Impostor Phenomenon- Are you a fraud?



Dear Readers!

Today I attended a class featuring the impostor phenomenon. The instructor did a great job of pointing out two things.

  1. At one point or another, there are times when an individual feels like they “lucked” into a job or they snuck in the back door when no one was looking.
  2. Most of the time that feeling is completely false and can be refuted with concrete evidence of accomplishment and merit.

I actually had the thought that I would write about this back in March when I started a new position which I absolutely love but I was scared to share that I was new and didn’t know what I needed to know to do the job. How silly is that? I was new and didn’t know the job but was scared to admit that I didn’t know things.

My good friend and colleague, Dr. Keya Howard likes to remind me that I am human and it’s important to bump into that reality and put down the superwoman cape from time to time. I don’t like this reminder and often bristle against it, and it remains a good reminder. I should say, I have a group of friends I love and call family of choice who remind me of this too, (you know who you are!)

I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit that we aren’t experts at something, but it is.

When I got accepted into Richard Robichaux’s exclusive acting class, I felt like I got in by accident and often gave in to palpable feelings of impostor syndrome. Then last year, when I was up for two roles at once (man, that felt good!) I realized I didn’t get in by accident, I am a talented performer and when I got one of the roles, I used every bit of what I learned in that class and I was reminded of how I felt.

One of the participants in the seminar today mentioned Amy Cuddy, and her Ted Talk which currently has been viewed 48,030,611 times. I have utilized this advice for job interviews and auditions and really any stressful interaction.

Amy Cuddy- Ted Talk  (Interestingly enough, this was the first Ted Talk, I ever watched, thank you, Jessi!)

One of the key takeaways for our class today was that the strongest defense against the imposter phenomenon is to refute that thought with the facts.

As a Mom, I often feel like I have NO IDEA what I am doing.

*For Vivienne, if you are reading this, I love you and I choose you as my daughter even if and when you tell me you hate me. I love you and always will. Nothing you could ever do will make me stop loving you and being proud to be your mom. 

I wish I could tell you I never lose my temper, but I do.

I wish I could tell you that I never say the wrong thing or push expectations on my child, but I do.  This makes me human, not a horrible mother.

All too often I see parents competing with each other and telling stories of what their kid did today and is your kid doing that yet and then we start the comparison game and before you know it, one parent or both starts thinking about what they do to teach their kid and start worrying, “Am I reading the right books? Did we get her the right toys?”

ENOUGH of the Comparison, ENOUGH of the one-upman/upwomanship.

We all do the best we can, and we will make mistakes. Give up the cape, you aren’t going to be perfect, so give it up and embrace that you are not perfect but you are the perfect parent for your child.

Think About It.







7 Years of Marriage! YAY!


Dear Readers,

Today my husband and I celebrate our marriage which occurred on a very very very very very very HOT day in July. (my husband enjoys reminding me of this so I need to be sure to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I remember being excited about the wedding and happy that the people I loved most were in my wedding party or getting ready to meet me at the end of the aisle.

I wish I could say that I KNEW then that we would be here today, but you don’t KNOW that. You hope that, and you work towards that, AND I don’t think anyone gets married with the idea that “well, maybe it will work out, and maybe it won’t”

What I can say is that I KNEW we loved each other and I KNEW that we were both committed and spent the last 2 and half years planning (7 years married, 10 together) the wedding of my dreams and designing the marriage that WE wanted.

Something my darling husband says to me all the time, especially when we face difficulty (together) is “We will figure it out”. I love this because it reinforces the idea that there is a solvable problem on the table and that WE will figure it out. Not him, not me, but WE.

In looking back on the last seven years, I have definitely learned a lot about our relationship and each other and with this anniversary I have these takeaways to share.

  1. Sometimes it is a better idea to go to bed angry than to stay up arguing.
  2. Remember, you are on the same team, the second you start saying “Well, if he would just…” or “If only she would…” Nope. WE.
  3. You WILL have hard times, remember that you also have each other.
  4. If you are angry now, think before you speak. “will this matter in 2 hours? 2 days? 2 months? 2 years? (I struggle with this and it’s getting better all the time)
  5. Remember that you can “react” or “respond” to what your partner says. Responding is a lot more difficult and ultimately healthier for your relationship.
  6. Have fun, laugh and ENJOY your partner.
  7. Remember, “YES means YES”!!!!- don’t pretend something is acceptable to you if in reality it bothers you. For more on this, see the phenomenal Avery couple talking about the relationship game changer in their marriage

Oh and being from Louisiana, this is the lagniappe ( it means you get it for free )

Be your partner’s biggest cheerleader!

Oh and one more thing- HAPPY ANNIVERSARY JEREMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Let’s dance in the rain, Mama!

Dear Readers,

My daughter taught me something on Saturday.

I noticed the temperature was a reasonable 80 degrees and that it was our first less than 100 degree day in weeks so I headed to the park with her.

As we pulled up, it started to rain and I thought, well we should probably head home.

Vivienne was trailing her fingers against the pane of the window and smiling so I thought, well why not go play in the rain, after all it’s only drizzling and we have been cooped up in that house for the last month because it was either too hot or we were too sick to go out.

So I got my umbrella and took her hand and we started walking.

I kept being torn between wanting her to have fun and splash in the rain and dirt but not wanting her to be messy (since I had not planned to be in the rain I had no towel) but eventually gave up and let her be in the rain as she wished.

The most fun we had was on the swing, she laughed and I laughed as I pushed her higher and higher.  I realized that it was the first time in a while that we had gone to the park and I made a mental note to do it more.

I am not a professional photographer, but every once in a while I get a few good shots. I am particularly happy with this because it will help me remember, that it’s okay to play in the rain, in fact it’s a good idea to do it whenever you can.

It’s so easy to forget, that I want to say thank you to my daughter who reminded me how important it is to play.


Think About It.

I give you permission to fail.

Dear Readers,

Today I was in an Agile class that I am lucky enough to be taking in conjunction with my job. One of the major components of the Agile methodology is to try something and if it doesn’t work, try something else.

Inherent in that instruction is the idea that not only will you fail, you are expected to fail and are in fact given permission to fail.

This is a concept I learned about a long time ago when I got involved with improvisational acting.  It was one of the first exercises I learned.

You make a mistake (on purpose!!!!!!!!!) take a deep bow and say, “I FAILED”

It was so incredibly freeing and we even called it a “failure bow” so you acknowledged the fail and then moved on with the next scene. It was great!

I think far too often we are so wrapped up in looking perfect and being just right and doing things JUST so, that we miss the opportunity to embrace the unknown, the missteps and the happy accidents that come with experimentation.

What can you open up for yourself if you gave yourself permission to not be perfect, or better yet, give yourself permission to “play” and then it’s a game and if you lose, you learn and if you win, that’s good too.

What do you need to do to unlock yourself from perfect?

What if you thought of FAIL as — “First Attempt At Learning” (like the picture says)

Can you let go of the idea that you have to be perfect? Can you open yourself up to the notion of play and experimentation? What might happen? What can you learn?

I say to you, I give you permission to fail, I give you permission NOT to be perfect, in fact, embrace the opportunity to try something completely new, which by the way, means you won’t be perfect, because you can’t be new and perfect at the same time.

Think About It.