The Imposter(imˈpästər) Syndrome(ˈsinˌdrōm)

By Henry H. Walker

not all wars are fought(fôt) with bullets(ˈbo͝olət),

we each can battle throughout our lives
with a part of ourselves that fears to see
that there is excellence(ˈeks(ə)ləns) within us,
that actively(ˈaktivlē) seeks to keep it from manifesting(ˈmanəˌfest),
the “imposter syndrome,” a term that seems to encapsulate(inˈkapsəˌlāt)
the part of us that so doubts ourselves
that we fear others seeing us as “posers(ˈpōzər),”
who know that we are faking it,
that underneath(ˌəndərˈnēTH) the illusion(iˈlo͞oZHən) of our sureness
there is a little kid
who doesn’t really know
what they’re doing,

when we are most vulnerable(ˈvəln(ə)rəb(ə)l),
this self-doubt wraps all around us
as if it is a snake(snāk) who squeezes(skwēz) the life out,

my career has been to work with adolescents(ˌadəˈles(ə)nt)
and help them burst free of the confining(kənˈfīn) coils(koil)
so that they can write and speak the truths they create
when they win a battle against debilitating(dəˈbiləˌtādiNG) doubt,

on stage the victory(ˈvikt(ə)rē) of self to be seen
can be striking(ˈstrīkiNG) and heartening(ˈhärtniNG),

in the classroom, on the field, with a team,
the battle quietly rages(rāj),

self-doubt can be a malicious(məˈliSHəs) enemy(ˈenəmē).