05.13.13

Fill In The Blank: I’m Not a “Real” ____

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Ready?

One of the most self-limiting stories I tell myself is that I’m not a “real” athlete. I’m a runner, sure, but in my mind I’m not an athlete – or at least not a real one – and I can feel that that perception is holding me back because it leaves me feeling like I’m constantly on the outside, looking in, at the life I want but “can’t have.”

It’s actually one of the most common negative stories, I think, this idea that you’re not a “real” whatever – a real adult, a real runner, a real writer, a real cook – and it’s stories like these that leave us feeling like impostors in our own lives.

And it all stems from comparison. From comparing ourselves to what we see other people doing and how we assume they feel, and it’s so easy to be intimidated by that, isn’t it? To tell yourself that you’re not a “real” healthy eater because that dude over there is doing it so much better. And to tell yourself that you’re not a “real” entrepreneur because you’re not doing all of the things that one girl you know is doing. Nope, you’re not real. You’re faking it.

Except you’re not. Because, fuck, what makes anyone a “real” anything?

Which is where my Change Your Story project comes in, because if there’s one story we absolutely need to change, it’s the one where not feeling “real” means that we hold ourselves back from taking chances and moving forward.

Because guess what? You don’t need someone to come in and validate your cooking skills in order to be a “real” cook. Do you cook food? Great, you’re a cook. Do you write? Great, you’re a writer. Do you run? Hey, look at that, you’re a runner.

As for me, I’m working on changing my story so that I believe that I am an athlete, but in order to for that to happen I need to do more than just cross my fingers and hope it works. In order to change my story, I need to change my actions. And in order to change my actions, I need to get to the heart of where the negative story came from in the first place.

So, in order to break down the roots of my story, I asked myself a question. I asked, “What are the top three things that I believe make someone a real athlete?” I thought about it a lot, and here’s what I came up with:

1. Athletes are part of a team and/or have sponsorship
2. Athletes have photos of themselves doing athletic things
3. Athletes compete against other athletes

Okay, great. So that’s what makes someone an athlete in my mind, and in order to start feeling like an athlete myself, I need to at least try to do some of those things. Because that’s the key: Once you’ve identified the things that someone living your new story would do, you have to actually do them.

So I did. I was nervous as hell, but I applied for a spot on the nationwide Oiselle Team – a group of about 150 female runners that I really respect – and I was lucky enough to be accepted. I’m now surrounded by an incredibly positive and supportive virtual community of lady runners, all over the country, and I have a year-long sponsorship contract with Oiselle – a running apparel brand whose gorgeous gear and powerful motto (“go fast, take chances”) speaks right to the heart of what running means to me.

After I got accepted to Oiselle Team, I hired my insanely talented friend Erin to do a running-themed photo shoot of me, wearing my new Oiselle gear, on the beach path where I log my daily miles here in LA, and every time I look at those photos I feel strong and, dare I say it, totally athletic. Step 2: complete!

Nicole Antoinette Running Photo Shoot on Tues., Apr. 23, 2013. // Erin Parker Photography

Lastly, I thought a lot about what it means to me to really compete. To race. To go all in. Because, of the three things on my list of what makes an athlete an athlete, this one felt the scariest – which is how I knew it was the one wrapped in the most insecurities.

Because, even though I’ve been participating in races since August 2011, I’ve never gone balls out. I had never done a true max effort race, and I knew I needed to experience that to feel like a real athlete. Because that’s what athletes do. They commit. They give their all. They compete.

So, a few weeks ago, I ran a small local 5k and just fucking went for it. I blasted two minutes off my PR from February and came in second in my age group – but more than anything I finished that race knowing for absolute sure that I couldn’t have run any harder. And that? Is an incredible feeling. And to me, that’s being an athlete.

Now, real-talk time: Does it mean that all of the sudden I feel like a true athlete every second of the day? Of course not. Changing your story takes time. But – and this is the most important thing – I’m actively working on making that change. Which means that now, whenever that little bitchy voice in my head starts to speak up and tell me that I’m not a “real” athlete, I can raise my eyebrows, put on my Oiselle racing singlet, glance over at the photo of me running along the beach, remember the feeling of crossing that 5k finish line, and tell that little voice to fuck the fuck off.

Yeah? Yeah.

Now, this is the part where I go from sharing my story to encouraging you to share yours. Why? Because articulating your current story is the first step toward rewriting it.

Nicole Antoinette Running Photo Shoot on Tues., Apr. 23, 2013. // Erin Parker Photography

So, go ahead. Click down to the comments and fill in the blank: “I’m not a real ____.” Then, ask yourself what you need to do to change that story. And then? Well, and then you need to go out and do it.

And in the meantime? I have a little treat for you!

Later this week, I’ll randomly pick one person from the comments to win my absolute favorite outfit from Oiselle – the Bum Wrap (so cute & comfy omfg) and the Winona Tank (the softest ever!) because sharing your story should totally come with prizes, right? RIGHT. Oh, and a discount code, too! Just enter BIRDLESSBS at checkout between now and Sunday to save 20% off your Oiselle purchase. And in case you need help choosing, I particularly love the Roga Short. And the Lesko bra. AND, UGH, EVERYTHING ELSE FOREVER.

Wow, that wasn’t helpful at all, was it?

::cue me frantically using my own discount code because, uh, that’s what athletes do, right?! BUY MORE RUNNING GEAR??::

[Update: Our winner is... Kelly L!]

{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

courtney May 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Isn’t Erin amazing? For what it’s worth, you totally look like a “real” athlete to me. And by “real” I mean actually real.

I’ve been loving this life less bullshit transformation over the past months (or year? how long have you been at the new URL?). You’re making things happen. It’s wonderful.

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Caitlin May 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Nicole, I just love your posts and this one is especially awesome!! I think I similarly get in my head that I’m not a “real” runner (I’m working on it, I think I’ll feel more “real” with more routine and after completing my first half marathon in just a month!!), but for the purposes of your question, I think I’m going to go with “I’m not a REAL freelance writer/blogger/social media guru”. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now, and only just recently, I’ve jumped in. I have three clients right now for which I do different types of work, but what gets in the way of feeling “real” here is that I don’t have a HUGE following on my own blog and social media, and I’m not completely relying on freelance as my source of income (aka I still have a full-time job). These are things I’m working on, but the fact that I don’t see myself as “real” is getting in the way of appearing legitimate to future clients. So ima go out a DO IT!

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dominique May 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

so, you don’t have to actually enter me into the contest and i’ve been pondering what the story i’m changing is (or what the storieS i’m changing ARE, plural), and i’m not ready to put that in the wild yet (GETTING THERE).

but what i do want to say is that in almost every picture i’ve seen of you from the past, you have a really specific picture pose – small smile, head tilted down slightly. (am i coming off as sufficiently creepy yet?). this is the first picture i’ve seen where you are full on facing the camera with the giantest, most gorgeous smile, and i think it says so much about what running means to you and does for you, and it’s beautiful to see.

also i get to see you in three days and that’s pretty fucking cool too.

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Sydney May 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I TOTALLY JUST DID THE SAME THING ABOUT SKYDIVING! I had the chance to have a fancy little photoshoot in all my gear with a friend of a friend and I’m not even kidding, it’s so silly but it makes me feel like I’m actually legit. Am I an established competitor? Not yet. Am I doing what I need to do to get there? Yes. Is it a long journey? You bet it is. But the pieces are falling into place. I’m on a team. I can’t compete by myself in this sport. And now I have fancy pics of me in my gear that make me feel like I’m actually, really, FOR REAL doing this.

And I love that this is how you approach things. And I love that your post made me realize how the photoshoot made me feel, because seriously, you put words in my mouth. You solved my problem that I knew I had but I didn’t know I was solving.

AND THAT IS WHY I LOVE YOU FOREVER. xoxo

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Shannon May 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I’ve had plans to run a 1/2 marathon and full this year, but have had a tough virus that I’m having a hard time shaking. So my story is that “I’m not a real runner” because I don’t feel like I am until I accomplish those things. Fingers crossed I can knock them off my list the 2nd half of this year!

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Nicole May 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I’m not a real nurse.
I graduated from nursing school in 1994, worked for 7 years, then moved overseas with my husband and kids and became a full-time stay at home mom. Since then we have moved several times, and I have an “inactive” nursing license. When people ask me “what I do”, I usually say “I used to be a nurse”. But I guess I’ve been a nurse the whole time?
Last week I started the paperwork to “reactivate” my license. Who knows if I’ll be able to work as a nurse again? Just moving down the road to eventually going back to work.

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christa May 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

This really resonated with me. I tell myself all the time that I’m not a real runner or triathlete – that my times aren’t elite, that I’m a hobby athlete, that “real” athletes don’t work desk jobs or have etc etc responsibilities. But that’s all bullshit. Runners run and triathletes errrr do triathlons, and I do both of those things, so I’ve got to be both, right? And then I remember how I felt when I qualified for USAT Nationals and I’m all like fuck, maybe I am really a triathlete?! That makes me happy. Because being a “real athlete” and athletic and all that jazz is important to me.

Ok, here’s where I get crazy. I start to worry that because I’m finally at the point of believing it’s real that I’ll get caught up in these identities – that if I’m not running or doing triathlon or training with my teammates that I’ll forget “who I am.” But it’s not who I am, it’s something that I do. I start to think hey, when I have this baby and have to take 6 weeks off of EVERYTHING, what if everyone gets way faster and I can never keep up again and then I have no friends and wahhhhh.

Oh god – which leads me to the even worse one – that I’m not a real mom. Well, it’s true, I’m not yet, but I have this deeply ingrained fear that since I’m not slapping chalkboard paint on my walls and making finger sandwiches from scratch or planning my all-natural home birth and since I get bored in baby stores that I’m some sort of mutant future mother who’s going to fail, fail, fail. But I guess having a baby makes one a real mom, huh? Guess I’ll need to figure out what else I need to do along the way to make me feel prepared.
Felt good to get that out, though.

PS – I love Oiselle – the distance shorts are my fav.

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Ashley Wilhite May 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I constantly tell myself “I’m not a real entrepreneur” and this has got to change. So, what do “real” entrepreneurs do? They legally own their business, which means I need to make YSAL an LLC. They have a steady stream of clients. And they earn their living solely through their business. I’ve got the second one down, but guess it’s time to start working on the other two.

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cari May 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm

It’s hard to consider yourself a “real” anything. I struggle with it in constantly every aspect of my life, and it totally comes down to the comparison game. I’m not a “real” runner because I don’t follow a training schedule — I just run when I want at the speed that I want in the neighborhood I want. I’m not a “real” writer because I don’t really write for fun anymore — I do it when I’m getting paid to do it. I’m not a “real” cook because I rely on my crockpot to cook my chicken properly and I’d rather eat than spend time in the kitchen. Etc., etc., etc.

So, I’m forcing myself to a.) incorporate speedwork to my running whims, b.) start journaling/blogging again, and c.) use Pinterest to find non-slow-cooker dinners and appreciate the process of eating healthy. Most importantly, though, I am actively trying to stop comparing my choices to other people’s. It’s never going to be easy, but it will help me focus on becoming the most “real” and authentic version of me.

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Kelly L May 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Writer. Runner. Designer. Softball coach. Grown-up.

I have a blog, which is technically a self-publishing endeavor, but I’m not *really* published, so I don’t count. I just started running and I’m slower than molasses and I don’t have real gear and my shoes are crap and did I mention that I’m painfully, painfully slow. Doesn’t count. I have a BFA in graphic design from an accredited university and I’ve been doing pro bono design and random little creative projects for the six years I’ve been done with school, but I’m not doing it professionally, so I don’t count. I’ve been volunteer coaching recreational league softball for eight years now, but I’m not a real coach because I don’t have a coaching certificate and it’s just a volunteer position. That doesn’t count either. And this last one has a plethora (A PLETHORA) of things that I can’t even name off, but every day I feel like a phony.

So: what do we do about this? If my criteria is to be published, then maybe I should finish something and start submitting it. Maybe once I run a full race (without stopping to walk) then I’ll consider myself a real runner. Maybe I should set up a portfolio site and then I’ll feel like a legit designer. Maybe I read some coaching books and maybe I look into certification even though I don’t need it in the least, and then I’ll feel like a real coach. As for the last one? Well, that I’m not sure. I guess I’ll just have to keep working at it. ;)

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Drea May 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Oh, goodie. Now I really DO have to try on your roga shorts tonight so I can know if I am going to use this coupon code. Also these pictures! Now I’m so excited to have Erin take mine!

And the thing that’s been blowing my mind today and yesterday is that I have a thing called “Runner’s Knee” and that has “runner” in the name and I’m one of those…?

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Sara May 13, 2013 at 10:56 pm

That is how I felt when I got “Runner’s Knee.” Wait, I’m a “runner” then? Ok, if you say so.

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Kelly B May 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I’m not a real runner.

I started running about 18 months ago and I don’t seem to be getting any faster. I’m certainly not winning any races. Although I do have a calf injury which kind of makes me feel a bit runnerish. However I’d rather not continue to get injuries to prove my runnerism. I’m working on it though, 3 half marathons under my belt and another coming up in a month or so (assuming this calf sorts its shit out). Funnily enough if I read this post as someone elses I’d be like “Girl, you’re a runner!”. We’re our harshest critics aren’t we?

As a side note I’m new to your blog and love it.

K

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Caileigh May 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Before I enter this contest, I have to say… Girl, you’re cray. If you’re not a real athlete, I’m not real. Period. You’ve solely been pushing me to get my ass in my running gear (the only real reason I run…to own fancy athletic clothes and to win a bunch of shiny-ass medals one day) and hit the effing pavement. Not only that, you’ve been the inner voice in my head telling me to quit fucking biting my nails to shit. And guess what? These nails of mine have never looked better. You encourage me to get out of bed and not wonder if I’ll go one whole day without cake or cookies (a seriously hard feat) and tell myself I’m not. fucking. eating. cake. And I live to tell the stories.

You’re a real athlete, a real motivator and a real inspiration. You’ve cyber-motivated me from day one. Only real athletes can turn others into athletes, right? Thanks, lady. :)

I’m not a real travel writer. Real travel writers…
a) have travel blogs they regularly post to
b) have a consistent voice, engaging to their readers
c) have a real audience
d) have no excuse to not do all of the above, with or without objection from others.

I have an amateur travel blog, and I’m pretty proud of it. But I’m not confident enough to blast it to the world because I feel I don’t have a solid voice or a regular audience to keep interested. These are two things I need to work on, but I have zero excuses to not do it and I just need to own up to it.

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Laura May 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Great post; thanks for sharing your story! It’s important to use actionable items to achieve goals. I’ve felt like a “real” runner ever since my 1st marathon, but being sidelined due to injury for about 1.5 years made me question that. Are you still a runner when you can’t run for a long time? Now that I am back to running (albeit having to slowly build back up), and I am eager to “get back at it” and attack my way-too-old PRs. To achieve this, I will a) sign up for realistic races and b) set achievable A, B & C goals.

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Amy May 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

This fits into something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. I have spent so much of the past thirteen years or so laser-focused on being a good mom and on getting my bills paid that my “someday” goals morphed into a kind of a fantasy world. I’ve been working hard at making myself get a grip on that, but I don’t know yet where that leaves me outside of the fairytale. So I guess my thing is that I’m not a real person. To change my story, I don’t think my actual goals need to be changed, but I need to look long and hard at what realizing those goals looks like from a practical point of view.

(No need to enter me and the “shin splint in my knee” in the contest because I recently found out I’m not a real runner. Actually my doctor told me, somewhere in the same paragraph where she told me I’m not 21 anymore. She’ll expect to be paid for that, I’m sure. Bitch.)

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Wendryn May 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I’m not a real…

Success.

I’m 38 years old. I’m married, and between the two of us we make enough, but not much more. He’s in school. I work public sector, which is stable, but money isn’t great. We have a daughter, but I still feel like I’m not a “real” mother because I couldn’t biologically have a child. I mean, I’m her mother in every other way, but I still sometimes feel like a failure as a woman because I couldn’t do that one simple thing that so many other people do by accident. That bit, unfortunately, isn’t something I can fix; too much of society pushes the pregnancy=womanhood piece, and I’m not sure I’ll get through it, though it might get easier. We had to short sell our house because the market crashed so hard here, but a friend of mine, exactly the same age, is buying a house for (what is to me) a huge amount of money.

Successful people, in my view, don’t *have* to worry about money, as I’ve been doing for the past nine years, down to the freaking penny. Adoption cleaned us out and then some, the house didn’t help, and I have to figure out if there’s anything in the budget to go out to lunch once in a while. I feel like a failure because I can’t make enough that we don’t have to worry about it.

I guess that means that my six month goal, paying down over half of the remaining adoption debt, is a good place to start. After that is paid off, there will be a credit card to get rid of. After that, we have no debt; perhaps I will be able to feel like a success then, when we have some wiggle room. Maybe my next job will be more lucrative, but that isn’t an issue until we know where we’re moving.

Thank you for writing this. I apparently needed to vent a little! :P Also, if you aren’t a real athlete, I don’t know who is; not only do you run and push yourself, you’ve made it possible for other people, including me, to attempt goals we never thought we’d ever consider. You’re leading by example and doing it well.

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Ash May 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Wendryn,

You just brought me to tears. Thought you should know.

Chin up.

Love,
Ash

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Ute May 28, 2013 at 7:25 pm

You are raising a child – You ARE a REAL mother. Pregnancy is the easy part! I work with so many children, that are raisen by Foster Parents Aunts, Uncles, Siblings, Grandparents and endless more. These people are loving caring and selfless – that is what makes you a parent or mother!
God bless you!

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Landi May 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I completely relate to this! It’s such a bad habit, yet something I do all the time. I tell myself I’m not an athlete and not a real blogger, and then I realize I spend more days running than not, and I blog for me. I may not run as fast or as far as others, but I have shaved off so much time off my race times. I love running and can’t imagine life without it. That makes me an athlete whether I ever win a race or AG or not.

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Ash May 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

God dammit, Nicole, how is it possible that I talk to you EVERY SINGLE DAY and did not know about this fantastic accomplishment?!

Congratulations! And holy smokes! This is AWESOME!

I love it. I love you. I love this post.

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Lauren G. May 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I love this attitude. In a world where it seems that we are just NEVER good enough, this is really spirit-affirming! For someone who is nearly always struggling with confidence, this is a boost – so thank you! And you gotta love Oiselle – best running gear out there!

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Sofia May 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I’ve been a life coach for 7 years now, in fact probably longer than that because it seems people have been coming to me for years with their problems. I chose to niche how I did this coaching, through professional organizing which is a chapter that is now coming to an end as I move to Europe and put together my 2 new businesses that will combine everything I do into one.

Although I’ve been a member of NAPO (Nat’l Assoc. of Professional Organizers) since 2007 I’m not certified in life coaching or anything for that matter. A part of me still feels like she should be certified in something for some credibility, and yet…none of my client’s have EVER asked me for credentials when they hired me or asked me if I could rise to the task of helping them change their lives by changing their environments. They just hired and trusted me and poured their heart and soul into our projects. They became vulnerable the minute I walked in their home or office and they showed me the part of themselves they never dared show to others, sometimes not even to their closest friends. It was never just about organizing, it was always about intuition, catharsis, some form of therapy, changing their patterns, habits and thoughts through the process of organizing and letting go of what no longer serves them. My clients woudl then let go of what no longer served them in ALL areas of their life by letting go of toxic people, jobs, routines, etc. Many of them are doing so well and I think to myself “I had something to do with that!” So if I did, why do I doubt that I am what and who I know I am? What does a piece of paper have to do with that? Nothing!

Also, I’m still working on calling myself a web/graphic designer. I’m self-taught unlike most of the ones i know who have degrees from fancy schools. I’ve only been designing for a few years but I’ve designed websites and logos for a while now and for some reason that doesn’t seem to be enough to call myself one. But…I’m working on it and challenging myself but starting a real business out of it. So there, take that self-critic!

Thank you for your posts! They are always so inspiring!

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Kelly May 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I’m not a real archer.
1. Real archers have expensive, fancy name brand bows
2. Real archers have all the crazy accessories – stabilizers, scope, etc
3. Real archers compete in tournaments and/or have sponsors

BUT – 1. I’m currently saving up for my fancy target bow, 2. Also saving up for that stuff and acquiring it bit by precious bit when I can, and 3. I compete in a league… It’s not an actual competition with prizes/money/glory – It’s just a bunch of people that like to shoot, hanging out, but it’s something.

And on my best round I shot 416 out of 450 with my cheap starter bow without anything expensive or fancy on it… And that’s pretty damn good.

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Kelly January 22, 2014 at 8:58 am

So I keep thinking back on this…. And… GODDAMMIT! I AM a real archer.

Also – I now have all/do all of the things on my list….

1. My gorgeous, fancy, new Hoyt Pro Comp Elite bow showed up a couple weeks ago and I am shooting better than I ever have before with it.
2. I have stabilizers and a fancy scope for my bow
3. I am competing in the California State Indoor archery tournament this Saturday and have a REAL chance of getting a medal at it. And I am entered into the Vegas Indoor Tournament next month – it’s the biggest archery tournament in the world. Go big or go home, right? I don’t have any sponsors, but that’s fine….

Plus, I am a member of two different archery associations…

And – to update my best score…. I’m up to 440 out of 450 now. Boo-mother-effin-yah.

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Kendra May 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I’m not a real mother/wife. Even though I do these things every day I feel like I’m not good enough. We have what we need but I see everyone have so much more. And that is where it gets me. I want more but I don’t need more. I just blogged about this today, kind of. In the sense that I hate to blog when all I want to do is complain. Especially when everyone is doing what they want. At least on the surface. But again I know that’s not true. I need to just work on me and make myself feel like I am accomplished. But that is fucking hard.

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Tami (Teacher Goes Back to School) May 13, 2013 at 6:07 pm

I’m not sure if it is my age (43) or my yoga practice (less pretentious than it sounds, I promise), but the last few years I’ve really accepted that I really AM a writer (blogger), teacher (in the classroom and out), yoga teacher, entrepreneur (I’m doing the paperwork this summer, dammit) and marketer (I’ve been doing it for years).

I guess I figured since I actually do the work, I must be the thing. I may not be the BEST _____, but I still am one. Does that make sense?

I’m happy to hear you are owning your running. I’ve always thought of you as a runner. And a risk taker because the very first post I ever read of yours was about how you quit drinking.

Thanks for writing such helpful and honest posts!

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Jen May 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Your story really speaks to me because it’s remarkably similar to mine. I wasn’t a real athlete because I came to sports when I was 35 rather than when I was a kid. Since I couldn’t go back in time to change my story, I too set goals that would accomplish being a real athlete. Mine were to compete in a sport more than 5 times – I chose triathlon (8 races to date), to compete in the same event and get a better time the second year (has happened in 3 different events) and to complete the same Olympic triathlon twice (done)!

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Jen May 13, 2013 at 6:16 pm

…and thanks for bringing this to light. Sadly, I thought this was something in my head and not something other people struggled with. Maybe by talking about it, more women will realize that you are “REAL”

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Liz May 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm

This is my first time on your blog but I just wanted to say: Thank you. This is *exactly* what I needed to read. I’m not ready to post what story I need to change…I need some time to suss out what my narrative is/should be. But I need something to change and this sounds like a promising place to start.

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alanna May 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm

I’m not a real:
Person, Human, Woman capable of love/depth/affection, function member of society…
I have some serious depression issues and I currently find myself single, unable to maintain deep and lasting friendships, unemployed and general goal and passionless. I feel like I have so thoroughly screwed up my life with a long history of poor decisions, that there is no fixing it. Did I mention that I’m 29? At 29, I have no hope for being anything but a failure. So, I guess my real ‘fill in the blank’ is whatever the opposite of failure is. I don’t even know what to go anywhere from here.

You are amazing. And so far from what I imagine possible for myself. Oiselle sponsored athlete? Amazing! Congrats.

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Amy May 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm

At 29, anything can still happen. You’re way too young to have completely failed, I promise. Soul-rending depression blows – believe me, I get it – but the moments of clarity do come, I swear, and when they do, you’ll have all of your previous poor decisions to use as a lesson. This may sound totally crazy, but one of these days you might find yourself embracing your solitude as tremendous freedom to go wherever it is you end up going from here. I hope it’s somewhere great!

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Sid May 13, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Oooh that skirt is REALLY cute. I am not a real writer, I am not a real dancer and I’m not a real photographer. I am not a real dancer simply because I am incapable of memorising steps. I am incapable of simply allowing the guy to lead. First step to overcoming this hurdle … take up salsa classes.
I am not a real writer or photographer because I don’t get paid to do this. Of course I haven’t ever tried submitting any articles. I have however submitted a few of my photos to a national magazine for publication …

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Sara May 13, 2013 at 11:01 pm

All this talk about being a “real” anything or not reminded me of when the Skin Horse tells the Velveteen Rabbit what it means to be real. In the story, of course, it’s about Velveteen Rabbit being so worn and loved he becomes real, but the Skin Horse is careful to point out that real isn’t something you do, it’s something you become.

So I’m thinking in order to be a “real” anything, it has to start first with loving yourself enough that you’re allowed to be real. Right? As soon as you give yourself permission to take a leap and become real at anything you’re doing, you’re on your way.

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Wendryn May 14, 2013 at 8:01 am

This made me smile – thank you! Giving ourselves permission is often the hardest part.

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Kait Ryan May 14, 2013 at 7:10 am

I was just at a wedding when someone was talking about running. Then they asked me “You’re a runner, right? You just ran your second marathon?” I responded, “Yeah, but I’m not a real runner.” They just laughed and gave me a strange look. It made me wonder why I had said that or why I even considered myself “not a real runner.” This post real hit home with me and made me think about how I view myself and my capabilities. Thanks for the insight :)

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Karlyn May 14, 2013 at 7:59 am

I’m not a real dancer. Even though I’ve been trained at a studio from age 3-18. I’m not a real dancer because dance was never a “huge” deal growing up. And thanks to shows like So You Think You Can Dance and the exorbitant amount of dance conventions more and more real dancers are landing gigs professionally. I do teach dance part time and I love it! I have a passion for it. I would do it full time but unfortunately its not enough to pay the necessary bills. I take classes when I can, but I still never feel like a “real” dancer. How am I going to change this…well this is a stellar question.
1. Take more and more classes
2. Offer to chaperone the dance conventions that the students at my studio attend
3. BELIEVE IN MYSELF and not get bashful to just hit the choreo full out whether I know the choreo or not. JUST GO FOR IT.
4. Watch more YouTube and read more dance magazines for inspiration
:)

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Maggie May 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

I have three, I guess?

1. I’m not a real vegan. I was eating vegan at home but not when I was out and about because I was scared of totally giving up cheese. But I was sick of having to explain that I was sort of a vegan but not always but mostly but not really. So I set a date (January 1!), gave myself permission to enjoy a few last things in the meantime (hellooo, dad’s Christmas cookies!), and geared up for a switch. Final story? Took the sentence “I’m not a real vegan” and shot it TO SHIT. Now I’m 100% vegan and I own stuff like nutritional yeast. BOOM. Real vegan.

2. I’m not a real runner. Work in progress for me, but your blog helps. You’re about 3-6 months ahead of me in terms of race and speed milestones (which is SO inspiring! “Nicole ran Ragnar, I’m right behind her, so now I can do it.”), so watching you become a real athlete makes me feel like I’m coming up alongside! I have Ragnar Relay, a half marathon, and Tough Mudder coming up in the next few months, and my speed is improving, as are my own goals and techniques (speed, strength, cross training, two-a-days, etc). Also: I’m very seriously considering applying to be a Girls On The Run coach. So… on my way!

3. I’m not a real vet/animal caretaker/what have you. I love animals so, so much. I volunteer ALL the time at a local shelter and am currently fostering a kitty in my apartment (she was getting pretty worn down by shelter life so she’s at Camp Maggie for a few weeks). The shelter staff are letting me take on more and more responsibility (i.e. they trust me to feed and administer meds, most volunteers can’t). I’m planning to spend a week at an animal sanctuary this summer, just volunteering (and knocking around whatever cute city I’m in). But I have no formal training or education, it’s not my full time job, I don’t even have my own pet. So I’m still working on this one, like what it will mean for me. Plans:
1. I’m exploring some back-to-school options. Maybe vet tech, maybe zoology degree, I don’t know. Research phase.
2. I’m using my actual vacation time to go shovel cow shit and feed goats. This is by choice. Once I’m there, I’ll feel pretty real.
3. I’m going to keep advancing at the shelter. Get more training as it comes up, spend more hours there (Monday nights are usually free… shelter time!), continue fostering kitties.
Story being written.

And I LAUGHED OUT LOUD at the last line of this. The Brooks website is like porn for me. And now that I’ve looked at the Oiselle site… damn. It’s a good thing there’s a discount code AND a shot to win free stuff, because… damn.

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Anna Nelson May 14, 2013 at 11:22 am

Sometimes I feel like I’m not a real wife, which I know this sounds like an odd thing to say. I don’t always make dinner, I don’t always have a perfect tidy house, and I don’t always have the laundry done. I feel like if I don’t have everything 100% perfect I am not fulfilled.

I need to learn that it’s okay to have a messy house, to have my husband contribute equally (since we both work full time) and to sit down and ENJOY life! I am often always thinking of the next step, or next thing to do and need to learn to live in the present. I will create a dream/goal list for myself and stick with it and find others around to motivate me.

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Michelle May 14, 2013 at 11:49 am

I’m not a real runner. I’ve run a marathon, four half-marathons, and a buttload of other races, but I’m not a real runner. I write a blog all about running with tips and tricks for newbies and oldies, but I’m not a real runner.

I’ve started working with a coach who I see as a “real” runner, which is helping me change my story. She’s helping me train for my first ultra-marathon, because nothing says real like running up a mountain!

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lonestarsky May 14, 2013 at 11:51 am

Congratulations on the sponsorship, the photos and the 5K! I definitely think of you as a ‘real’ athlete, but I guess its not what others think that matters. This is such an awesome step though, loving this ‘change your story’ stuff, its so inspirational.

I’m not a real…writer or blogger. It’s funny because in Cari’s comment above, she doesn’t feel like a real writer because she only writes to get paid, and not for fun. Whereas I’m the opposite; I feel I’m not a real writer because I only write for fun and not to get paid. It really is a lot about perception. I’ve been using your 15 step goal setting guide and cannot stress how amazing its been – I have some goals in my writing and blog buckets that will hopefully make me feel more ‘real’ over time, but I love the idea of writing down what I think makes a ‘real’ writer or blogger.

And speaking of the goal-setting guide, its already helped me take steps to change my own story – I’m overhauling my eating habits, setting up a more structured exercise/running regime, I’ve signed up for crochet classes, signed up for yoga classes, started paying off my school loans, started saving up for a trip across the US and signed up for a 90 foot abseil! So I just wanted to let you know how much its helped me get some more focus in my life and get off my ass and do stuff! Thank you :) x

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gretchen May 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

I have been feeling the “not a real runner” thing lately because my abilities have been hindered by my pregnancy. So I kind of feel like a fraud when I tell people “I am still running” because I can only do 1 mile at about an 11 minute pace. BUT I AM STILL A RUNNER DAMMIT. And I can’t wait to get back to training!

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Becky May 14, 2013 at 11:59 am

Sometimes I think I’m not a real yogi (not bear). I’ve been practicing for a few years and I’ll be done a yearlong teacher’s training at the end of June, but I feel like since I don’t have a daily practice, I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, I’m not super skinny, and I can’t get into some shapes that I can’t call myself “yogi”.

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Noel Guillory May 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I’m not a real adult.

Real adults have their own medical insurance.
Real adults own a home.
Real adults don’t live paycheck to paycheck.

To remedy this, I’m going to seek out my own medical insurance over the next 2 months as I move from my hometown across the country with my partner. We won’t live paycheck to paycheck because we’ll be working out finances together and we have a plan for our budget. Also we’re planning to purchase a home together in the next year or so. The more I stash away instead of frivolously spending, the closer we are to buying one.

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Evelyn May 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Congrats on being a real runner, (because you totally look like one!) and awesome photos! Man, I thought I was alone on feeling like I’m not a real anything!

I’m not a real makeup artist. I blog, I have a FB page, and I have a crazy collection of makeup that I hardly ever use :-( I tell myself that I’ll set aside time to play with my makeup, do different looks, review products, and blog, but alas I’m too busy cleaning the house, watching tv, cooking, napping, etc. And I’ve done makeup on a few brides here and there, or just friends and family but I don’t feel like a professional. I do a good job, but I don’t feel like I do a great one. I’m always comparing myself to other MUA’s I see on instagram or twitter and what not. I feel like they’re living the life that I want. Why can’t I have that life? I know I’m capable, but I just make excuses. I know I can make time to practice my makeup artistry skills to improve, but I don’t do it. I want to be a full time blogger and makeup artist, is that too much to ask??

Note to self: Get crackin, stop being so effing lazy, and stop making excuses!!

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Stephany May 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Oh, this post. I can SO relate. There are so many blanks I could fill in, but I think one that bugs me the most is not feeling like a real adult since I’m 25 and I still live with my mom. I pay for rent and food and all that, but I’m nowhere near where I need to be to be financially independent and able to live on my own. So for now, this is a system I have to be ok with and do other things (like buying a car and doing more things on my own) to make me feel like an adult. (And start saving so I CAN move out soon!)

What I love most about this project is that it’s not just about taking these limiting ideas and sitting on them (or even being all RAH! RAH! I AM PERFECTLY CONTENT WITH WHO I AM ALWAYS!) but actually discovering WHY we believe what we believe and how to take steps to change these beliefs. Not just saying “I’m not a real runner, oh well” but WHY don’t I feel like a real runner and how can I change my belief in that?

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Jo May 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I am not a real runner. I am a faux runner.

Last year, at age 34, I decided to take up running with the goal of completing a 5k. I ran 3. I would not say I raced. I concentrated on pace and breathing. I saw people who went out to fast and looked like they were in distress. I did not/do not want to be one of those people. Am I running smart, or without passion?

After running on the treadmill all winter, I feel like an Ogre outdoors where there are changes in elevation. Grr.

I feel slow and heavy and very un-runner-ish. I practically stalk the Oiselle blog, and would love to be part of their team. But all the athletes are wicked fast! I am just a girl trying to reach a distance. I ran my first 10k a week ago. Or as my kid would say, I jogged. Sigh. I feel like a poser in my Oiselle trials hoodie. I have only allowed myself to wear it once, as a reward for completing the 10k. Am I just fooling myself with this whole running thing?

So much of running is mental. Everyone can put one foot in front of the other…but trying to turn those shitty runs around is where runners are made.

Hmmm…this sure is some damn rambling….

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Genevieve May 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I’m not a “real” entrepreneur because…
1~ I don’t make NEARLY enough $ so my business is more of a hobby than a job which sucks since my days are packed with tail chasing “work”.
2~ my website is SHIT. I don’t blog regularly.
3~ I don’t have a true tribe. Almost 8k FB fans yet no one really interacts with me. WTF?
4~ I don’t style or event plan anymore because… Idk. 100 reasons/excuses. Guess that would explain #1 in a nutshell! Lol

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Peach May 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Love this post, so much. I overcame my feeling of I’m not a real runner when I hit my one year mark and realized I’d gone from a chain-smoking/couldn’t run 20 feet to running multiple 5ks, a team relay, a 10k, a 15k and half-marathon. So screw that, I *am* a runner. Speedy? No, but working on it. But dammit, I’m a runner.

Now I’m battling down the voice that says I’m not a real writer. Because I can’t start my book. I have pieces. I have ideas. I have a rough idea of what to write about. But I’m scared to take the first step and start the fucking thing. What if it’s awful? What if no one likes it? It’s a far cry from a few good stories on my blog… it’s A BOOK. And it terrifies me. So no, I’m not a real writer until I start the thing. Which is one of my 5 Life List goals for 2013. I have to start the damn book. Dammit. :/

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Sarah May 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm

I’m not a real artist.

Ugh, tying that made me tear up! All my life I’ve been taking pictures and doodling and getting swept up in appreciating art and music, but I feel like nothing is ever good enough. There’s always someone more talented, someone with more passion. Why would anyone want to buy my art? I know that money shouldn’t be a motivator, but art takes time and life is time-consuming.

I liked how you defined what a runner is, in your mind. That led me to think about what an artist really is.

1. Creates constantly.
2. Is published in a magazine or has a show.
3. Lives off of their art.

I think that over-thinking is a big deterrent, running through of all the reasons something CANNOT work.

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Becky May 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Excellent photos! For me, I struggle with telling myself “I’m not a real _____” …um….everything. Adult – woman – writer – I could go on, but you don’t need to read that novel. But this was a fantastic post! I get a little bit inspired every time I visit your site. :)

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Val May 15, 2013 at 5:35 am

Very interesting post! I found it very easy to come up with a list of things that I don’t do, and think I should do, in order to be a ‘real writer’. Publish regularly, focus on publishable writing instead of just journaling, find a writing community. …None of which I would hold any other writer to. Bit of a double-standard there!

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larissa May 15, 2013 at 7:33 am

Congratulations!!! That is so awesome!

…wife/mother
ditto to everything Kendra said above.

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Melissa May 15, 2013 at 8:29 am

I love this! My line is –
“I’m not a real dancer.” I am working this summer to choreograph and do other dancer things.

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Claire May 15, 2013 at 9:26 am

Okay, FIRST: that big, beaming-smile photo of you is g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. Let’s just recognize and enjoy that fact.

I’m not a real blogger.

I post consistently each week, I publish health-conscious recipes, take my own photos, interview other bloggers and even upgraded to a real domain name (woo hoo!), but I don’t:
- Have any sort of tangible info to offer readers (meal planning guides, PDFs, etc)
- Hold giveaways
- Engage in real life with other bloggers (attend conferences, events, etc).

I think what I really need to do to feel like I’ve achieved REAL BLOGGER status is determine what my goals are for maintaining a blog in the first place. A specific number of followers, commenters, Pinterest repins or the like won’t make me feel like I’m “there.” Publishing a book might, but that sounds like such a far-away fantasy that it’s too intimidating to even put on the radar right now. I guess it’s about connecting with other people who share similar values (conscious eating and attention to health to make space for a more fulfilling life), then finding my “niche”–whatever THAT is.

Yikes, may have gone a little overboard here. tl;dr, /endrant.

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Barbara Blacksheep May 15, 2013 at 9:51 am

I play roller derby. I officiate roller derby. I volunteer with my roller derby league. Yet because I am not on a home team (yet) for my local league, I am not a “real” roll derby girl. Tryouts are this Saturday with a summer-long bootcamp/tryout period, and then the draft in August. After that, I maybe I will feel like a real roller derby girl.

But how do I get to be a real roller derby girl without believing I already am one? Honestly, I am sure this is why I do not hit as hard as I could, why I do not volunteer for important leadership roles within the league, and why I feel awkward about socializing with current league members. I am “just” an official. I am “just” in the rec league. BUT, I am capable of being a real roller girl and they need to see that I have the confidence to be one. Hesitation and self-doubt make you a bad teammate, make you slow to react, and make you unsafe on the track.

One thing I have learned is that everything will always be hard. When you get better, your bar for excellence goes higher. You will constantly work to be faster, hit harder, be more precise, come up with a more clever defense, get up faster, or stop quicker. It will always be hard. And that’s okay. Because that’s what “real” roller girls do.

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Mo May 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I love this post. I can’t tell you how much it has resonated with me. I finished my 200-hour yoga teacher training and I’m working on my 300-hour training and I still don’t feel like a “real” yoga teacher when I step in front of a class. I get intimidated and freaked out and it’s so frustrating because I know my stuff. I’m trying so hard to change that story, but obviously it doesn’t happen overnight. Thanks for writing this.

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Laurie May 15, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I’m not a real advocate for healthy eating.

I am a chef and prepare delicious, healthy food for hundreds of people a week. But, by time I get home I am exhausted by the idea of having to prepare another meal for myself. Some days, I throw together a salad of leftovers, or snack throughout the day on whatever I’m making, or go out to eat on days off because, hello! it’s a day off and I don’t want to ‘work’ on a day off, or end up not eating much of a dinner at all. Since I started running 2 months ago, I have become increasingly aware of my habits and how increasing my physical activity affects my desire to eat more food! Making good choices seems more important now than ever. I am running for my health and fueling my body with the right things makes such a difference, mentally and physically. I need to walk the walk (and eat the…eat?) that I truly believe in and serve to others because I do truly believe in it! Taking care of myself needs to become priority.

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Bunny Golightly May 16, 2013 at 12:17 am

You look so beautiful in this picture. And definitely like an athlete!
I just read “the magic of thinking big” and it’s funny because he said the same thing: we always tend to overestimate others and underestimate ourselves. You’re so right. What is “real” is in our mind, we make the decision to be a real *blank*.
Love your blog ♡♥♡

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eva May 17, 2013 at 8:56 am

I’m not a real designer or at least I feel that way sometimes.
I feel a lot like this life hacker article. That I have imposter syndrome. I’m working on changing that. You’re blog is helping. I’m looking forward to changing my job and being somewhere more fulfilling.

http://lifehacker.com/5928639/feel-like-youre-faking-it-that-might-not-be-a-bad-thing

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Lauren May 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Thanks for this post. I think for me, I battle the thought “I’m not a real thin person.” Or, I should say more accurately, “I’m not a real healthy thin person.” (Since some thin people can be unhealthy, and I do not want that). So getting in shape, exercising- it’s all an effort that I consistently fail at. And the crazy part? I’m not even that overweight. But I feel like it’s an identity I’ve carried for so long that I can’t really imagine how I could be viewed by myself or others as a healthy thin person. The good news? I’m 28 and ready to move forward, leaving all of those self-defeating thoughts behind.

SO: as per your advice- actionable steps. In my mind, healthy thin people:

1. love their bodies and treat them well
2. have an active lifestyle
3. make smart food choices

The challenge here is that those are some pretty big shifts to make. In the past I’ve tried to all of them at once, which could be why it hasn’t worked. Which one would you focus on first?

Thanks everyone for your comments- what a wonderful community you have going here.

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Caitlin May 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Thank you for this post; I needed it. I have spent the past year telling myself I’m not a real adult, writer, runner, teacher, that because of who I fundamentally am I cannot have the things I want. I mean, fuck that. I’ve changed jobs twice this year and am currently applying to things while listening to this loud voice telling me I’m never going to get any of these jobs, that I’m a quitter and since I left my field, I can’t reenter that.

Action steps:
1) Apply to jobs I find meaningful. This is huge. People who want things go for them. They put in the effort. They ask for help and plan and do a hell of a lot more than hope it works out somehow.
2) Forgive myself. Maybe even celebrate myself for choosing to leave a job I didn’t truly want instead of sticking it out to prove that I could.
3) Recognize that whether or not I get a job I adore as my deadline looms, things are what you make of them. I can listen to audiobooks and podcasts at my current, mind-numbing data entry gig. I can make my own schedule and volunteer as a tutor one night a week. I can hone transferable skills. Most importantly, I can make a life, one outside of the 40 hours work week, one that includes friends and training for a half and making fancy dinners and biking around my city.

I want to stop telling myself that I’m not a real adult or good enough. This is an excellent push.

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LovelyAnomaly May 18, 2013 at 9:15 pm

On particularly rough days, I catch myself thinking, “I’m not a real educator.” I don’t have the degree or certificate that labels me as such. But I prepare curriculum. I lead educational activities every week. I will direct summer camp this year for forty 1st and 2nd graders. I read articles and books about environmental education. I’ve developed lessons that have become public programs at a world-renown zoo. I attend webinars about nature education and I’ve created my own vegetable garden for a youth program.
That hasn’t been enough.
This week I picked up a packet for a master’s degree in secondary education. It’s a huge step, but I know I’m ready for it.

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Alana Margaret May 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I don’t have a real job. Despite having the same career since I was 21, and it being a pretty freaking demanding one, I still think of being a chef as not a real job. The flip side is that I also don’t think of being a real creative because even though I’ve chosen a life of doing what I love over a life of stability and health insurance, I don’t think of creating pastry as “art”. It’s like I operate in a weird no man’s land of not being a real anything.

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Lisa May 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

There is definitely a snobbery and elitism in the fitness community. You’re not a “real” athlete unless you do crossfit. You aren’t a “real” runner unless you’re doing marathons every weekend. I got sucked into that mentality a few years ago and a running injury gave me the clarity I needed. I AM DIFFERENT. My body is not built for marathons. I’m ok with that. I just want to run to challenge myself, be healthy and stay sane, and keep off the 100 pounds I lost. For me, I’m a “real” everything because I get my butt out there and DO IT! :)

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Leigh May 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I always think I’m not a real designer. But, um, the truth? I’ve designed four textile & handbag collections for the company I co-founded. It doesn’t get more real than that, does it? WTF.

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Sara May 26, 2013 at 8:52 am

I am not a real “cool girl”. When I was growing up, we moved a lot and I always had friends but I also always felt on the outside of things. I was always behind on trends (and just didn’t care as much about that as others did). I always felt like I wasn’t quite good enough to belong. Now I’m in my late 20s and have lots of good friends who are incredibly supportive, fun, awesome people. But when I meet new people? I somehow still think I’m not good enough to fit in.

So what do these other “real” “cool people” have?
1) good friends who love and support them
2) interests, passions, and hobbies
3) self acceptance and confidence

I’ve got #1 down, and for #2 I love to cook, read, travel, run (hell, my friends call me “the one who does stuff” because I lead such an active life), so that just leaves #3 and I’m working on that one (and if I’m being honest, I’m sure a lot of the people I see don’t have this one down pat either). I really just need to she’d the narrative of my past and focus on who I am now and all that I’ve accomplished in my life.

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Feng Chi Tsai May 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

Umm, I just like to write, I’m not a “real” writer.

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Kathy Zuckerman May 26, 2013 at 11:39 am

I taught in the public schools for thirty years and, before that, taught Head Start for two years. I found that the reason that I didn’t consider myself to be a real teacher was that so much of my work involved doing, not being someone. In a way, it was the difference between muscle memory and brain memory. Teaching was something I did, not something I was.

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Adam May 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I’m I the only guy reading this?

I’m not a “real” musician.

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Adam May 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm

*Am

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Amanda @runtothefinish May 27, 2013 at 8:13 am

I have clients come to be all the time saying they aren’t real runners, to which I always ask well…do you run? It seems simple enough to me, but I never realized the ways in which I am doing it to myself!! This was great, I’m making a list now of what constitutes a real writer to me and I’m going to start marking things off.

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Liz May 28, 2013 at 2:20 am

This is a great post! It’s very inspirational!

I’m not a real photographer.
- Real photographers have great cameras — like the DSLR I have on my wishlist.

I’m not a real web designer.
- Real web designers are skilled at everything and never need to look over a tutorial again and again.
- Real web designers have the whole Adobe package.

Those are mine. Brutal and hurtful for me to write and actually say to myself, but in the end it’s how I feel. :(

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Ute May 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I am not a real runner!
I am not a real athlete!
I am not a real cook!
I am not a real housekeeper!
The list is endless and I am constantly comparing myself to others, which showd even more shortcomings!
Love the post!

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Kamron June 24, 2013 at 8:32 am

I am not a real musician.
I play just about every night, but I don’t play with others or in public. I’ve tried both & didn’t enjoy it as much as I do playing for myself. But I do think that I view “real musician” as someone who plays in public regularly. And because Im not a real musician, I don’t let myself spend much on equipment, or allow the need to practice to have much priority.
I could re-try playing in public to see if Id enjoy it more, but it seems better to me at this point to grapple with my perceptions of how doing something in public makes it “real” versus something you do for yourself. I think there’s something in my head where doing it purely for myself means it isn’t real, and that doesn’t seem right when I say it out loud.

Thanks for the inspiration to look at the problem this way, I think it’s a very useful perspective.

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Mog December 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I am not a real artist.

Real artists:

Have a studio
Are insanely talented
Are original
Do nothing but create their art (eg don’t have jobs, other hobbies etc)
Have an extensive portfolio
Hold exhibitions

Happily I do have a ‘studio” now, a dedicated Art space, sadly I have not used it in the 18 months I have had it.

Talent is a matter of practice – so I need to practice.

Originality - enourmous amounts of art are not actually original, but very derivative in either subject matter or style – I suppose the real artist is the one who presents something of themselves in their art, making it completely distinct form every other artist because it contains part of themselves. This means putting myself on the page (big scary).

I never imagine a real artist doing their grocery shopping, or going to their day job, or playing scrabble but I bet life as a ‘real’ artist would get pretty dull if all you did Art all day every day…. what about LIVING? So ok, it is alright to not Art every moment, but I do need to make SOME art and not just think about it. So again Practice. Start. Use my space.

You know how a portfolio gets built, you create pieces… and an exhibition is just putting those pieces together in a space for show…

ALL of this boils down to: I need to start, I need to practice, I need to continue.

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Meenakshi August 6, 2014 at 5:56 am

I’m not a real writer. I have my own blog. I write for my friend’s fashion website. I am a content writer who writes “outsourced” blogposts for a bunch f companies in Indiana. But since it’s not ink and paper, I don’t feel like a real writer.

What can I do to change that? Tap into my circle of print journalist friends and ask them about a few freelance writing assignments.

I write a lot- everyday- sometimes for myself, mostly writing content for others- but I don’t feel legit because it’s not for a publication.

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