Last year I wrote this:
“I thought I’d start the Sunday Monday Post so I can to talk more loosely about the things I’ve enjoyed within the self-improvement sphere and how I think I’ve improved in the past week (or since the time of the last edition).”
I’m not very good at this whole “writing weekly” thing. I live on a wheneverly schedule, I suppose.
To summarise, this is a far less structured post than normal and a chance to talk about what I’ve found interesting in the past week with regards to self-improvement.
The titular question – am I a fraud? – is a bit unfair because I’ve already answered it. I often believe that I am.
Writing about self-improvement, overcoming adversity (and daily mindfulness tips over on my Facebook page), seems to put me in a position of authority. If I write as if I know what I’m talking about, then I ask, do people believe that I have everything under control?
I certainly hope not.
Sometimes I’m like the little kid, who has no sense of direction, crying for my parents in a grocery store. Other times, I surrender myself to death by Pringles overdose or drown in crunchy M&Ms .
One of the reasons why I am hesitant to post is that I feel like my posts … lack sincerity? Aren’t true? I can’t find the right word. If I don’t always live the advice that I give, is it good advice? Am I ever in the position to give advice about anything at 22?
To tackle this, I try to remind myself of the highlight/blooper reel problem. We compare our bloopers to the highlights of other people. If I fear that other people would think I’m a fraud if they found out my bloopers, what does that mean?
It means that, because I write about self improvement, I have to not only present myself as a person who follows all of their advice but I have to be perfect. Which goes completely against the idea of improving slowly and self-compassion!
I don’t have to be perfect. I’m not perfect. I do not want to be perfect. But it’s OK to give recommendations on how to live better because I’m just here figuring it all out along with everyone who reads. You probably have a personal problem that other people do not know about. I do too. And that’s alright – you can still help others.
Even though the fear that other people think I’m better than I actually am is based on nothing factual, I’d like to break that down a bit. I’m going to share some of the positives and negatives I’ve had in the past month:
- I swam 1.5km quite a few times and it felt good.
- I finished the first draft of my dissertation.
- I worked on a summer school and seemed to make a positive impact on some of the students.
- I didn’t write for the blog as consistently as I would have liked.
- I also struggled to swim 700m multiple times throughout the month.
- I broke promises to call friends to catch up.
- I’ve been in a lot of pain, nearly every day.
- I’ve polished off 3 packets of Pringles in a week (and m&ms … I told you.) as a result. Stress eating is something I’ve tried to avoid but it sometimes catches up with me.
- I’ve been overwhelmed with negative emotions that make me withdraw from other people quite quickly.
Despite all of the articles on self-improvement I’ve written, I still make a lot of mistakes. It’s just part of the process. Social media makes it really easy for us to believe that things are smoother than they really are.
So I’ll try to worry less about whether I have the “authority” to help people. A lot of these articles are also reminders to myself.
I hope you find them helpful too!
Here are a few articles I’ve found interesting in the past week:
- 15 benefits of Bikram Yoga
- Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
- 10,000 Hours with Claude Shannon
And that brings me to the end of the Sunday Monday Post.
How do you manage the feelings of insecurity and helping other people? Does it bother you at all?
As always, thanks for reading.
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2 thoughts on “Am I a Fraud? | The Sunday Monday Post”
This is a lovely post Oj and I must, I ALWAYS struggle with the highlight/blooper problem. Constantly comparing my weak moments or failures to other people’s highlights. And I do sometimes feel inadequate due to insecurities but I’m understanding more and more now, that almost nobody, cares about your insecurities as they are often busy dealing with theirs! But still..!!
Anyways, thanks for sharing this. I really enjoyed it and I’m sorry you’ve been in a lot of pain recently. Your resilience and cheerful outlook on life amaze me and fills me with courage!!!! I truly do admire and adore you! Xxx
Thank you for sharing that. It’s a difficult problem – not one to be solved but almost… Danced with for the long term.
I appreciate the kind words :)