post #3 - is adrenaline brown?...

post #3 - is adrenaline brown?...

so it’s 5.30pm - exhibition opening time! i’m in the car, showered – check, big girl pants on – check, hair done – check, smelling pretty damn fine – check! right let’s do this – or erm well maybe not! cause i go to open the door & a wave of fear pins me to the seat & i realise that adrenaline is brown. no, no, no stop the bus i didn’t shit myself, i’m speaking metaphorically! 

"it's good to arrive fashionably late" 

but i did come out in a cold sweat & couldn’t move. i try to pretend to myself that it’s good to arrive fashionably late & that’s why i’m sitting here. then a voice says: 

“so are you getting out the car or what?” 

no, it’s not the voice in my head (that one is in a state of shock & has lost the power of speech for the time being) it’s my husband staring at me like i’m some kinda lunatic 

“eh aye in a minute, just psyching myself up” 

so, we sit & we sit, & we sit & we si…  

no.1 voice in head “FFS K, get yer game face on & let’s go” 

no.2 voice in head “ahahaha ye havenae got it in ye!” 

no.1 voice in head “aye she does, watch this…” 

i sit stuck to the seat like it’s covered in gorilla glue – not like that PVA shit that gives you time to move into just the right position, instead i’m stuck firm within a split flippin’ nano second 

no.2 voice in head “see i told ye, hasnae got it in her!” 

no.1 voice in head “remember Mel Robbins, what would Mel do? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – get the fuck up!” 

& i did (15 minutes later)

"the queen of Sheba could have been there & i wouldn't have clocked her FFS"

i get out the car, grab my husband’s hand & walk straight through the open door, through the shop, through the gallery, straight passed my work, straight passed all the other guests (the queen of Sheba could have been there & i wouldn’t have clocked her FFS) straight over to the drinks table. i DO NOT pass go i DO NOT collect £200 but i do collect a glass of white cold stuff with bubbles in it that i swiftly swig, phew! 

imposter syndrome is a real bitch & it plagues me something awful, always has. you see the thing is no matter what i've done job wise, i've been waiting, pretty much all my life, for the tap on the shoulder & someone saying, 

“aye, ok doll it’s been fun but yeah now it’s time for you to GTF!” & i'd be found out for the charlatan that i am! 

i wasn’t so affected in my teens, i'm putting that down to the exuberance of youth but since then i've taken a fair few knocks. 

i showed my work to someone a few years back & it was met with a snotty: 

“hmmm it’s not original, is it?” 

i’ve since come to realise though that their opinion was never going to be either constructive or positive, it was pointed out to me as a classic case of they felt threatened by me. a strange concept for me to get my head round, but very true all the same 

"i didn't realise killing people was a job prerequisite" 

or maybe it relates to that job interview more recently where i was told i didn’t possess the “killer instinct” required to be a head of department? although now when i think about it, i didn’t realise jumping across the boardroom table to knife a subordinate was a job prerequisite as a manager these days, maybe it was in the desirable attributes list – ninja like knife skills? think i'll just put that one down to the interviewer being a dick –  yep she was, plain & simple!

according to the author Clare Jose, writer of ‘Ditching Imposter Syndrome’, there are 4 P’s to contend with: 

“paralysis, perfectionism, procrastination, & people-pleasing” 

well paralysis is real (exhibit A above – just saying), perfectionism is something i strive for – like ALWAYS, i've won several gold medals in procrastination & although people pleasing is slightly lower down my list it’s definitely in the mix! 

Angela Ashwell reckons: 

“the wonderful thing about imposter syndrome is that it’s a message telling you that you aren’t the finished article. Who is?” 

 "i guess my no.2 voice keeps me self-aware"

whilst i'm not sure “wonderful” & “imposter syndrome” should share the same sentence i think she’s got a point. i'm not the finished article, far from it & i guess my no.2 voice keeps me self-aware which is no bad thing, right? 

do you know what? for all i've worried about the tap on the shoulder, it hasn’t ever actually happened & it didn’t happen at the exhibition opening either. instead, i was met with cool people, people i knew, people i didn’t & they were all super positive about my work, even the ones i eaves dropped on – sssh! it seems it’s only me & my little voice no. 2 that is negative 

so, for me going forward, whilst i will be slyly flippin’ the bird at imposter syndrome on the daily, i will also be confronting it. which means embracing my flaws, celebrating my successes no matter how wee, & surrounding myself with people who lift me up instead of tear me down. oh & yes it also means getting out the fuckin’ car!  

i'd love to hear what it means for you, why not share your thoughts in the comments? 

love you, bye 


PS things i've learned whilst wearing my big girl pants: 

  1. listen to voice no.2 & see it as self-awareness but don’t let the wee bastard dictate what you do, stand up for yourself 
  2. be you, be authentic, get out the car & just keep going ffs
  3. fake it till you fuckin’ make it – 100% 
  4. finally, i swear a lot & this is me toning it down, my mum would be washing my mouth out with soap if she were here – sorry mum! 


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lol! I love this I know exactly how you feel :) Your art is amazing and your writing is awesome. Post again soon please x

Sue Downing

You are an amazing writer. Lovely to read and recognise your reflections. Your cynical humour is also totally “my thing”, although I usually only dare to give my reflections on situations (and people I encounter) sound or image in communication with people who know me well, because of fear of being “marked as dangerous to society”.
(Because I am really just a friendly person, who puts things into perspective by “that scoop on top”, you know, right ?)
And I do not mean that you are a danger to society !!! But that my fear of being’judged/judged’ by others is probably #1 on my list of ‘issues to overcome’.
Keep going !! & Good luck !


Laughed my head of reading this! From one kween fighting the daily imposter syndrome to another… I totally relate. But you’ve absolutely no need. You got this!

Sandra Ord

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