I remember there being times when I stood in the barn and thought “What am I doing here?” I would have these moments where I felt like I didn’t belong in the horse community because I didn’t start riding until I was 8, didn’t come from a horse family, or had a super intense working student position. In reality though, I had made a place for myself in the horse community and truly did belong. This feeling has a name and it’s called Imposter Syndrome.
What Is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that happens to many high achievers. People who have it feel a failure and inadequate even though they have many great accomplishments under their belt. It can come in several forms based on your background but the important thing is is that it can be overcome.
How to Beat It
When I feel like a failure, there are several things I like to do. First, look at old pictures. These can be horse related or old school pictures all they have to do is show an accomplishment. I like this because normally these pictures also come with good memories which are a great pick me up. Second, I like to think through and think about, say out loud, or write down everything big accomplishment I have. For example, one was that I was able to turn my amazing OTTB from just an fantastic jumper into a solid all around show horse. Another is that I was able to complete a national program that very few other people my age can. These are ways that I prove my brain and my feelings wrong.
Remember, You Belong
The horse community is an amazing community that everyone can be apart of. Whenever you feel like you don’t belong, remember that you do! The horse community is better off with you in it, no matter what!