I'm not an imposter, and neither are you

I just had the most incredible, whirlwind, and coolest experience.

I started writing this on the plane as a means of reflection, and I couldn't stop smiling about this.

I have the opportunity to work with CBC Radio this summer as a Gzowski intern. Upon hearing the news, I was elated, excited, nervous, and ready. I told myself that it was finally time for me to dig in my heels and try something that would really be groundbreaking for my career and my love of storytelling and journalism.

The past week, while it excited me, it also scared me.

Though I won't be working with all of them throughout the summer, I met some of the most brilliant and talented young minds in this country.

These were folks who, first of all, were ready to cross the stage this summer and graduate.

These were folks who had lots of experiences and were brimming with ideas, good facts, and knowledge.

That first day, I was intimidated. I knew things, I told myself. I liked telling stories, I had some relevant experience, and I had some ideas.

But spending an evening alone, with your thoughts, can be devastating.

I want to highlight something that probably will come up again and again in my life, and maybe yours at some point too.

One of the speakers came to talk to us about writing for radio.

What imposter syndrome feels like. Photo from chronicle.com.

He touched on something that hit close to my heart, because it was something that I was definitely thinking but didn't want to acknowledge by name.

Imposter syndrome.

AKA, feeling like you're a fake or a fraud in a particular position or space. Feeling like you don't belong or like you're not good enough, and that you might all of a sudden become exposed.

So that was me, in my apartment room after the first night.

Despite all the pep talks and excitement, I really wondered if this was the right fit for me. I wondered if I belonged, like really belonged, in this space. I thought about myself in relation to the other interns. Was I really good enough for this job? Will people like me? Will I succeed and make people comfortable with the fact that they picked me?

It was a moment of distress that I hadn't felt in a long time, and I wondered how I was going to deal with it for the rest of the week and for the whole summer.

This had been the theme of the entire spring semester for me.

I thought about my position and certain roles in this lens of "am I good enough?"

Whether it was my capabilities to come up with a project idea with my Change Lab group, or serving on the CCO exec team, or teaching piano, I felt underqualified and unable. I wasn't really sure what I was doing, and somehow people were trusting me with different things.

But through writing this on the plane, I began to get a better picture of myself as an anxious person.

The fact is that I will never be able to out run my anxiety, and (I think) I've come to accept this fact that my healing is not linear.

My mind had distorted my capabilities so much to the point that I didn't feel like I deserved the things that I worked for.

To be clear, there definitely have been some moments in my life where I recognize that I might not be the most qualified for a job and yet somehow, I got it over someone else. Those are moments that I wish I could change.

But with something like the Gzowski internship, serving on an exec team, being a mentor, teaching piano - it all happens for a reason.

If this resonates with you in any way, I want you to remember this for me.

We're meant for greatness.

We deserve happiness.

We work hard for our success.

In those moments where you feel furthest away from confident, where you don't feel like you can carpe diem the situation or feel like an outsider in a room full of seemingly perfect candidates, hold onto the success that you've already amassed for yourself.

Every opportunity and experience leads to another. It can lead you down a road of passion, or a road of self-discovery, or a road that helps you realize that this is something that just isn't right for you at this moment.

We chase these things because we see something in them. When the favour is returned to us, typically it's not returned lightly. We are afforded these opportunities because others see something in us.

Sure, there is a great expectation to deliver and measure up. Sure, we might make mistakes and slip up a few times. But there is no substitute for trying your best and putting your all into something.

Whether you're chasing a career opportunity, or trying to get into a program, or even just to find the confidence to ask someone out, embrace the challenge. Step outside of yourself and your mind. Because the only regret you can ever have is the regret of not trying.

When you try, you've already succeeded.

Let no one, even yourself, talk you out of your ability to succeed.