Putting a Face to the Name

(A heads up to all FB friends: I decided to turn this morning’s status into tonight’s blog post, so if you want to read something new … you might just want to pass me by tonight and come back tomorrow. ❤ )

Last night I was definitely in a low place. Nasty run-in with La Impostora, said a lot of unconscionably mean things to myself. People give all kinds of names to that ugly internal voice that is full-time focused on tearing us down. Some people call it their Inner Critic, others their Inner Mean Person. I have a friend who calls hers Clarice. (I’m sure there’s a good reason for that.) The ever-fabulous Jay Smooth calls his The Little Hater. He has an excellent little song all about it.

I’ve watched that video so many times, singing along, being reminded of my own battles with my inner critic. I cued up the video this morning to remind myself again … and realized that I totally have a vision of La Impostora in my head. From the first moment I used that name for Impostor Syndrome, I’ve had this very clear picture in mind. I see her as statuesque and imposing, in a long black Victorian gown with a bustle, staring down at me disapprovingly through her pince-nez. She never smiles. She has one disdainfully-arched eyebrow.

I also realized that having that image of her, calling it up and looking at her, made it easier for me to push her out of my way and off my path.

I’m feeling much better tonight than I did last night. Yes, I’m still disappointed about not getting that grant, still sad about it. But I also started working on two different essays today. My FB status lead to some great conversation in the new #52Essays group and some powerful encouragement on my wall. I went out to dinner with two writer friends and had lots of great conversation about this work we’re all drawn to do. I came home and had emails from the wonderful, creative women in my accountability group. And a surprise cash donation from a friend who just wanted to say she believes in me.

I am far from being able to say that I’ve vanquished La Impostora for good. FAR from that. But, as Jay says, “my Little Hater won’t win today,” and that is a full-on victory in my book.


It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

8 thoughts on “Putting a Face to the Name

  1. La Impostora sounds intimidating but also potentially easy to ruffle, in that corset cutting off her breath. I’m so glad you are surrounded by support and fellow writers. ❤️ I so wish I could come write with you.

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  2. Therapists often have clients draw their anxiety or depression and name them, so figuring out exactly what La Impostera looks like sounds like a good move to me. I’m glad she didn’t win today. Here’s to many more victories over here.

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  3. I love a- that you have a visualization of her and b- what an image! It does maker it easier to mentally push her away. Mine also has the brow perpetually arched in disdain. When I’ve had enough of her shenanigans I slam the mental door in her face and walk away like Angela Basset a l “Waiting to Exhale”.

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