One problem that I run into when writing these blogs is that I will have a vague memory of a topic I’ve touched on in the past, but no recollection of what I said about it. Today I encountered just such a conundrum because I think I’ve written about imposter syndrome in the past, I know I recently wrote about my return to the wrestling ring after about a year and a half hunkering down to avoid the dangers of COVID (or at least mitigate the risks), but I couldn’t even begin to tell you what I actually wrote down. Heck, maybe I’ve written this same disclaimer before. Who knows? Certainly not me, because I refuse to take valuable time out of my usual content creation and/or consumption to re-read my own words. As such, I hope you will forgive me if I begin repeating myself throughout this post, though I will do my best not to.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, many have struggled with having their creative outlets either being put on hold, have them rapidly changed, or taken away altogether. It is one of the many hardships brought on by the pandemic and, some may argue, one of the less dire. But it is a hardship nonetheless, and one that I have encountered. It is the reason I have this website. I needed a steady creative outlet after indie wrestling became more of a risk than I was willing to indulge, so I chose to blog (I’d been doing so for ProWrestlingPost.com for about a year earlier, but wanted more freedom to discuss non-wrestling topics). I also started a podcast, Champion Shipping – which afforded me a reason to continue writing poetry and sharing it with the world. I also started streaming on Instagram Live and Twitch, though my schedule has unfortunately prevented the Twitch streaming lately.
All of these new pastimes helped get me through until I would re-enter the wrestling ring on April 27 (wow, it feels like it was just yesterday). After I started training again, I wanted to keep up my new endeavors, as I appreciated the challenge and outlets they provided – so here we are today. I somehow manage to maintain a day job coordinating folks within my organization (as referenced in my last blog – hey look, I remembered something), release a monthly blog, release a monthly podcast, stream monthly on Instagram Live, and train weekly (at least) at the Buddy Wayne Academy. Plus, the other extra stuff – relationships, working out, consuming content, and taking care of my cat. It’s a challenge. Life is about finding a balance and while it can be difficult to do so, especially during a global pandemic, I think I do okay… Sometimes.
They say that you should surround yourself with people smarter than you – that it helps you learn and strive to improve. I like to think that I’ve done just that, in many aspects of my life. Many of my friends and peers are “smarter” than me in their own way. The reason I began training with the Buddy Wayne Academy was to surround myself with people better than me, who could help me become a better wrestler, and I think it worked. I have improved since I started with the BWA about five years ago, but I somehow still feel like I am surrounded by people who are more talented than me. Therein lies the monkey’s paw of “surrounding yourself with people smarter than you” when you have imposter syndrome – the amplification of your own insecurities.
I have immensely talented friends and peers. People I could talk about all day. My romantic partner is an extremely talented artist and seamstress who makes her own cosplay and wrestling gear, and my tag-team partner is a well-educated and well-spoken man of science who just started his own blog breaking down scientific research to make it more accessible (cheap plug here). In addition, I’ve trained with people who wrestle for (or at least have wrestled for) large TV wrestling companies, and I also associate with some of the hottest local talents today (I’m doing my best to make this not sound like I’m just dropping names here), and I’m proud to confidently call many of them my friends. At the same time, I struggle with comparing myself to them. My combination of anxiety and imposter syndrome often leads me to believe that I am only tolerated by friends and peers in all aspects of my life – an impulse that I am almost always fighting against. It creates scenarios where, for example, if I do not receive feedback after training (positive or negative), I assume that I am seen as a lost cause and not worth the energy of feedback. That is not necessarily the case (or so I tell myself) – but that is the kind of silly stuff I actively work against here. Some days are better/worse than others, and it can be a hard thing to navigate because the thing that would dispel the doubt (straight up asking for confirmation/clarification/feedback) can feel like part of a self-fulfilling prophecy; “they already don’t like me, so if I ask them if they like me, it’ll just make them like me even less.” – YIKES!
I’m sure there are others out there like me. People who deal with anxiety and imposter syndrome in their everyday life lives. In work, in their relationships, and/or in creative endeavors. Imposter syndrome can quite literally feel like a game of Among Us, where you’re an alien just trying to find the right words to say to not raise suspicions that you may not be human. If you’re reading this, I get it. Hopefully reading this helps.
I usually try to end these on a hopeful note or find some sort of conclusion or ultimate truth we can draw from the words that preceded. I’ll admit that I got in my head a bit just by writing all this, but I also feel a little more confident. I mean, I did just spit out about a thousand words in about an hour. Are they any good? Who knows! Hey, that’s a pretty good way to bring things back around to where we started.
I certainly don’t. In most aspects of my life. But I’m trying. And I’m gonna keep trying. With this blog. And my poetry, and podcast, and streaming, and wrestling, and my day job, and relationships, and being a cat dad. That’s all any of us can do – try. That’s why I keep posting my training clips on social media. It’s not to drum up interest or show off. It’s just to show that I’m trying.
Thank you for trying to make any sense of all this with me. I’ll catch you on the next one!
THE WORLD IS YOUR BURRITO!
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