Always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will? -Marilyn Monroe
Have you heard of imposter syndrome? You might have heard it as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome. Whatever you call it, it’s the idea that your accomplishments are not your own; therefore, you live in fear that eventually the people around you will realize that you are a fraud and are not truly worthy of your position or praise. You’d be surprised how many people feel this way. If you think about it, it’s a bit of a mental safety mechanism. A security blanket for the brain, that way, just in case you fail, you knew in your head all along, that you never truly possessed the talents others thought you had.
Imposter syndrome can manifest itself in the work place, in your relationships, and even in roller derby. It doesn’t just affect new skaters, it can eat away at the most senior of skaters, as well. Just a few months ago I was on a team that is currently ranked near the 300s, on the wftda rankings. I have now found myself on an All-Star charter for a D1 team. Instead of celebrating nearly 6 years of hard work, my immediate thoughts were disbelief and shock. I started mentally discounting my abilities and wondering if they would soon realize…it was a mistake to choose me.
Let’s be real, division one roller derby teams don’t take their rosters lightly. They have only 20 slots to fill and you best believe they are putting serious thought into who they select. The idea that I doubted my own self worth is a bit tragic. However, I know I’m not alone. There are others out there who also second guess their life’s successes. I am here to tell you, that you are worthy of praise and you are deserving of recognition. Most importantly, never discount your abilities and achievements.
Work towards your dreams, derby fans!