I know how it is to feel inadequate. To feel like you don't belong. We all have heard about Impostor Syndrome, the false feeling of being a “fraud” and doubting one's abilities despite evidence of competence and achievements. And I'm very sure we all have felt inadequate at least once at some point in our lives but we are human, and we are burdened with shame and rather forget about those terrible times...
But, I'd like to share with you one time in my life that I have felt inadequate. As a woman, I've felt inadequate, and especially as a Mexican American woman. I felt like I didn't belong in college. I felt like I had Affirmative Action written all over my forehead, even when I was getting straight A's. Wikipedia describes, Affirmative Action as “...a policy initiative in which a person's nationality, sex, religion, and caste are taken into account by a company or a government organization to extend employment or education opportunities.” Although I strongly believe it's a very good policy because it helps underrepresented groups, throughout time, it has become stigmatized. A lot of people like to say that the only reason brown and black students are in positions regularly not occupied by them, for example, Harvard, Yale, The White House, is because of their skin color. I've heard these comments many times in my life and it infuriates me!
For a very long time I kept having a recurring nightmare. That I failed my math class and I couldn't graduate and get my bachelor's degree. This dream haunted me for years and made me feel so stressed until I finally looked up its meaning and it said that this dream meant "a lack of feeling of accomplishment, or a feeling of cheating your way through an event." My subconscious, the deepest part of my being, felt like an impostor and underserving.
If you have ever felt inadequate or like an impostor for occupying a space, not regularly occupied by people like you, make sure you stand your ground, like a fucking Sequoia tree. Tall, deeply rooted and unfettered. I want you to know that feeling inadequate, is actually normal. These spaces are intentionally not occupied by people like you and I but we have the power to change this. We can all change it by being our truest selves. Stop hiding, there's someone out there that needs to hear your story. The Impostor Syndrome was created to make you doubt yourself, but as long as we all work to change the system, we will change these spaces so the next generation won't even know what the the fuck the Impostor Syndrome is.
And maybe we do occupy these new spaces because of our skin color or sex orientation, but we have to work harder than everyone else to prove to everyone that we actually are deserving of such opportunities. Remember, the only way the system can change, is by living our power. With that said, I dedicate my Lady Gaga Earrings to anyone that has ever felt undeserving and inadequate. We got this. TAKE.THE.FUCKING.SPACE.
PS. There's a great speech by @reshmasaujani on Youtube. Check her out.
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