. .. and it is back to mom again. :/

        Liked by 1 person

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