It's May. How's the real you doing?
A full two weeks haven’t even transpired in May, and whew chile is it already stressful.
If I could tie a theme to April, it would be accountability and hard work. With the release of Beyonce’s Homecoming on Netflix at the end of last month, the thoughts about work and my personal amount of productivity came into full force.
Now with May in full throttle, those nagging thoughts seem amplified.
Am I doing enough?
Can I actually make this happen?
Is any of this really worth it?
Can they see how much I’m flailing?
There’s a case of imposter syndrome in the atmosphere, or commonly understood as a false and sometimes crippling belief that one's successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill (Merriam Webster).
A quick google search of this sneaky insecurity will show exactly how extensive it is. In each corner of professionals industries, from entrepreneurs, artists, and corporate executives, women across multiple fields feel, or at some point, have felt like they were not worthy of their success.
I’ve definitely had my instances of not feeling entirely worthy. Since grade school, I persistently thought that for some reason I didn’t deserve what was being offered. Many of those insecurities were tied to being a black girl in a majority white school. From an early age, the pressure to elevate myself who I currently have persisted, even into adulthood. Women, especially women of color often feel an immense weight to succeed past expectations. At times, however, that weight is too much. What made it even more daunting was feeling like I was carrying the rock on my shoulders alone.
In fact, the condition was officially added to Dictionary.com on April 3. So It’s prominence is clear. Now what to do about it?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I think it’s a great opportunity to acknowledge just how fundamentally important it is to recognize when you’re just not feeling the best mentally, even in areas that you think don’t need a lot of attention. When you leave an issue to fester, it only gets worse. I ask that this May, you take the time to reflect and respond to any negative thought or emotion that hinders you in some way. What you believe might be silly or insignificant to share could actually help someone through their crisis, just by speaking about it.
It could be a trusted friend or you could reach out to your online community. Whatever your medium, don’t hide. There’s more help out there than you think.