Under The Influence

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By Lindsay Woods

A few weeks ago, I came down with the flu. Not a nasty cold. The flu. In between sweating profusely and hallucinating that the entire ensemble case of Ru Paul’s Drag Race were forming intermittent conga lines at the foot of the bed, my wretched state did in fact afford me a lot of time to think. Mainly due to the fact that I had the attention span of a goldfish due to the number of steroids I was at that time ingesting and was rendered incapable of reading more than a few lines of print or watching anything more taxing than reality TV.

Your mind goes to dark places under the influence of ’roids and a high temperature. Pressing questions like, ‘Would Maltesers work as a topping on a spice bag?’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be lovely if someone could make a nice little backpack to hold Thor’s hammer in, to give the poor love a break from lugging it everywhere?’, torment you. By day five, the fog had begun to disperse slightly and whilst still confined to the bed as a result of looking like a new born foal with cement blocks for feet when attempting to take a few steps, I was keen to get back to work. Keen to do so because I had made a decision. I had decided once and for all to relinquish a curious phenomenon that has gripped me for most of my adult life: ‘Imposter Syndrome’.

Just over a year and a half ago, I was at a veritable crossroads. I had made the decision to leave a career and become a stay at home parent. Or rather the decision was made for me due to unforeseen circumstances. But, I was restless. In brief, my mother made me accompany her on a trip to Knock (along with a significant hangover). I documented approximately three minutes of footage via Instagram, of which a very kind TV producer happened upon and in turn gave me an opportunity. Which I duly sabotaged. Because I felt I was not good enough.

After cobbling together a proposal on my phone, post googling ‘How to write a TV script’, (my laptop having been rendered useless due to an altercation with my then four year old), I then set aside three days to knock a script together over the Christmas period. All the while telling myself, “You have no experience”, “There are people who can do this better, faster and have more talent in one of their eyelashes than you have in your entire person”. I listened to those voices. For too long.

A wise woman once advised me to, ‘Stay in my own lane’. Focus on my own progress and not that of those around me. But, I am, on occasion, one who likes to glance into the lane opposite. The awakening for me came when I acknowledged that ‘Yes’, it is fine for me to cast a quick look but not to compare. The comparison was my Achilles heel and the whole premise for my ‘Imposter Syndrome’.

Yes, there will always be someone who can achieve something greater. Why not learn from them? Yes, you will make mistakes. Apologise if needed and work to avoid a repeat performance. Yes, you will not have all the answers. Why not ask the people who can help?

Drop the posturing, the bravado, the fake followings. There are far too many voices attempting to out-bleat each other as is.

I had, what my husband likes to refer to as, ‘…your Justin Bieber moment’; being plucked from obscurity and thrust into the veritable unknown. It might not have panned out as yet into such a stellar career trajectory but who am I to say that moment may, or may not, occur again. My husband believes it will. Which in itself is solace enough that someone cares that much to think so.

I have decided to also let go of those things which I cannot control. For instance, instead of thinking when a job does not pan out, ‘See?! The reason you didn’t get that is because they know you are a fraud!’, I ask for feedback and move swiftly onto the next. Who knows, maybe it was because they thought I was a complete hack with zero talent. However, over time I can possibly alter their opinion slightly by growing, learning and moving the frick forward. For me, what it ultimately comes down to is not wanting to be the smartest in the room, because that would be a damn boring room. Yet by acknowledging my strengths along with my weaknesses and refusing to compare myself to others, I might, just might, get there in the end. Or at the very least, Justin Bieber may hire me to ghost write his tell-all biography.

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Source : https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/lifestyle/features/lindsay-woods-your-mind-goes-to-dark-places-under-the-influence-of-roids-and-a-high-temperature-833792.html

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