Fighting the feeling of illegitimacy
In this Meet an entrepreneur video, Céline Camara, professional actor and improvisation trainer, shares her advice to overcome the impostor syndrome and to boost your self-confidence:
- Taking hold of your difference
- Dealing with the impostor syndrome
- Advice for taking the leap
Find out more about Céline on actors.lu.
Discover all our videos of entrepreneurs and our expert articles on meetanentrepreneur.lu.
You liked this content?Share it now!
My first instinct would have been to say: “I have to fit into a mold that I don’t have the ingredients for.” And actually, I don’t think it would have worked.
Fighting the feeling of illegitimacy
Professional actor and improvisation trainer since 2018
Taking hold of your difference
To stand out, you have to know what makes you unique. And in fact, awe are all unique! I have a background that won’t be the same as the actor beside me. I got into it knowing very little, or nothing, knowing hardly anyone.
The first thing I thought was, it took a while of course, but I told myself, ‘I’m not legitimate here, but at the same time, it’s strange, because I’m still here and I decided to come.” But after a while, I thought: “Actually, I have to stand by who I am! Here I am, I just arrived, I don’t know much, but I had a life before. I was a lawyer, a teacher, I did a lot of things that made me who I am today and I have my origins too. I have my experiences, and no one else has those!” So you have to embrace who you are, I think, even if it’s not easy. In any case, for me, embracing the fact that I come from another world was one of the first keys. Actually, my first instinct would have been to say: “I have to fit into a mold that I don’t have the ingredients for.” And actually, I don’t think it would have worked.
Dealing with the impostor syndrome
I have this impostor syndrome and at the same time, I’m very… I find it hard to ask for help or ask for advice. I always feel like I’m intruding or that I’m off track, etc. The mix of the two isn’t royal! But then I learn, and I’m trying to work on it. I try to be as sincere and honest as possible firstly, with myself, and I try to ask questions. It’s a lot of work, work I have to do on myself a little bit at a time. But hey, it’s exciting too because… and it’s quite interesting, because it reminds me of this change of life, from a personal point of view. I remember my boyfriend used to tell me: “Just make sure you’re not simply fleeing by dropping your thesis, because you can imagine that you’re going to change careers and then you’ll become someone different, suddenly full of confidence, not procrastinating anymore.” I find that quite interesting because it sends me back to… The impostor syndrome is something that’s very much ingrained in me, in my person, in my life experiences. So it’s interesting to find myself trying to confront this for something I’m passionate about and that fulfills me! All of a sudden, it’s become very concrete and it gives me strength! Sure, it’s not gone yet, maybe I’ll have it all my life. But here I am. And I think I’m making progress, little by little.
Advice for taking the leap
Take your time. Take your time, because even just thinking about the process is tremendous, tremendous in the literal sense of the word. So it’s a scary thing. You shouldn’t try to rush it, because it could be painful if you do. So, since it’s potentially an unknown to you, take your time to meet people. Maybe so some research in fields that interest you. What I’m saying is pretty basic, but really just take your time because you might be idealizing something without knowing what it is at all. Maybe even do an internship, for a week or a weekend or something. But my biggest piece of advice is not to be afraid to ask for advice and help. And also not to close any doors. To say: “Maybe you have a desire for creativity, but you don’t know what form it will take.” And not knowing is actually a good thing, because the project might start to take shape, then broaden out again. And I believe you have to be really flexible so you can be touched by something that will really echo within you in what you want to do. Another important thing, I find that here in Luxembourg… now, I haven’t changed careers in any other country… but we have plenty of tools. There is nyuko. There are lots of structures that can help you along and accompany you.