The Adult Impostor

Listen with your heart, you will understand.

– Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas

I do not know of a statement that explains transitioning to adulthood more than this:

“When I see a child fall, scrap their knee, and begin to cry…

… my first instinct is to look for an adult…

… until I realize I am the adult!”

I feel like continuously having this realization is specifically part of transitioning to adulthood. Once you are an “adult”, you probably will experience these situations less often – notice I did not say they would never happen! Another part of transition is denial!

I was on the phone with a good friend of mine and she made the comment “You are so good at being an adult.” What was supposed to be a compliment turned into an hour-long debate about how neither of us are adults.

Impostor Syndrome

Psychology Today has an amazing article about Impostor Syndrome and if you don’t want to read the entire thing, I would suggest just reading the first 4 paragraphs! They provide a fantastic definition! I want to highlight a part of the definition they share:

Impostor syndrome is also related to perfectionism, in which people feel pressure to perform at their absolute best 100 percent of the time, and when they don’t, they feel incompetent and anxious.

In my very first blog post: Adult – What Does It Mean? I talk about the various topics I believe are related to adulthood. These areas are BROAD and contain various subtopics, so how is one person supposed to encompass them all?!?! This has been a struggle for me personally in my transition to adulthood. Some days I feel like I got it all together, and other days I feel like I have completely dropped the ball! It makes me constantly anxious and annoyingly depressed.

Overcoming Adult Impostor Syndrome

 The key is to remember that everyone’s version of what makes an adult is different; and that even your own version of what an adult looks like is a high-level view! In turn, you must recognize your accomplishments throughout this journey.

Thinking back to my conversation with my friend, I should have thanked her for the compliment. I have been trying so hard to become the adult I have envisioned, and instead of listing out all the times I fell short, I should have shared all of the moments I felt like I succeeded! If I did that, she probably would’ve shared her own accomplishments and we could have learned and grown from the conversation.

Creating Your Version of An Adult

Take a few minutes to write down 3 qualities you think an adult should have. Then for 2 weeks, celebrate every moment you perform one of these tasks; whether celebration is a glass of wine or a nice burrito! Lets stop feeling like imposters!

Mine are:

  • Keeping a clean kitchen (entire house really, but I am going to take it 1 room at a time)
  • Cooking a home-cooked dinner at least 4 out of 7 days of the week
  • Sticking to my budget

I would love to hear some of the qualities you think adults should have below. Until next time…

… stay safe & healthy

2 thoughts on “The Adult Impostor

  1. You got me thinking here 🤔 I might get this impostor thing a lot 😄 and it really bounces back to perfectionism. I think I keep postponing sooo many things in life because ‘it’s not perfect yet and I don’t know how make it more perfect’. It’s indeed a lot of food for thought 🤐


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