Just a poser this month?

Posted: July 8, 2011 in CrossFit, Health
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So, it’s been a tough month so far. It actually started the last week of June. I alluded to the problems I’ve been having in “Why 20:42 is my best time ever, ” but now I’m going to come out and deal with it head on.

What prompted this? I was lying in my self-made sensory deprivation chamber (okay, it’s just me in bed with my CPAP mask; a stellar sleep mask my wonderful daughter-in-law, Laura, gave me; ear plugs; my head sandwiched between two huge pillows and the covers pulled up over the whole shebang), and I realized I was alternating clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth.

This was not good, because the reason I’m lying in there is that I have a migraine, and the tense muscles in my jaw and neck don’t help. I’ve taken all my rescue medicine, and the light hurts us, precious. And the sound. And pretty much everything. And the reason I have a migraine today is because I’ve been sleep-deprived because of problems with my CPAP (which were finally solved last night, but the cumulative effect caught up with me at the same time).

But I realized that I was allowing all the things that I’ve set as goals for myself become  masters rather than servants. The fact I’ve been blogging more irregularly bothers me; I’d set a goal to do it every day. I’m behind where I think I should be in the part time job I started three weeks ago, even though the hours are flexible and I telecommute. I’ve missed some work on a volunteer gig, and I feel like I’m letting them down. There were dishes piled in the sink and laundry I hadn’t dealt with.

And CrossFit? Well, I’ve been doing more like one day on and two days off lately, all because of the multiple health issues. And so I feel guilty and stressed about that. And, because I’m not feeling great, I’ve slacked off being as careful about logging what I eat and when I’ve exercised and all the other stuff I’m supposed to log.

So here I am, trying to do a little to get all those worries off my back. Took care of most of the dishes and laundry, checked email from work and vol stuff, and am blogging, well, now.

And my head is now worse, and I’m doubtful CrossFit will happen today.

What am I trying to say here? I’m trying to convince myself that I really can do the things I’m trying to do and that the fact that I’m struggling right now only means that: I’m struggling right now. That it isn’t some sort of premonition of failure.

So I just remembered something I’d read about a while back: The Imposter Syndrome. Caltech (yes, the home of  really smart people, including physicists and engineers like those on The Big Bang Theory) Counseling Center puts it like this:

Impostor syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true. It is experienced internally as chronic self-doubt, and feelings of intellectual fraudulence.

It is basically feeling that you are not really a successful, competent, and smart student [of course, you can substitute “student” with whatever role you want~jgm], that you are only [pretending to be one.] … The impostor syndrome is associated with highly achieving, highly successful people.   This makes impostor feelings somewhat different from the concept of “low self-esteem” because there is a discrepancy between the actual achievement and the person’s feelings about the achievement that may not be present in low self-esteem. People in different professions such as teachers, people in the social sciences, people in academia, actresses and actors, may all have impostor feelings. It was originally associated with women but recent research indicated that men suffer in similar numbers.

One such highly successful person who appears to suffer from this syndrome is Jodie Foster. Since we share the same first name (even if she spells it wrong) and are close to contemporaries, she’s someone I’ve always compared myself to, so it was kind of a relief to see that she, too, is plagued with the need to do in order not to be caught out as an impostor, as reported by the blog “Women and Talent“:

Years ago, [Jodie Foster] was also experiencing these feelings, saying in a tv interview [CBS, 1995] that before her Oscar-winning performance in “The Accused” she felt “like an impostor, faking it, that someday they’d find out I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t. I still don’t.”

Wow. And here I am, feeling like a CrossFit imposter. But I am doing it, even if not as often as I’d like of late, and even if not today.

Mary Ellen Bates, blogging at “Librarian of Fortune,” has some good suggestions in her post on “Fighting the Imposter Syndrome“:

• Imagine talking with someone who has your qualifications, skills and abilities. Would you really call her incompetent?

• Learn to appreciate your own accomplishments and successes. The ability to reward yourself rather than waiting for external feedback is a critical skill for any info-entrepreneur.

• Let go of the need to know everything about everything. Our clients hire us because we know how to apply our skills to their need.

Go, girl.  I’d add “Let go of the need to be everything you can be right now. Take it one day at a time, and appreciate what you’re doing in the now. If it’s not your best, remember that one day is not your whole life.”

And now I’m going back to my sensory deprivation chamber. Maybe now I can relax and let go of the headache, too.

  1. Laura says:

    I always feel like an imposter! In crossfit and school… I keep thinking I’ll not be able to measure up next time… bah! You’re not an imposter… you’re doing just fine… push yourself when you can and take breaks before you get migraines! Feel better!

  2. Carrie says:

    Hope you are feelng better

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