To Be Rather Than To Seem
The North Carolina state motto is “to be rather than to seem”. My high school friend, Jessica is the embodiment of this motto. She has always been a person to support others and accept everyone as they are. She doesn’t seem kind, she is kind and she spreads it to all those around her. I would know, we dated for a time in high school, which is quite humorous because we just photographed her and her man Colman’s wedding at the Crest Center and Pavilion in Asheville North Carolina
. Some people just seem to have it all together. That’s why I want to talk about those who don’t.
I distinctly remember in 1st grade getting caught picking my nose by a fellow student. A chubby red-headed girl found me out and I could see in her eyes that she couldn’t wait to tell someone of her new discovery. I had always prided myself (still do) on being able to get that gold without being seen, or at least making it look like a simple nose scratch rather than a full blown paleontology expedition. Basically I had been found out. This is how I live much of my life, thinking that someone is going to somehow find me out and that everyone will realize that I am just a fake and a failure. Even as I’m writing this, I feel like, like I’m some sort of impostor. I looked further into this and it is a legit thing. It’s called impostor syndrome and many people suffer with this grave affliction. What is it you ask?
Impostor syndrome is defined as high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. See the full wiki HERE
. And surprisingly this way of thinking affects 70% of the population worldwide. I’m not sure if that stat was pulled from someone’s ass cheeks or if it’s legit, but most people don’t talk about this fraud feeling because they think they are the only one afflicted by it and to admit it would show that you truly are a fraud. Guess what YOU’RE NOT A FRAUD!! You are a person and you are likely capable of doing amazing things. Often the biggest deterrent to us really becoming an expert in our field is our self limiting beliefs.
Why do I feel like a fraud? I will be completely candid. Because sometimes I don’t know shit about shit. I had this grandiose idea about becoming a photographer, but didn’t realize that I needed to know how to run a business, pay quarterly taxes from the employer end and employee end (15% ouch). I am learning this all as I go. I feel like eventually someone is going to be like, “You have no idea what you are doing, do you?” The thing is, I do have an idea of what I’m doing. I am learning as I go, but there is also a foundation there that I am building on. When I doubt myself and my abilities it somewhat diminishes that foundation in my mind, making me feel like, I am just surviving.
So what are some steps to take to help minimize the effects of impostor syndrome?
- Talk about it. If you feel like this then tell someone. Talk to me about it. I know how it feels and I am not afraid to share with other people my insecurities.
- Say out loud what you are afraid is going to happen. Often when I say it out loud it sounds like the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. “I’m afraid that someone will call me out and then no one will want to hire me” or that “other industry professionals will know that I am just pretending while they are actually the real superstars.”
- Look at some of the things you are most proud of that you have done. Not as an ego trip, but to help you remember that you have value and that you do know what you are doing. You don’t know everything and there will always be someone that knows more than you on a given subject. But part of learning is admitting the things we don’t know rather than trying to appear like we have our shit together. Many of us are more concerned with seeming rather than actually being. Let’s put that down flip it and reverse it (if you follow me), and be rather than to seem.
Venue: Crest Center and Pavilion in Asheville NC
Hair: Avian King
Make-up: Ellen Lennox
Flowers: Lady Luck Flower Farm
Dress: Wildflower Bridal
Cake: Short Street Cakes
Catering: Crest Center and Pavilion
DJ: Sound Extreme
Photo Booth: Massive Booth
Videography: Grae Skye Studio