Price of Success

9 Nov

Imposter phenomenon (IP) is  a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments…feeling you do not deserve our successes or are not entitled to them, fear of failure, guilt about success, and underestimating self while overestimating others. This phenom is especially prevalent in females, and according to the article this could be attributed to societal norms and stereotypes.  Women, in other words, are not taught to be successful in the same way as men.  Female success is in the form of sustainable relationships, and nurturing. One thing of note was that women who have anxious relationships with their caregivers (one or both) tend to acheieve at high levels with a high tendency for NESP (narcissism, and exaggerated self-praise).  So basically saying that those women achieve in spite of a poor relationship foundation, and that the NESP is really a cover up for internal IP feelings. We feel like fakes; and all the Gucci bags, Louboutin heels, Coach breifcases, and Chanel suits in the world can’t cover up the way we feel inside. 

All the work that we’re putting in, earning higher degrees, doing the work of two people sometimes three, sometimes sacrificing relationships for the success of our careers and then we can’t even pat ourselves on the back and feel we deserve the things that we have worked SO hard for.

Do you think you suffer from IP? Are you able to accept compliments or do you still feel like the things that you have earned are due to luck, or happenstance?

Often with black women we hear that if we have too much education we won’t get a husband.  We hear that men may be intimidated by our success and that we may have to date outside our race after a certain level of success is achieved.  Why? Why can’t we have it all!  To add to the stress of accepting our accomplishments of our own we now have to suppress the feelings of guilt from “leaving our men behind?” WHY!?  Are you wrong for setting goals for yourself and doggishly striving or them? Absolutely not, any man who can’t handle your success isn’t worthy of you.  We have worked too hard and overcome far too much to be where we are and feel bad about it.

What are your thoughts on black women and our successes?



2 Responses to “Price of Success”

  1. Della Wilcox November 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    We deserve what we work for and any brother who can’t handle it can get off the bus. I will never apologize for succeeding. The only thing that I will say is this, to often when we(black women) do succeed we are forgetfull of those who helped us achive that success. No matter who you are or where you came from, there was someone who held your hand and push you up the ladder to success. None of us got there without the blood, sweat, and tears of another. So to all you successful black women out there I say, give thanks to those that helped you get there. In other words, don’t forget where you came from. Give back and help someone else. We sink, we swim together.

  2. An Athlete's Wife November 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    I am totally dealing with this in some aspect. I wrote about it in my blog a little while back.

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