Are You Saying No to Success?

 Do you tell yourself that you are not successful, or that the success you've had doesn't count because it's not real?Are you saying no to success? You are also showing signs of the Imposter Syndrome.Are you among the many people who are stuck because they don’t believe in their own accomplishments? Do you feel that you will be ‘caught’ when someone realizes you really don’t know what you are doing? Do you tell yourself that you are not successful, or that the success you’ve had doesn’t count because it’s not real? Are you saying no to success? You are showing signs of the Imposter Syndrome.


According to Wikipedia, the Imposter Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. It is not an officially recognized psychological disorder and is not among the conditions described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but it has been the subject of numerous books and articles by psychologists and educators. The term was coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978.

There was a time when it was felt that more women suffered from the Imposter Syndrome than men. Unfortunately, time has shown that no one is immune to these feelings.  It happens to the writer, to professionals, to politicians, to tradesmen, and to housewives.

Remember when Sally Fields accepted the Oscar with a statement along the lines of, “You like me. You really, really like me! ” Yup. That’s a sign of that Imposter Syndrome. Aw, you say, she’s an actress, she doesn’t count. So how about Albert Einstein who said, “The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. ” Or Woodrow Wilson when he said, “I use not only all the brains I have but all that I can borrow. ”

What’s that I see? Are nodding your head? Are you an imposter? So am I. There are many of us who often feel that we don’t deserve the praise we receive. Like these highly successful people quoted above, we feel like a fake, despite our successes.

Where does it come from?

Perhaps you came from a home where your caregivers were hyper-critical. You know, the ones who looked at your grade card with four As and a B and focused on the B instead of congratulating your for a job well done. Or, you could have developed impossibly high standards, as in, if it’s not perfect, it’s not good enough. Then there’s luck. Sometimes luck seems to play a strong role in our lives. “I was just in the right place, at the right time.” And if it’s luck, then it can’t be because you worked hard to be in the right place at the right time, that you deserve it, can it?

We are certainly surrounded by things that are fake: false eyelashes, fake trees, fake grass, and more. There are fakes who are found out: a plagiarist, a doctored image, falsified documents, etc. Some of these have legal consequences. We sure don’t want to be in that group! So we hide our fears. And because we hide them from others, we often hide them from ourselves as well.

Signs of Imposter Thinking

What are signs you might be limiting yourself with imposter thinking?

  • You diminish your accomplishments by saying something like ‘it wasn’t that big of a deal.’
  • You quit your job soon after a promotion that you felt you didn’t deserve.
  • You procrastinate on things to be done. If it isn’t done, then you can’t be ‘found out.’
  • Insomnia and migraines have been called symptoms of imposter syndrome as well. (Though please, if you are having physical symptoms such as insomnia or migraines, seek medical attention to rule out other causes for those symptoms.)
  • Finally, in extreme cases, there are some who take refuge in more destructive behaviors like addiction to alcohol or drugs.

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

First, learn more about it from reliable sources like Psychology Today’s The Imposter Syndrome and I Hope Nobody Finds Out. And this one by Judith Beck on Huffington Post, The Imposter Syndrome

The next step is to name it. Recognize your ‘imposter’ behaviors and thinking.

Then begin replacing those scripts you’ve played over and over in your head. Realize that you don’t have to be perfect to be successful. Take in those compliments. Stop the ‘yes, but’ parade. Replace it with a positive statement, “Even though she sold more books than I, I still sold a lot of books.” Focus on your strengths. When you finish a task, look at the strengths you used to bring this project to completion. And know that this isn’t a one-and-done type of thing. You’ll have to practice these new scripts many times.

You’ll find more tips on how to change your thinking in this gallery on How to Break Free from the Imposter Syndrome on Forbes.

Being an Imposter

Hello, my name is Lynette and I’m an imposter. Yes, I’ve felt like a fake most of my life. I tend to self-sabotage. It’s been a longtime habit that I’ve struggled to overcome. I thought I’d done pretty well, until recently when I realized I would not make my writing goals — again.

Then I realized, reaching my writing goals means that I’d have to put my work out there for someone else to read. Scary stuff. Someone might read it and not like it. I know the cure for this one: do not care what someone else thinks. That’s hard for me. I want so badly to be liked.

Whew. That paragraph was hard to write. And because it’s so hard, I’m going to leave it in. I’m not leaving it in as a plea for you to comment and say you like me. I’m leaving it in because it was hard for me. That need, that fear that I won’t be liked because I’m just not good enough, is an eternal struggle for me. Feeling that way is a reminder for me to take off the fear glasses I sometimes use to look at myself and my accomplishments. When I take off the fear glasses and put on the fact glasses to examine what I’ve done, I know I am good enough. You can know it, too. Take off your fear glasses. Face the Imposter Syndrome head-on.

Are there areas of your life where you feel like an imposter? Are you saying no to success? How do you combat it? I am so glad you’re here. Thank you for stopping by. And if you take the extra time to post a thoughtful comment, I thank you even more deeply.

And the Answer is: Happy Rodents and a Lucky Snippet

I got tagged. Not once. Not twice, but three times! I am honored by my online friends. Now I HAVE to respond to the 11 Questions Game and the Lucky 7 Meme. And the answer is Happy Rodents and a Lucky Snippet.

I got tagged. Not once. Not twice, but three times! I am honored by my online friends. Now I HAVE to respond to the 11 Questions Game and the Lucky 7 Meme. And the answer is Happy Rodents and a Lucky Snippet.I’ve been watching the games of 11 Questions and the Lucky 7 Meme flying around the net lately and having great fun reading everyone’s posts. Being the shy type, I just lurked on those wonderful sites, kind of envious that they were having fun, but relieved I wasn’t tagged. Why relieved? Because I have a bunch of amazingly talented friends and worry that my words are pale compared to theirs. Then it happened.

The awesome Rachel Funk Heller tagged me for the 11 Questions game. Rachel writes mysteries and inspiring blog posts with fantastic metaphors. Be certain to visit her blog. You won’t regret it.

The rules for 11 Questions:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions on your blog. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

So here are the questions Rachel asked, and my answers.

1. What is your favorite cruciferous vegetable?

Ok. First I had to look up what the heck cruciferous vegetables were. When I did I got a list: Arugula, Brussel sprouts, chard, daikon, mustard greens, turnips, bok choy, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, kale, radishes, watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, and rutabagas. What?! Are you kidding me? Those are vegetables? Ok. I admit having eaten fourteen of those. And in the right mood, I even liked most of them. But I’m more of a root vegetable girl, give me a sweet potato any time.

2. At what age did you realize Santa Claus, might not be real?

Noooo! Tell me it’s not so! I am a Christmas sap. Naysayers, go away–I will never believe you. Santa, I still believe in you and I always will!

3. Where is the worst place you have ever made whoopee?

Hmmm. Depends upon what you mean by ‘worst.’ And that’s all I’m saying about that. 🙂

4. What is your favorite rodent?

Generally, I keep as far away from rodents as possible. So this was another question I had to do a little research on. Did you know that rodents comprise 40% of all mammals and live on every continent except Antartica? There are more than 2,000 species! Wikipedia has a general information piece that I found interesting. There are all kinds of critters that are classified as rodents that I have had some acquaintance with. Some unfortunate. Some, I recall being quite fond of. So my favorite species of rodent are the cartoon chipmunks: Chip and Dale.
I got tagged. Not once. Not twice, but three times! I am honored by my online friends. Now I HAVE to respond to the 11 Questions Game and the Lucky 7 Meme. And the answer is Happy Rodents and a Lucky Snippet.
Go here for a sample of the cartoon.

5. List your five favorite letters of the alphabet.

REMWB – my DH’s and son’s initials, who else?

6. If you could be a Spice Girl, which one would you be?

So we’re talking Baby, Posh, Scary, and Ginger. I think I’d have to go with Ginger Spice, because of her hair color and the fact that she’s writing books for children.

7. If you were a superhero, what are your superhero name and your special power?

Oh, my gosh, I have to choose just one superpower? How? Let’s see . . . Speed? Then maybe I’d have a chance to get everything on my to-do list done. . . but would I be able to savor life if I just sped through it? Strength? No, I just don’t run into a whole lot of problems that would be solved by strength. Healing? Now that would be wonderful, except I’d never been able to touch everyone that needs the healing. . . Shape-shifting? Weather-controlling? Aw, man. There are so many to choose from!

I know! I want the power to be able to have whatever power I need at the moment. You can just call me, The All-Powerful Oz Ozette!

8. What is your Drag Queen name? Take the name of your first pet, and the name of the first street you lived on.

My first dog was a cocker spaniel we had when I was a toddler. His name was Buttons. The name of the first street I lived on is harder. I don’t know what that street name was. The first street name I remember living on was Montevideo. So, that makes my Drag Queen name, Buttons Montevideo. Kind of brings a character to mind, doesn’t it? Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

9. Boxers or Briefs?

Hmmm. I’m more interested in what’s inside of them! 🙂 Now, now. Get your mind out of the gutter! I meant the whole person – really, I did.

10. You’ve just made an embarrassing fast dash into an elevator car after you make it and the door closes, you are panting and out of breath, you look up and there is your favorite celebrity of all time: what do you say?

Um, believe it or not, something like this actually happened to me.

I was at a World Science Fiction convention in Atlanta. The convention hotel had an open atrium that was maybe 100 stories tall (okay, my acrophobia is showing – would you believe 30 stories?). Glass elevators overlooking the atrium ran up and down on three sides. There was no alternative except the stairs. And 20 some flights of steps were no joke. So I took the elevators and tried to pretend there were solid walls.

It was my first convention where I was a published author and a member of SFWA (the Science Fiction Writers of America). I knew there was a strong possibility that I’d meet famous authors, so I’d prepared.  I planned on saying hello, introducing myself as an author, complementing the famed one’s clothing or hair or making a cogent comment about something the famed one had said on the panel, and casually mention a title or two by that author.

Well, I thought I’d prepared.

One day running late for an event, I breathlessly catch the elevator and stand as far from the glass wall as possible. A man stands, in front of the glass, in his swim trunks with a towel draped around his neck. He reads my name badge that proudly displays, member SFWA on it. He reaches out to shake my hand and says, “Hi, Lynette. I’m Alan Dean Foster. Welcome to SFWA.” I don’t even know what I said. I probably sputtered something all fangirl and inane like, “Oh, thank you, so much! I just love all your books,” while inside I was screaming Alan Dean Foster knows this is my first year in SFWA – how does he know that – what do I say – oh, my gosh – he’s in his swim trunks – what do I say?  Great trunks?  Ack!  ALAN DEAN FOSTER – what do I say??? I only hope I wasn’t opening and closing my mouth like a fish blowing bubbles! In my next life, I want to be all refined and cool, able to quote memorable passages and say something divine and intelligent.

11. What is your favorite Halloween costume of all time?

This one’s hard! I’ve had some fun costumes, but I think my son’s first Halloween costume has to be my all time favorite. He was 8 months old, a chubby, happy baby in a little blue sweatsuit with a sweatband around his head and carrying a sweat sock (clean!) for treats. It will always be my favorite.

Thanks, Rachel Funk Heller, that was fun!

I tag:
Indy Quinlen
Reetta Raitanen
Lynn Kelley
Louise Behiel
Debra Kristi
Karen McFarland
Shannon Esposito
Diane Capri
Jennette Marie Powell
Samantha Warren
Prudence MacLeod

Here are your questions:

  1. 1. What book or series can you read over and over again without getting bored?
    2. What TV show character do you hate and why?
    3. If you were a superhero, what are your superhero name and your special power?
    4. What is your favorite earworm (a song that gets stuck in your head)?
    5. If you could be any character of the opposite sex in any story, who would you be and why?
    6. What was the worst job you’ve ever had and why?
    7. What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?
    8. What mode of transportation (horse, automobile, bus, train, boat, airplane, space plane, etc.) would you never want to use and why?
    9. What job/occupation would you never want to try?
    10. If you could tweet a warning or encouragement to one person in history, what would you tweet to whom and why?
    11. Tell us about one thing on your bucket list.

You don’t have to be tagged to play. In fact, if you would answer one of these questions in the comments, I’d be delighted to get to know you better.

I got tagged. Not once. Not twice, but three times! I am honored by my online friends. Now I HAVE to respond to the 11 Questions Game and the Lucky 7 Meme. And the answer is Happy Rodents and a Lucky Snippet.

My dear friends, Pat O’Dea Rosin and Ginger Calem, tagged me for the Lucky Seven Meme. These two are mighty bloggers, too. Please visit their blogs. You’ll learn about Irish castles and a young girl’s donation to Locks of Love and a whole lot more. 

The rules for The Lucky 7 Meme:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.
  4. Tag 7 authors, and let them know.

Ok, here’s my snippet from my WIP:


“You go to Obelia to look for what? Because of the first client who was nearly killed, or for the mountain men, or for something else?”

Rena looked at Ahkim who smiled slightly and pretended an interest elsewhere. She leaned forward. “You and Jace are my family, Leandre, but I need answers.”

“What if the one you seek cannot be found?”

Rena glanced down at her hands resting on the table, then up, meeting Leandre’s look. “I must do this,” she said.

So that’s my snippet, I hope you enjoyed it. Now I tag the following authors:

Holly Messinger
Jan Gephardt
Karen McFarland
Indy Quinlen
Reetta Raitanen
Pat O’Dea Rosin
Louise Behiel

None of the folks I’ve tagged are obligated to play these games. You’re all busy authors, I know. But I’ll be tickled if you decide to join in the fun, and I know you’ll have fun, too.

Thanks to everyone who stops by and reads my blog. I appreciate your readership more than you know. And I so love it when you take the time to comment!

I Hab a Code

woman with red nose & box of tissuesI hab a code in my nose and a cough that kept me up most of the night. So your Wednesday Writing post didn’t get the polish it deserves and will not appear here until it does. Instead, I’ll talk about what’s bothering me.

The Bad News About Colds

The average adult gets 4-6 colds per year and the average child can get up to 10 colds per year. Since that is an average, that means some people (like me) almost never get colds, while others get many, many colds.

There is no medical test that will diagnose a cold. There is no cure for a cold. Antibiotics do not help a cold. You take antibiotics for 1-2 weeks. Without antibiotics, you will recover from your cold in 1-2 weeks.

What You Can Do

Get plenty of rest.

Did you know that chicken soup has possible anti-inflammatory and mucus-thinning properties? Of course, you did, it’ Jewish penicillin.

Studies have recently shown that taking zinc can help a cold but the most effective dose and duration have not been determined.

Gargling salt warm salt water will help soothe a scratchy or a sore throat.

Dehydration can happen quickly when you can only breathe through your mouth. Drink plenty of liquids: water, juice, broth, or warm lemon water. Liquids will prevent dehydration and will help loosen congestion. Alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated sodas will make dehydration worse.

No Cure

Over-the-counter cold and cough medications won’t cure your cold, but they may lessen your symptoms. But, if used more than a few days they can make your symptoms worse. Remember, they are dangerous to use in children under two years of age. Taking cold medications with prescription drugs, alcoholic drinks, beer, or wine can be very dangerous. If you are on prescription medications ask your doctor which cold medications are safe for you to take.

Please read the ingredients of any medication you take. Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) is in many cold medications. If you are taking cold medication do not take additional Tylenol, Motrin or Advil. It is seriously dangerous to take more than the recommended dosage of these medications, as in possible liver damage serious.

In fact, all medications, including many herbs and vitamins, are dangerous if taken in high doses for a long period of time and sometimes they interact with other medications you are taking. Always check with your physician before taking over-the-counter medications.

Saline nasal drops and sprays help relieve stuffiness and congestion without the worsening of symptoms that happens with over-the-counter cold medications.

Humidity will help thin secretions. A cool vaporizer is safer than the steam variety.

If you have a sore throat and a fever with no cold symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor. If you have chest tightness, have difficulty taking a breath, and/or wheezing, call your doctor. If you have ear pain that is not relieved by medication, facial pain or tooth pain, call your doctor. You may need antibiotics.


Avoiding crowds, eating a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and minimizing stress are the effective ways to prevent colds, but the number one way to prevent colds is to wash your hands frequently and keep your hands away from your face.

For more information check out reliable sources like or

Hope for the Future

Researchers at MIT think they may be onto a way to beat a cold. But it will be a while before all the testing will be done.

Even though you are very careful, you may still catch a cold. If you do, take care of yourself. Goodnight, all. I’m going to take the above advice.

clip art by Phillip Martin

Confession Time

It’s confession time. I have watched some of the TV news and TV reality shows about hoarders with disgust. How could anyone allow themselves to get into that kind of a muddle, I ask myself. Is it a physical problem? Maybe they don’t have the time, energy or ability to take care of this stuff. Perhaps, but I’m guessing that time, energy and ability are only small pieces of this puzzle. Well then, I think, maybe it’s something genetic? Hmm, maybe, but if it were you’d think their children would be exhibiting the same symptoms instead of turning the public spotlight of television on them. No, it must be something psychological, an addition perhaps?

My Realization

This weekend I went to my office to work and could not find a flat surface. I made excuses: working lots of overtime lately, lots of family stuff going on, etc. etc. All I needed was a little space, so I moved things around. I sat down to work, looked around my office, and that’s when it hit me: I am a hoarder.

No, I don’t hoard animals. (Though some would say three dogs are two too many). And I don’t have piles and piles of plastic bins full of stuff. (I don’t consider two or three a pile, do you?) No, nothing so exotic.

image of tall stacks of paper--my confession time.

My desk is piled high with paper, books, things I was going to put away and somehow found their way in here. But the worst pile of all is the paper. Full-sized notebook paper, typing paper, post-it notes, pieces of napkins, receipts, scraps of envelopes, and I don’t know what else. They’ve got notes on them-lists of things to do, ideas for stories, snippets of overheard conversations, goals, shopping lists, pieces of code that are useful. Sigh.

I hoard paper.  It piles up to the point of being near avalanche proportions as you can see (please, don’t judge): I hate to throw stuff out, especially if it has something written on it! I might need it someday. (Now, now.  I asked you not to judge!)

I have tried to conquer this addiction habit many times.  I’ve read ‘how to organize yourself books ad nauseum. The only piece of advice that has stuck in my head is “handle each paper only once.” Only once?! Come on now, I’m a writer. I write the first draft on the computer, but I edit on paper.  Not only that, my manuscript pages go through multiple revisions, meaning multiple printouts.  And, confession time, since the manuscript is my first priority, all those bills and receipts, and lists that are in that pile get shuffled multiple times.

Addressing the Problem

I spent a good portion of Sunday going through papers. The avalanche reduced to a foothill so I think I did a pretty good job of it. But I know fear that that in three or four weeks I’ll have more stacks of paper.

I won’t allow myself to get to the unhealthy proportions that we see on TV, but I need to nip this in the bud. I am confessing to you, part of my twelve-step self-assigned program to overcome my hoarding of paper. And I feel so much better now that I’ve gone public. I’m sure I’ll be able to overcome this.

Well, I was sure until I went to the basement to start laundry. No-really it’s not as cluttered and disorganized as it looks. I don’t have a hoarder’s addiction. It’s not my fault. Really. It’s-it’s genetic! And if you believe that you might want to read “It’s not the Dust Bunny’s Fault.

Tell me I’m not alone. It’s confession time. What hoarding gene do you have?