Tag Archive: intuition


Impostor Syndrome

The very title has me hanging my head in defeat.

Who do I think I am?  Why do people think they can trust me with these responsibilities?  Surely everyone knows that I’m a fraud, just as I know it.  One day, they will know that I’m not who they think I am and will point and say “SHAME!”

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor Syndrome is a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  It strikes smart, successful individuals.  It often rears its head after an especially notable accomplishment, like admission to a prestigious university, public acclaim, winning an award, or earning a promotion. 

Source

I have felt like an impostor most of my life.

Why?

I don’t have a ready answer for that question.

When I was a child, I didn’t feel like I fit in with the other kids.  I wanted desperately to fit in, but my likes and dislikes didn’t fit in with theirs.  So, I changed, as best I could, to try to fit into their mould.  I loved wearing dresses in elementary school, but no one else did – so I forced myself to wear pants.  They loved music, I preferred my environment to be quiet and peaceful – when I did listen to music, it wasn’t what everyone else was listening to; so, again, I was labeled different.

Going into the teenage years is awkward enough for most kids; to me it seemed like everyone else had figured it out, but I was from another planet.  I liked school, loved learning – but that’s not what rebellious teenagers are supposed to do.  So I didn’t study, my one avenue that I could successfully rebel at – and succeeded with good grades anyway.  I was in honors classes, and I questioned why – I didn’t study, I didn’t want to care about getting good grades – couldn’t the adults see that?

And then it happened, I actually failed.  It came at a time when I should have been at the top of my glory – a senior in high school, a major part in a play, a leader on my team – and I failed English class.  School rules state you cannot participate if you fail – and I finally proved what no one else knew but me – I was a failure.  I was ashamed of myself.  I ran away, literally dropping out of school, certain that everyone was pointing at me behind my back.

The months that I was away from home were not all roses and fun, but neither was it gloom and doom either.  I learned a lot while I was away – about the world, about myself, and about life in general.

I had no direction, no purpose to my life at that point.  I fell into adulthood working, paying rent and wondering what was next.

Marriage – which was again a failure (if you count that I divorced him within 2 years).  Yes, I had my wonderful son Buddy out of the deal, but even that made me question myself at times.  Flotsam was ashamed of our son; he was ashamed of his disabilities; he was ashamed of me for “giving” him a disabled son.  The doubts would occasionally creep in, would make me wonder – am I a failure as a mother too?

Work was no better.  I was quickly promoted, a high-school drop-out, from employee to supervisor – the youngest in the company (I was only 21).  I had other employees questioning, within my hearing, what I had done to deserve the promotion over them?  I blew the comments off, I worked hard, and I learned all I could.  But still, I felt like I didn’t belong there.

Every few years, another promotion to another department, brought back the same doubts, the same questions – why?  Why do they believe in me?  Why do they trust me?

During this time I married Hun, with his three children; and Jetsam who openly questioned my value.  She acknowledged that I was a mother, but sneered that I was obviously not as good of a mother as she was.  That I failed at being a mother.  The kids, feeding off their mom’s disdain for me (desperate for her approval), echoed her statements, determined not to give me a chance.  So it became a self-fulfilling prophecy for them – in their eyes I am a failure of a parent.  Today, I still question what I did wrong; how, when I love these kids so much, how did I fail with them?  I question this as the failure is all mine.

And then it happened, at work I was promoted to the point that I could no longer succeed.  I failed and I could no longer handle the pressure.  I crumpled and quit, willing to throw away a 20 year career.  The stress of trying to prove that I was worthy was too great.  I was a failure and now everyone knew it.

I stepped back; I examined my life, my hopes, my dreams, my own desires.

My mind wandered – researching, learning, soaking-up how to find myself again.  Reading, podcasts, journaling, meditating; all in hopes of rediscovering who I truly am.

I concluded that I had not been living an authentic life; that I had been living my life for others, to make them happy rather than myself.  Glimpses of my true self had poked through, straining to free itself from the cage I had placed it in – trying to appear “worthy” of those around me who wanted me to be someone else, someone different.

The times I had stood up for not only myself, but for the kids – to Flotsam, to Jetsam, and even to Hun.

The time I had insisted that I wasn’t ready for a promotion – knowing in my heart that it would lead to the failure it finally did.

Ignoring those around me, admonishing me that I cared too much for kids who didn’t return my feelings, telling me to give up – standing my ground and saying “no, I will not!”

It has startled me, in writing this post, to come to the realization that I have been an impostor.  That I have good reason to feel like one – because I am one.

I have been trying to be someone I’m not all this time.  I have failed at being Karaboo.

All this time, I have been ashamed of who others think I am, instead of embracing the greatness of me.

Yes, I am stubborn – but that also means that I am determined, persistent, steadfast, tenacious and tough.

I can be opinionated – but also confident, bold, courageous, undaunted and self-assured.

I tend to be judgmental – which is a combination of my intuition, awareness, experience, reasoning and understanding – and more often than not, my insights are correct.

Finally, I have been accused of being uncaring – they see the surface of my intensity and not my passion, dedication, and spirit.

People who know me are going to say I have changed.

They will be right.

Embracing My Personality

Over the years, I have done a lot of research on what type of personality I have.

It fascinates me and makes me wonder how much is accurate based on my own opinions, feelings and views.  I have taken the Myers Briggs Personality Test – both the formal and informal (i.e. free versions found online) multiple times and have been very consistent in my personality type:

Scores:

INTJ – 95% of the time

INFJ – 5% of the time

This means I have the following strong personality traits:

  • Introverted (I) – rather than extraverted (E)
  • Intuitive (N) – rather than sensing (S)
  • Thinking (T) – occasionally feeling (F) will make an appearance when I take the test – but rarely
  • Judging (J) – rather than perceiving (P)

Apparently, according to all of the websites I have visited, INTJ’s are the most rare personality type, making up only 2% of the population and as a woman INTJ, only 0.8% of the population.  Which means I’m pretty rare.

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What this means in general terms for me:

  • I prefer to be alone (introverted). I can be around others, but once I’ve hit my max, I CRAVE my alone time and will not be a very nice person if I don’t get time to decompress.
  • I follow my gut 90% of the time (intuition). This gut sense does take into account facts gathered and past experiences and I’m confident in my assessment in most situations most of the time.
  • I make most decisions based on facts and logic (thinking). If something isn’t logical, then don’t even try to BS me because I don’t have time for that.  Occasionally, my emotions will take over (I am a woman after all), and my feelings will rule – but it is almost always based on logical reasoning.
  • I make a plan, revise as necessary based on new information, and stick to it (judging). I hate to improvise unless my plan was planned in advance to allow for improvisation.  Example – don’t screw up my work day, it is planned and will frustrate me if something throws me off course.  But I can be totally relaxed and go with the flow when called for – like vacations: because vacations aren’t meant to be regimented (except in very specific instances – such as being on-time for a tour group).

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What this means for the people around me:

  • Me not wanting to be attached at the hip (to anyone) does not mean that I don’t like, love or care for you deeply. I DO have feelings and I DO take your feelings into consideration.  Since I say what I think and mean what I say, I expect the same from you.  If you do not tell me what you are thinking or feeling, then I can only guess based on my Intuition, which may be wrong since I have failed mind-reading class.
  • Speaking of Intuition – I can almost always tell when something is “off” with you. Maybe you’re having a bad day, maybe you have a secret that you’re struggling with, maybe you just found out you’re going to be a grandma – doesn’t matter, that intuition is almost always spot on correct.  If I’m asking “what’s wrong” – I do care about your answer and wouldn’t be asking if I didn’t want to know.  Usually, I’m trying to figure out how I can help you and genuinely WANT to help you.  If I don’t ask “what’s wrong”, then either I am unable to help you at that moment due to my own crazy life OR I don’t want to help you – 50/50 shot at either option.
    • Some people have been freaked out when I suddenly appear in their lives. I’ve shown up to too many places where people are genuinely surprised to see me because they’ve been thinking about me and/or wanted to talk with me, but didn’t make the time to contact me, for me to blow it off as coincidence.  What they don’t know is, almost always, I sense that they want to see me.  I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, wide awake, 10 minutes before an important text comes through.  I’ve walked in doors, to places I have no reason to be (other than sensing I need to be there), and greeted with, “I’m so glad to see you!  I’ve been thinking about you for 2 weeks!” – what they don’t know is, I’ve had the sense that they wanted to talk to me for that entire 2 weeks – I just didn’t make the time myself to go to them right away (I do have a life you know!).
  • Because I do my reasoning and thinking with logic, I can tell when what you’re telling me is nothing but BS and lies. Probably why I love Judge Judy so much – “If it doesn’t make sense, then it’s not the truth!”  Tell me the truth, all of the truth, and we’ll get along fine.  If you tell me partial truths, then be prepared for me to call you out on it.  I will know, and sense, and be severely disappointed in you that you feel this is a good course of action (which is to say NOTHING of how I feel about myself if I try to BS myself…..yes, I have done this, and yes, it wasn’t pretty in the end….soul crushing disappointment upon yourself is nothing to laugh at).
  • When I make plans with you, I expect you to follow through on whatever it is that we’ve agreed to. When you can’t follow through, tell me.  I can adapt and I can make alternate plans – just not if you won’t talk to me.

These memes are right on when it comes to me and how I think:

And lastly, how being an INTJ relates to me:

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