I have been writing this blog for around 7 years and counting. Over that amount of time, the things I have learned are immeasurable. I have changed my opinion and stance several times and they will probably change a lot more. Ideas have evolved and my knowledge within the paranormal sphere has grown through reading, research and hands-on experience. A very enjoyable journey so far. I am by no means an 'expert', but I enjoy sharing my findings and research through this blog. The problem is though, like many others, I suffer from what we know as imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. Many question whether they’re deserving of accolades.
Harvard business review
You will have likely encountered this at some point in your life. More likely, you probably experience it on quite a regular basis in many facets of life. Maybe it is your job, your abilities as a partner or parent or just as a human being. Many times we work our asses off, yet we feel like we don't deserve praise, or compliments or we doubt our own knowledge and abilities.
It is this imposter syndrome that in a lot of ways can hold us back as paranormal investigators and researchers. How can you be confident in your knowledge of something that we essentially don't know much about? When you bring social media into the mix, it can become an open slather. There are some pockets on social media where intelligent discussion does exist, although it often has to be highly moderated because there are always people who feel they know better while at the same time there are also people that won't accept any explanation other than what they think it is. Pop a photo up of an orb on Facebook and you will see what I am talking about! Whether it is within content creation or just sharing your thoughts and ideas, the combination of a somewhat taboo subject like the paranormal mixed with imposter syndrome almost seems like the perfect storm. When you add social media into the mix, so much self-doubt creeps in and people tend to hide in a corner. They may have unique theories or some great research or even evidence to present but they don't. This is such a loss for the paranormal field. Some people tend to think that their opinions are not as important as someone else's because they have a higher profile or they have been in the field for a much longer time. This is also a mistake. What about a fresh perspective or a new take? We can't just keep rehashing the same things over and over again. Sometimes it is the outside eyes of the casual observer that can ask a question that can lead us down a new path of research we hadn't considered before.
Image Source: Verywell
The paranormal in a lot of ways can turn into a bit of an addiction. Realistically, there is a very small percentage of people who are able to explore the paranormal as a full-time job. Most people have families and jobs and explore the paranormal on their weekends or the small amount of free time that they have. Even those content creators or tour operators that are lucky enough to do it full time, think about the sheer amount of work required from them. You see A LOT of burnout within the paranormal field. You want to do everything because you love it. Maybe you run a page and you want to make sure that your followers are getting the most out of the content. Some people have schedules for videos, podcasts etc and have a certain amount that they pressure themselves to release each week. Suddenly, the love job starts to become more of a job. We need to be easier on ourselves and give ourselves a break. If we are just churning things out for the sake of hitting a target, you are sacrificing quantity over quality. Is that really helping us move forward in the sphere of paranormal research?
As much as you doubt yourself and social media can be a daunting and sometimes unkind place, it is important for the progression of the paranormal field that you do share your thoughts and ideas. How can we move forward if we can't talk about it? How can we learn from each other if we don't share our findings? Sure we can be wrong about a lot of things, but what if there is something we get right? Be kind to yourself and also be kind to others. Most of us are here because we found a place where we feel comfortable even if our imposter syndrome makes us feel like we don't belong. I assure you that you do belong. The great thing about the paranormal field is that there is room for anyone with an open mind that is willing to challenge everything they have ever known. It can be frightening, emotional and overwhelming, but there are people eager to listen to what you have to say.
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