So, where to start?

19 February 2019

I haven't posted here in over a year. In fact, we may as well treat this like I'm starting a whole new blog because I'm sure none of you remember me. With the abundance of bloggers on the net, why would you? You see, that's the thing. There are a load of bloggers now. So, where did I go? I ran away scared basically. Or anxious. Or overthinking. Or all of the above.

You see, it's kind of a thing with me that I suffer from major imposter syndrome. I know everyone does but no matter what I'm doing I'm constantly terrified that I'm going to be *found out* and have the opportunities I'm being offered whipped away from me. I suppose it's because I know the opportunities I've had - I'm talking in real life really rather than blogging, since I haven't really been doing that for a while - have been great and I feel so lucky.

I know there will be people who'd argue I shouldn't feel lucky because I've worked for them, and I have. I acknowledge that I have worked really bloody hard actually to get the things I've had. But at the same time I also know people I went to uni with who worked hard are still working in the same jobs they had when we were students, albeit that they've upgraded to full time hours. They've not been offered the opportunities I have, despite the fact they're intelligent, hard working and as capable, if not maybe more so, as me in their fields. In the current climate, I know I've worked hard but I also feel really bloody lucky.
I try to combat that imposter syndrome with giving things my absolute all. You know that really cliched job interview answer about your weakness being that you're a perfectionist and you probably work too hard and don't give up? Yeah well that's actually me. I work round the clock, I put in more hours than anyone else I know and I always try to improve. I damage my social life and mental health by never switching off from work because I'm so scared that if I just do my best between 9 and 5 like everyone else that everyone will realise I don't actually deserve to be there.

And part of that manifests itself in me never wanting to hand anything in thinking there's any way in which it could be improved. I actually avoided giving my old boss a video I'd spent 3 days working on editing because I hated it. The problem was all to do with the wind in the background, I'd pulled it down as much as I could and it wouldn't go away. But rather than say that and hand it over I spent time googling and YouTubing how to get rid of wind in the background because I was convinced that *just one more article* might give me an answer I hadn't found in the last 200 I'd looked at. I was adamant I wasn't giving up and that I was going to find a way to fix that wind. What happened was that I spent a day and a half editing the thing and a day and a half trying to fix something that was unfixable. Or not fixed past the point I'd already managed to fix it to, anyway. Of course, there are times when that ethic pays off. But I'm sure in this instance my boss was probably just left questioning what the hell was wrong with me. Essentially, my effort to do a good job just looked like I'd wasted time in the long run.

So how does that all relate to blogging?
Well essentially not publishing any posts was the blogging equivalent of me avoiding sending over that video. Nothing felt good enough. You see, there are bloggers who kill it with their sartorial images but that's just not me. I am super pleased about the rise of the #midsizestyle movement - as a 5'1, size 12/14 girl, I finally feel like I have a place and can share my style in amongst a sea of bloggers who basically could all sign to Storm Models, some of whom already have.

But it's just not enough.

I love clothes and fashion and beauty but I want to write. I want to talk. I want to use my voice. The blogs I enjoy reading have great images and fashion picks, but they also have a voice - I feel connected to the writer, and that's what I want for my little blog - for you to feel connected to me.

But I've spent a year thinking there was absolutely no point in writing anything because why on earth would anyone want to listen to my voice when there were really good writers out there in the blogosphere? Imposter syndrome strikes again. I didn't feel I belonged. I didn't feel my voice was good enough.

Do I feel like I suddenly am? Lol no. I wish I did. But I don't think it quite works like that.
If I could snap my fingers and rid myself of imposter syndrome, I would. And not just in blogging but in my entire life. And everything would be so much easier - I could bound through life with the confidence of a heterosexual white man. I'd phone my boss to say I didn't feel like coming in to work that day because I'd been out the night before with a 10 rated guy who I'd gone home with and my boss would high 5 me over the phone and tell me to take tomorrow too because he feels I should be rewarded for my hard work. I'd hand in totally unedited videos and photos because I'd figure the raw thing was good enough. I'd set up adverts with no keywords or location targeting and figure the pretty picture would make it perform anyway. Yeah, maybe not. But I imagine I might have less mental breakdowns a bit more of a work life balance.

What does help my imposter syndrome though is seeing what I've done being accepted. Seeing evidence that what I'm doing is seen as good enough.

Recently I've been more active on Instagram - and I've gained a few followers and get likes on my photos. Photos of me wearing clothes and looking very much like a 5'1, size 12-14 girl and not a model. Of course I need to get to a point where I can self validate better and don't need the approval of others, don't get me wrong. But when imposter syndrome comes down to expecting someone you feel is in charge of judging you to suddenly turn round and say *Rose Keats, you are ridiculous* (it's mandatory that you read that in a Bridget Jones voice btw, so go back and do it again if you didn't the first time.) When they don't do that, it helps put my mind, and my imposter syndrome, at ease.

So what's my point? If I want to find my place as a blogger and not have imposter syndrome, I need to blog. I've spent a year not blogging, not thinking anything was good enough, not thinking my voice was good enough and because of that I've worked it up into this huge thing. My imposted syndrome has turned the blogosphere into a big scary place with beautiful, perfect blogger bouncers at the door who will say "You're attempting to write?! Rose Keats you are ridiculous! We're not letting you in! Off with you! Be gone!"
Thankfully, I've worked through that (to a degree anyway) and I feel ready to start trying again. But in that time of not doing it I've almost forgotten how to. Before I started writing this I almost googled writing prompts for bloggers, because I've been wanting to blog again properly for a few months now and no ideas have come come. Or none that seemed good enough anyway. Using your voice and writing a blog is a muscle that needs to be exercised, and the more I didn't do it the more I was able to convince myself I shouldn't do it, or couldn't do it. The more I didn't do it the more my imposter syndrome was able to take hold.

So overcoming imposter syndrome? Just do it and see that nothing bad happens, I reckon.

I mean, maybe I'll hit publish on this and some elegant blogger bouncers will arrive at my door and demand my laptop and DSLR and tell me I'm not welcome. But I doubt it. Sort of. Maybe. But maybe the key to feeling you belong where you are and that you're not an imposter is to do the thing again and again and again until you realise that you're actually doing what you're supposed to and you start believing you belong there...

Blogopshere, my name is Rose Keats and I definitely still feel like a bit of an imposter. But I'm hoping there's maybe some space for me if I prove myself. I'm going to give it my best shot anyway.

What I'm Wearing
Dress - New Look (old but new season version available here.)
Boots - Hush Poppy (again old but new season colour here.)
Socks - Aerie Crew Socks (the best socks ever!) 
Bag - Mulberry

Join the conversation!

  1. there are bloggers who kill it with their sartorial images but that's just not me.

    Darling, have you SEEN your Instagram lately?!

    It's good to see you back here, and I'm looking forward to following along as you find your voice again <3

    Lis / last year's girl x


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