Fearless Creatures, We

Link Parish

We start our lives as such fearless creatures. We create instinctively. Our response to our inner voice is, more often than not, “Sure, why not!” Only later in life do we learn caution, doubt, reflection.

Only later in life do we begin to treat our creative voice as a foe instead of an ally. Embrace the safe choice. Take the well-lit, well-travelled path. We are reminded to stick with the crowd. Remember–there is safety in numbers!

David Kelley tackles this in his Harvard Review article, ‘Reclaim Your Creative Confidence’. And in his book. And in his Ted Talk. You know by now how much I love Ted Talks. Credited or discredited, I appreciate the passion and positive encouragement from Amy Cuddy.

Impostor syndrome is marked by an inability to internalize accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Worrying too much about how others see us can have a negative impact on how we see ourselves. Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Sounds like a lot of the writers I know. Sounds like *me*.
I wanted to take the “Do you have Imposter Syndrome?” test but I was too afraid I would fail it. And everyone would know that I couldn’t even succeed at being an imposter.

Which leads us to this gem from the amazing Neil Gaiman:

https://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/160603396711/hi-i-read-that-youve-dealt-with-with-impostor

So takeaways. Creative is normal. Creative is different. And those differences are what make us special. Unique. One of the most beautiful things we have in common is how truly different each and every one of us are. That, and our shared fear of being different.


It took me a log time to embrace that fear and see it as a positive stress. We all can, especially if we support each other. Maybe there is safety in numbers after all…