Imposter Syndrome & The Flying Squirrel

A page from the first issue of The Flying Squirrel.

October 12th, 2018

In an attempt to help people get inside my characters’ heads, I’ll try to find simplified examples from the internet and use them to begin a discussion and illustrate certain behaviors or traits. Ashley Maypole has a lot going on — we’ll talk more about the other stuff later on — but something that both he and I suffer from is something called Imposter Syndrome. “I feel like a fake” — the first line in the diagram — is the clearest way to understand how this feels, and on a perpetual basis. Page 3 of issue #1, seen here, finds Ashley, hungover and strung out, laying down everything he’s thinking. It’s a quick, decisive sketch of who he is, as told by and to himself.

I’ve struggled my entire life to feel like anything I do is authentic or worth anything. It’s irrational, and not recognizing it as it is was damaging to me and others. As much as I feel, which is too much, and work hard at nearly everything I do, it often fails to appear to be or feel as real as when other people do it. I don’t know why, but at least I can recognize it now, and that helps. It helps to have a name for it and know that other people think and feel this way, too.

The second part of the diagram is even more important — ways to deal with it. Talking about your feelings is important, as is listening to the same people you vent to. I could for sure listen better — sometimes I get talking and I can’t stop and I think it’s just in my always vain attempt to show people that I’m smart and that I know stuff, too. And it makes me feel dumb and the cycle goes on.

The good news is that art helps. Whatever way you choose to express yourself can be a positive way to battle things like this in your own life. And if all else fails, get a cute dog. Cute dogs cure all ails.

Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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