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More on Imposter Syndrom

Continuing the saga of "not quite measuring up"... a real-life tale with a sprinkle of humor that those familiar with me will surely find amusing.

Embarking on my 63rd sporty endeavor this year, I boldly ventured into the "advanced" class—a daring feat for someone who's not exactly sport's biggest fan.

Alas, after a mere 25 minutes, I made a hasty retreat, tangled in a web of emotions from shame to anger to plain old sadness. And of course, that nagging thought loop: "Well, that was a whole lot of nothing accomplished." This cycle danced around for a good half-hour, uninterrupted.

Even the cheerleaders around me chanting "Give it six months and see where you'll be!" couldn't calm the turbulence of emotions.

It all began with the grand comparison game—a classic blunder. As I contrasted my less-than-stellar performance with the class pros, the self-doubt crept in. Cue the internal monologue, "How do I even present myself right now?"

But lo and behold, an hour into my emotional spiral, I had an epiphany. These feelings, it turns out, are quite common for anyone trudging through a steep learning curve.

Here are my three revelations:

1/ Skip the "comparisonitis" and just measure myself against the person I was when I started—progress is progress, no matter how tiny.

2/ Emotions are like little alarms telling us when reality doesn't quite sync up with our grand plans. For us self-critical souls, a little "self-empathy" goes a long way, since the "inner critic" can't be outwitted.

3/ Amidst the turmoil, a spark of sanity emerged in the form of a question: "Did you have fun at least?" and a gentle reminder, "Hey, remember, you signed up for this because you thought it'd be fun." Not every roadblock is the end of the road.

And so, here's the moral of my story: In the world of learning and trying new things, the key ingredient often boils down to enjoying what you're doing. After all, embracing a challenge might just carry us further than any lofty expectations or fleeting frustration.

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