The Fear Of Letting Everyone Down
Start writing a post
Student Life

The Fear Of Letting Everyone Down

Including yourself.

The Fear Of Letting Everyone Down
Footnotes Counseling

I adored my first year of college. It was my first year of film school—my first chance to really buckle down and focus on chasing my dream career. Yet, this year as the end of summer crept closer and closer, I found myself in immense dread at the thought of returning. And not dread of the usual back-to-school variety. No, this dread wasn’t about returning to early mornings and the incoming homework I’d surely have to face. This was about something much larger. This was about the career path I’d decided to pursue. This was the beast that is self-doubt, closing in on me.

Could I really do this? Had I made a huge mistake? To make the enormous investment that is college only to find I’ve lead myself to dead-end where my skill set is nowhere up to par was my worst nightmare, and suddenly it seemed so probable.

This instance, of course, wasn’t my first rodeo with the issue of self-doubt. I’ve always been a creative person. I’ve spent my life creating. And to pretend that that comes without self-doubt creeping around the corner every so often, would not only be a lie, but an injustice to all the creative people who have dealt with such issues in pursuing their life’s work. As artists of any field will assure you, sometimes the talent the outside world sees, isn’t so easily perceived by those who possess it. That’s why when people assured me that I was still in fact talented and my fears were misguided, I continued to have a hard time suppressing the urge to drop all my aspirations and run. I was lucky enough, however, to stumble across a term that forced all my concerns into perspective: Imposter Syndrome.

Among the high-achieving, there would appear to be a trend, and that’s in the fact that many of them don’t actually see themselves as quite so high-achieving. In fact, many of them see the encouragement and approval of others as a sign that they’ve somehow managed to fool their peers into believing a falsehood—an invented level of skill which they can never truly live up to. This kind of self-doubt can only lead to one thing: a constant struggle to maintain a persona disconnected from themselves, and an overwhelming fear of falling short and being revealed as some kind of liar for having ever tried to fool people into thinking otherwise. In other words, those who are particularly gifted or accomplished can oftentimes fall victim to the belief that they are mere imposters.

Now, I’m not necessarily saying

I’m one of these people. I’m not even saying everyone who reads this and relates is necessarily suffering from Imposter Syndrome. I’m just saying that knowing that this sort of thing actually exists and actually has a name, can go some way to relieve anyone who deals with the same worries that I do. I know it reassured me to know that you can in fact be incredibly skilled and still fear your own self-perceived inadequacy. It does happen, and it likely happens to most people, just in varying degrees of severity. So if everyone else is reassuring you while you’re just worrying about how you’re going to let them down easy when you inevitably fail...check yourself.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!


The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Take a look at the articles driving big conversations on Odyssey.


At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Holidays With A Small Family

I wouldn't trade what we have for the world.

Matt Johnsn

When I was a kid I always went to my grandparents house whenever we celebrated any sort of holiday. We were a decently sized family and it was always a blessing to be in their house and surrounded by love during the holiday season. However, that all changed when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The family then began to drift apart and life went on, and we ended up all celebrating our own holidays with other family members.

Keep Reading... Show less

Safe Spaces Or Regressive Spaces?

Turns out shielding yourself from ideas can be detrimental to your ability to learn


College is a place for people who want to learn. That is the primary function of any academic institution. Its purpose is not to coddle us, nor should the community always be in agreement with us. We are supposed to surround ourselves with a variety of viewpoints that challenge us to learn, not the same repetitive points of view that make us happy.

Keep Reading... Show less

Black Friday is back to being Black Friday

This year, malls are standing up against Black Friday beginning on Thanksgiving. Doors won't be opening until Friday morning.


Last week my twitter feed was full of exclamations of how excited people were that our local mall, Westmoreland Mall would be closed on Thanksgiving Day this year. For those who work during the busy holiday days and hours, a celebration was in order. For the die-hard deal finders and shoppers though, they didn’t seem very happy.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments