Struggle with Imposter syndrome – Guest Post.

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So I have a new Guest Post to Share with you all looking into a Dad’s experience with Imposter Syndrome.

Graham is a Dad of twins that I have gotten to know through Instagram. Mainly from the Dadvengers Dad’s Chat Live on a Friday night.

It was a couple of weeks back now, Graham took part in the Chat and shared his experience and thoughts of parenting with twins, he also covered into Imposter Syndrome.

From what I have read it is fairly common in both men and women, but I had never heard of the condition before. So this got me chatting with Graham about it, and I popped him the question… No No No, we are not getting married, even though he has a Damn fine Beard.

It was to ask if he would write a post for me for the blog, which he agreed. And here we are, Graham has been kind enough around his busy day to day with the twins and family to write this post.

I hope you will all enjoy Graham’s post covering his experience with Imposter Syndrome and about his parenting life with twins.

Imposter Syndrome Guest Post

Back in 2017 my wife and I got married, a beautiful ceremony and a lovely day with family and close friends, nothing outrageous but enough of a ‘do’ to make it a super special occasion.

It was a wonderful day that I often reminisce about. It was a happy time, a simpler time. Less than 12 months later the universe got flipped upside down as my wife gave birth to twins, Twin boys.

Un. Bloody. Real.

Here I am, 35 years old, sat in a small room in a hospital holding two babies who are quiet as mice, cuter than I could have imagined, and my entire life has never been the same since. The weight of responsibility hits you like a tonne of bricks (or a tonne of feathers) just as your heart is bursting with joy and love. You care for them and yet now you have to take care of them too. Forever.

Meet Graham's Twins. Two adorable little boys. Graham struggles sometimes with parenting due to suffering from Imposter Syndrome.
Meet Graham’s Twins. How cute are they – pic courtesy of Graham, Twindad_

I’ve worked in the service industry for 20 years now and have always sought to gain new skills and training in order to progress into new roles.

I’ve worked my way up the ladder in various companies with some level of determination, progressing and learning, training others and sharing my experiences.

I’ve never felt I had been put in any position or gained any job without it being fully achievable with my skillset.

Until now.

Massive credit to my wife, she is incredibly talented and a natural mother. She has more determination than I do and definitely reaches her goals and targets in everything she does. She put me to shame in preparation for parenting.

She researched an enormous amount to be as prepared as possible for the twins and without her, I have absolutely no idea what I’d have done! Yet now I’ve also been thrust into this position of parent with absolutely no skill or experience.

I did a small amount of babysitting as a teenager, mainly for beer money, and I must have ‘looked after’ my younger brother at some point. Although that mostly included WWF moves and pleading with him to not tell mum when we broke something. Nothing like what was needed to be a Dad.

In a nutshell, imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern where someone fears they will be exposed as a fraud, that they are undeserving of praise, and they attribute their achievements to luck or external factors.

This is me all over. It took me two years to realise. Social media should probably bear some of the responsibility for me feeling this way, with every parent sharing their successes and portraying the perfect life.

I’m not saying I’m not guilty of this at times also, and I do apologise for this. The negative experiences of the first six months of the twins lives stick out like a sore thumb in my mind. Sleeping through them both crying, nappy rash that I didnt notice, not realising that i had failed to clean things to a sanitary level and having it highlighted to me.

All things that can happen to anyone, but I had an incredibly high standard of parenting to meet and I was failing. Punishing myself mentally for everything, sometimes to the point of despair.

The first step to freeing oneself of imposter syndrome is to break the silence.

Something I have only done recently but already I can see improvement in my own mental health. There’s a long road out of my struggle with Imposter Syndrome for me, but I’ve taken the first step and that was hopefully the hardest.

Recognising my achievements and the part I am playing in my twins development as legitimate and not fluke is unnatural to me, but I’m trying.

With the wonderful support from Dadvengers, and the guys I’ve spoken to there, plus some close friends. I can get through this. After all, my boys deserve a Dad who can teach them confidence in their abilities.

Information & Details of imposter syndrome.

If you have read Graham’s post, and find yourself relating to how he is feeling, you may also be struggling with Imposter Syndrome.

What are Imposter Syndrome symptoms?

For people with Imposter syndrome, the tendencies they have of low self-confidence and a fear of failure. They experience a constant internal struggle between achieving success and avoiding being “found out.” This struggle can prevent many with the condition from reaching their potential in life.

A great image to showcase the thoughts of somebody struggling with Imposter Syndrome.
A great image showcasing Imposter Syndrome – pic source Willow Tree

How do you fix Imposter Syndrome?

The only way to stop feeling like an Imposter is basically stop thinking like an Imposter. Easier said than done I know, but here are 5 steps you can take to help with the feeling of Imposter Syndrome.

  1. Break the Silence
  2. Accentuate the positive
  3. Develop yourself a New Response to failure and mistake making
  4. Visualise success.
  5. Recognise when you should feel fraudulent

I hope this may help if you can relate to Graham’s story. Also if you would like to follow more of Graham’s journey through Imposter Syndrome and his family life with twins, you can take a look and follow his Instagram Below.

Graham’s Instagram Blog – Twindad_

Imposter Syndrome is a form of problem with mental health, such an important subject to raise awareness of, something I myself try and do. Struggling with my own issues with Depression and Anxiety, you can read my latest post about Men’s Mental Health Here.

9 thoughts on “Struggle with Imposter syndrome – Guest Post.

  1. Imposter syndrome is so real. Well done Graham for speaking out. I’m permanently convinced someone’s going to notice that I’ve been winging it at work for 13 years despite several promotions and successful leadership experiences. It’s crazy how our brains can ignore obvious truths.

    1. To be honest I’d never heard of imposter syndrome. I found out about it when Graham joined in on a Dad’s Chat Live with Dadvengers on Instagram. Are you sure that isn’t just because you are brilliant at your job?

      1. Oh I rationally know that I’m good at my job. It’s just that often, in the moment, I am convinced I have no idea what I’m doing and someone’s going to notice. My annual reviews are super long because I feel the need to detail everything I did to prove to my bosses that I deserve to stay around

  2. Excellent post, I had no idea just how real imposter syndrome is. You hear it on social media but not in such an open and honest way.

    Thank you for teaching me x

  3. I was once told in an end of year review at work that I had imposter syndrome. As someone whose had to work hard to get up the ranks when I’d finally attained the position I wanted I was filled with self doubt and had thoughts of not being deserving. Luckily I have a great boss who identified my self doubt and called it for what it was. Now I just think rationally, I’ve been doing the job so surely I can do the job….

    1. That’s great for your employer to notice that, some wouldn’t. Great to hear your thriving in your career 😊

  4. Great post, Graham. Really good of you to speak out about it. I’ve struggled with it before in various situations, and it’s never as simple as telling yourself you’re doing ok, there’s always that voice telling you that you’re doing it wrong, or not doing enough, or everyone is doing it better. Well, from what I can tell from chatting to you recently, you’re doing an amazing job as a Dad to the twins, they’re lucky to have you!

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