I was having major impostor syndrome, my friends.
I was having a conversation with a potential new client for my Camera Confidence one to one and she sounded soooo together. She was telling me about her business and how it’s been flourishing and how she was ready to take it to the next level and she wanted me to help her.
I genuinely felt a cartoon ‘gulp’ when I she asked me what I did and how much I charged. My voice felt squeaky, my palms felt clammy and my heart was pounding. I explained my method and gave her my rate….
There was a small gap of silence then and into that gap tumbled a thousand years of ‘who do you think you are?’
What do you know?
How are you qualified to do this?
Get back in your box, young lady.
What notions of upperosity, my girl!
YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH FOR THIS!
I have recurring nightmares of tsunamis. I dream I’m in my childhood bedroom, in the house at the top of the hill, and I’m looking out over Dublin Bay and the sea level is rising. It’s not one of those rearing 100 foot waves about to crash down, it’s the even more terrifying water that just keeps coming. I can see Dalkey Island disappearing and Killiney Hill becoming submerged. Then I watch as it inches its way up the promenade at Bray, crawling through the streets and houses and gardens. I dream that I dash down to the kitchen to warn everyone only to find the floor damp and water bubbling in under the utility room door. It’s terrifying.
And this is what that feels like.
A tidal wave of self-doubt and terror that someone will find out that I can’t actually do what I say I’m going to do; that I am not enough.
But do you know the one place I feel like I’m enough?
The one place in the whole world where I relax, feel at ease and know that I’m completely in my comfort zone?
It’s on a set.
It could be a TV show, film, commercial, it doesn’t matter.
When I walk onto a set with the cameras, the lights, the electricians, sound guys and girls, camera operatives, directors, assistant directors, runners, wardrobe and makeup people, I walk on with complete assurance and calm that I am in the right place at the right time. I may feel the butterflies in my tummy that comes from wanting to do a good job, speak the right lines, honour a character, support my fellow actors but I do not feel like I shouldn’t be there.
It’s the one place in the world where I feel enough.
And it strikes me that not everyone has that confidence and calm.
People are being expected to be so shockingly visible these days, so vulnerable. I see people shudder and shake at the thought of going on camera, the thought of showing their face, sharing their work, expressing their heart’s desires through their art, craft and expertise.
I can do that standing on my head.
I have 20 years of experience being vulnerable and visible and I learnt how to feel comfortable doing it.
I have more than enough experience to share.
I have walked the path of fear to flourishing, and I’ve drawn a map.
Oh, and that client I mentioned at the beginning?
Yeah, she’s rocking the internet just now sharing the joy of what she loves with the whole wide web.