“This girl’s Halloween costume is so relatable that mums everywhere don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”
“Jillian, 13, decided to attend Halloween festivities dressed as a ‘tired mum’, with uggboots, a Starbucks coffee in hand, two clingy babies, mascara-smudged eyes and a shopping bag holding wine. Her mum Lindsay couldn’t stop laughing when she first saw the outfit.”
I thoroughly recommend you take a second to click the story link and check out the pictures.
It’s worth it.
Now, I think that getup is amazing.
But it got me thinking…
… a costume like that works really well on Halloween for some reason.
Halloween is a time to embrace the macabre, the terrifying, the monstrous…
… WITHOUT the fear.
And when you do that, the fear becomes play. It becomes fun.
Halloween helps fear, play, mystery, exploration, and fun mix together, into a much spicier dish.
And THAT’S why the author writes ‘mums everywhere don’t know whether to laugh or cry’ at the ‘tired mum’ costume.
And although the costume is over-the-top…
(that’s why it’s hilarious)
… people recognise painful truths behind it.
With that in mind, try THIS with your Imposter Syndrome…
What if you (or someone you know) dressed up as your very own Imposter Syndrome for Halloween?
There was no limit on budget, clothes, or even reality.
What would it look like?
What would it wear?
What would it do?
What would it sound like?
What would it say?
What would make you cringe in recognition?
What would make you laugh in recognition?
To be honest, I don’t usually do exercises like this myself.
I’m not sure why. I guess because it usually feels like self-indulgent creativity. Rather than a productive use of my brain.
(Ironic thing for a musician to say, I know.)
Instead, I’m usually interested in what OTHER people come up with.
But I’m the one spouting this idea. So the least I can do for YOU is to come up with an example for you to look at.
Here we go.
If I dressed up as my Imposter Syndrome for Halloween…
… I would dress up as a green balloon.
Why green? I’m not sure.
It’s just the colour in my head.
(Oh wait! I just realised why. I’ll tell you later.)
Why a balloon?
Because when you (or other people) blow it up waaay too much…
… swelling it further than it should go…
… stretching it further than what feels comfortable…
… growing bigger than what you think it should be…
… you then become afraid it will pop any moment.
Leaving only a bunch of hot air, tattered pieces of green, and a disappointingly sheepish man underneath.
Which brings me to why the balloon is green.
That’s the colour I imagine my ego.
(Is this normal? I don’t know. Might be Futurama-fuelled.)
And I’m afraid that if I let myself think too much of myself, and let my head get too swelled…
… that’s the moment it bursts.
I’m afraid of thinking too highly of myself. Or letting other people.
Because that runs the risk of letting someone down
But if I must choose between staying deflated my whole life, or to grow and risk popping…
… I’d choose the latter.
My balloon costume will probably pop on occasion.
And I’ll then feel exposed and vulnerable.
But I’ll probably get used to it.
And start again, a bit more wiser each time.
Hmm, thinking about imposter syndrome this way has made it a bit more friendly, familiar, and fun. For some reason.
Well that’s me done. That was fun. Embarrassing too.
But what about you?
If you had 30 seconds to choose or design your imposter syndrome costume, what would you choose?
Don’t aim for the perfect answer (I didn’t).
Start somewhere and see where it goes.
(That’s what I did.)
And please, hit ‘reply’ and let me know!
And just like how dressing up as ghosts, ghouls, werewolves, witches, vampires, and even ‘tired mums’ make them less scary on Halloween… fun even…
You, or someone you know, might find the same with your own sense of imposter syndrome.
Try asking one person today: If you dressed up as your sense of imposter syndrome, what would you be?
If you’re like me, what they say will fascinate you.
Just like what YOU say would fascinate me.
Thanks for humouring me for another day on this challenge.
I hope you get something out of it.
(Even if that involves ripping this email to shreds.)
Best wishes, and see you tomorrow,
Lucus “playing dress-ups” Allerton
Sorry for the constant change in the email formatting! I’m trying out different styles. Hopefully I’ll stabilise on one soon.
Screenshot proof below:
(You’ll only see it if you have images enabled.)
Taken 2018-11-01 at 10.44.15 am