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Imposter Syndrome

What is Imposter Syndrome

If there’s one thing that feels a bit yuck about being a celebrant (and trust me, there’s not a lot that I don’t like) it’s an insidious beast called Imposter Syndrome, and it’s rife within the celebrant industry.

Psychology Today describes Imposter Syndrome as ‘People who struggle with imposter syndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements and the high esteem in which they are, in fact, generally held. They feel that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others might think—and that soon enough, people will discover the truth about them.’

Sounds familiar? I’ve met hundreds of celebrants over the years, and there’s very few (if any) who haven’t had at least a moment of allowing this to creep into their psyche. So why does it happen?

The Cause

I can only speak from my own experience, but I think the main cause is that, outwardly, celebrants appear to be very confident people. After all, we’re doing a job which includes one of the top fears in many people: public speaking. So the external image we give to the public, either via social media, or in person, is that ‘We’re totally cool, calm, collected’. Therefore, when you look at other celebrants, you can often feel that they are better at this celebrant stuff than you are, because you can’t see the self-doubts, concerns, neuroses, stresses, bad days, health issues, or anything else which may be bubbling under the surface.

And, of course, social media has a huge part to play in all of this. Many celebrants only post photos of themselves where they look their best, and I know that, personally, for every good photo of me that’s taken, there’s at least another dozen of me looking, well, not my best.

The Solution

I’ve found a couple of tricks which have worked for me, and the voices in my head that try to knock me down sometimes. Here’s some:

‘There are so many celebrants who are younger than me’

True. But there’s also a lot of couples who might find my maturity and life-experiences a positive.

‘There are so many celebrants who are busier than me.’

True. But I know how many ceremonies I would like to do a year, and I concentrate on that.

‘There are so many celebrants who are cooler than me.’

Hey, I’m cool in my own unique way!

‘My social media isn’t as slick as others.’

I really enjoy doing mine, and I feel like I can be authentic. I have fun with it.

‘My wardrobe isn’t as glamorous as others’

Well, at least I’ll never risk outshining the couple!

‘I’m not ‘in’ with the wedding in-crowd’

I’ve managed to find The Celebrant Society, and have my own active social life by making my own friends who work in the industry. They are ‘my’ people, and I love ’em!

My biggest tip?

Find a supportive membership group. Being a celebrant can be very lonely, and so having a group of celebrant-supporters around you can make you realise that, hey, we all make mistakes, we all have bad days, we all have stressful times, we are all HUMAN. Promise.

And my favourite supportive membership group? Why, The Celebrant Society, of course.

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Imposter Syndrome