Blog written by Denise Bryan
I recently delivered a pair of custom upholstered wing chairs to a client. At delivery, the smiling, delighted client asked for arm covers, which weren’t in the original job, and she asked for them to be made in a very specific way. I had to order more fabric to construct these arm caps, and that took some time. Ten days after delivering the chairs I delivered the arm covers. The client was happy with the arm covers and she was still delighted with her chairs. She told me about showing the wing chairs to her friends and visitors at the garden club open house she hosted. Did I mention she was STILL delighted? Honestly, this was not what I was prepared to hear.
Yikes, I feel like an Imposter.
Every time I deliver a piece of furniture I fully expect that after the client has lived with the furniture for a day or two it will completely fall apart; alternatively they will decide they hate it or that it’s shoddy work. I have never been told a piece I upholstered fell apart, or was shoddy work, so I know this is not rational, but somehow I still expect to hear it. This irrational work or production anxiety is called Imposter Syndrome, Imposter Phenomenon, or Impostism.
Imposter Syndrome first came to light in 1978, and the percentage of people who have struggled with Imposter Syndrome at one time or another is believed to be as high as 70%. 70% of us have struggled with feelings of unworthiness based on who we are and what we do! While Imposter Syndrome is not an actual mental health disorder (you won’t find it in the DSM) it does appear to be a widespread, shared human experience not bound by achievement, years of experience, or awards.
Some of the people we admire most, celebrities, as well as highly accomplished members of our society, also struggle with feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness in their chosen pursuits.
In a recent Kim’s Upholstery Community Forum members shared how they have wrestled with Imposter Syndrome. Here’s a bit of what our members had to say: