Friday, 16 September 2016

Imposter syndrome and me: The MAD Blog Awards

Imposter syndrome - all but the most confident of us get it, right? The feeling that everyone must be better than you. In blogging, that the event you've been invited to by The Soil Association, Sainsburys or Asda must really be for other bloggers and that you're just there to make up numbers. The feeling that you should turn down offers because "you probably want someone with a bigger readership" Where does all of this come from? Why do these words spring so easily from my lips?

Tonight I'm going to the MAD Blog awards, I'm not nominated but am there to make up the numbers - which is exactly what I keep telling people. And it is true, but why can't I just beam at people excitedly, tell them how grateful I am for the opportunity to celebrate others' success, and (as I was reminded half an hour ago) to network the s*** out of it?

I think what terrifies me the most is that I'll be there without my armour - the pushchair and Harry, or M. Those things I rely on, that enable me to be that bit more confident. They cement two of the key parts of my identity, as someone's Mum, someone's wife. But there's so much more to me than that, I'm a good blogger, especially when it's my writing that's the focus; my post about Breastfeeding is recommended by people from breastfeeding support groups all over the UK as well written, really useful and important, my dairy, egg and soya free fish pie recipe garners thank you emails regularly, and my broccoli pesto recipe gets pinned daily. And yet, I still looked longingly at the buggy just now and thought about how safe it makes me feel.

So this afternoon I'm going to forsake my daily dose of dry shampoo and a messy bun for a sleek blow-dry, my bare face for red lipstick, and my mummy uniform of skinny jeans, converse and a breton top for a beautiful skirt from Lindy Bop and a pair of gorgeous heels. And I'm going to celebrate others' success, beam at everyone I speak to, and pop these awards in my daily list of blessings to say thank you for.

If you're going and feeling a bit like me, don't. Have confidence in your abilities, and lets all shove that imposter syndrome to the side. Because like so much in life, if we don't let it in - it can't take hold.

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