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What Taylor Swift, NFL players, and Barbie have in common with veterinary professionals

Taylor Swift accepting Grammy
Taylor Swift Winning All The Things

I am writing this blog the week before the Super Bowl, so naturally I am thinking about Taylor Swift.


Ok not really...but she's massively trending on this planet, Taylor Nation is EXTREMELY loud. I don't listen to her music, I don't follow pop culture, and I STILL hear her name every. damn. day. It's like the whole planet is under a Taylor trance. I gotta use her, right?

Now that I've got you here - how are things? 2024 going ok for you? Are you taking of yourself? Are you being gentle with yourself and practicing kindness to yourself and others? Celebrating wins, no matter how small? Believing in yourself?

I hope so.

If you aren't, that's a tragedy.

You are probably wondering if I am going to answer the question I posed in the title, or if this whole thing is click bait. I assure you it is not but before I tell you, what do you think Taylor Swift, NFL players, Barbie, and veterinary professionals have in common?

Give up?

No...not loads of money. Not great dance moves. Not Kenergy. 😂

Barbie, Margo Robbie, Impostor Syndrome
Barbie Looks Unsure

It's (duh duh duhhhhhhh) Imposter Syndrome!

It's true - even T Swizzle and Barbie, a.k.a. Margo Robbie have struggled with imposter syndrome (and I'll get into the NFL players in a second).

It's Me. Hi. I'm the Problem, It's Me.

Now before you groan and click away STAY WITH ME FOR A MINUTE. That's all it will take.

You likely know that imposter syndrome:

  • involves unfounded feelings of self-doubt and incompetence

  • is common in high achieving individuals (like Tay Tay, football players, and veterinary peeps)

  • is a sign that you are stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something new, big, or scary

  • is your nervous system's maladaptive way of trying to 'protect' you from the unknown, a.k.a. anything new

  • is a normal experience common to many, many people

  • is related to your harsh inner critic voice

  • is usually complete and utter bullshit

However, you might not know that you can use the thoughts and feelings associated with imposter syndrome (IS) to motivate you to stay strong. YEAH BABY. USE THE PAIN.

You Need to Calm Down

Impostor syndrome
Perception is not Reality

Fortunately, imposter syndrome can be overcome by using a couple of simple steps. When the thoughts and feelings arise:

Acknowledge and accept - remember that feeling like an impostor is normal for most people. The more you fight it or beat yourself up for feeling that way, the worse it will get. When IS shows up, just laugh to yourself and say something funny, like 'Oh THERE YOU ARE. I was waiting for you!'

Be curious about what triggers the feelings - when the feelings come, try to figure out which stimulus caused them.

  • Were you're thinking about taking on a new, big challenge?

  • Were you're struggling with something?

  • Did you recently fail?

  • Did you send your records off to a specialist?

By identifying these triggers you suck the power from them, you know what to expect, and you can develop a plan ahead of time to reframe your old IS thoughts into something more constructive.

Shake it Off

Now that you are relaxed and aware of what is going on, you have options:

  • you can gently shush the voice by replacing negative thoughts about yourself with more positive ones

  • you can lay off pressuring yourself

  • you can write down your accomplishments and reread them to remind yourself of how awesome you are

  • you can use impostor feelings to motivate yourself, like this NFL player does (ha ha! told you I would come around to it)

  • you can read this article to find more strategies

  • enlist the help of a mental health professional

I've accomplished a lot in this silly little life of mine and still struggle with feeling like an imposter sometimes. Right now I am considering a new opportunity that is out of the box even for me (lol), launching new games, and hosting a third Vets Against Insanity CON - all situations that could easily trigger my imposter voice. But by now I've come to expect it, and instead of getting frustrated with myself when they flare up, I just laugh a little, give myself a mental hug, and remind myself that these feelings are signs I am growing and expanding and doing new great stuff.

praying mantis

If it helps, imagine you are a bad ass praying mantis that is molting. Your imposter feelings are like the tight, dead skin that you have shed to get to the next level. It's a little uncomfortable to get through the molting process, but when you are done, you will be able to hunt murder hornets.

Remember that your freedom is on the other side of your fear. All of us here at Vets Against Insanity believe in you.

Also, I wish it were the Lions vs the Ravens. I'll probably just go skiing instead.

super bowl, 49ers, Ravens
49ers vs. Ravens vs. Taylor Swift

Let's see...what else will the algorithm like?

Taylor Swift Travis Kelse 49ers Kansas City

From our slightly scandalous hearts to yours,

Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ and the Vets Against Insanity Crew

veterinarian, sarah wooten



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