Imposter Syndrome

Ever feel like a phony?

I have been feeling like an imposter for the last few days. I pride myself in being a minimalist, talk about simplifying life, and blog about wanting less…yet, if you were to come to my house today, you’d see that a corner of my bedroom has overflowing stash-and-dash boxes filled with who-knows-what miscellany, and I have laundry in various stages of dirty, clean, sorted, unsorted, folded, and yet-to-be folded throughout my house. There’s a suspicious-looking potato lurking in the very back of my fridge. I’m overdue to go through my closet and drawers to get rid of clothes I don’t want/need anymore.

There’s a strange stain on our area rug that I have yet to further investigate. I’ve asked the dog about it, but he refuses to answer my questions.

Oh, and we’re dangerously low on toilet paper.

And the thing is, I’m just so tired. I’m having a hard time getting myself motivated to do anything about any of those problems (although the toilet paper situation can’t be ignored for much longer).

But as I sit here, thinking (instead of folding laundry), I remember that overall, I had a pretty good week.

  1. I started the week with a meal plan, shopped accordingly, and so far, we’ve eaten at home — no convenience foods — every night this week. We stayed on budget for groceries.
  2. I knocked out a few chapters of an engrossing book I’m reading. Escaping into the pages of a good story for even just a few silent moments is my way of recharging.
  3. Kids all got to school this week. Homework got done.
  4. Carved out time for coffee with a friend, a thank you note, a phone call, and had some pretty thoughtful conversations with my kids.

Around me are stains and piles and stacks of reminders that I’m not having my most stellar moment. Still, I’m doing okay.

Sometimes, doing the best I can is enough. It has to be. Because not every day is going to be the best day ever. The goal is just to have some pretty good days most of the week.

If you’re feeling like an imposter, you are not alone. I mean, I bet even Meryl Streep feels like an imposter from time to time. If Meryl were in the room right now, what would you tell her? You’d probably take her hands in yours, look into her eyes, and assure her that she is definitely not an imposter: she is an undisputed national treasure! Is she perfect? No. Does she win Academy Awards for every movie she’s in? Not quite. But she tries her best.

What I’m saying is, talk to yourself like you’re Meryl Streep. You are a treasure. Maybe not a national treasure like Meryl, but you are a treasure to your family, your friends, and your co-workers. Despite a few crummy days every once in a while, you’re doing pretty well. And you can probably do one thing today that will make you feel less like an imposter. Finish a long put-off project. Or get to work doing something you’re really good at. That ol’ muscle memory will kick in and remind you that you are not a phony. You are you: a complicated stew of fabulous and flawed—but mostly fabulous.

Originally published Dec. 16, 2021 on

2 thoughts on “Imposter Syndrome

  1. JoAnn Moon January 3, 2022 / 8:38 am

    Thank you for this reminder and encouragement


  2. Letitia Suk January 3, 2022 / 9:54 am

    Great reminder. We can always choose which pile to focus on. The satisfying one is sweet 🙂


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