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Women of Ireland – well done. We did it. We got out there, got engaged, had conversations, and we (with the help of our male and non binary counterparts) won ourselves some of that sweet, sweet bodily autonomy. I know we had help. Yes, I know we couldn’t have done it without so and so. I know we feel like we could have done more. Seriously though, it was us. It really was. Please try to accept the praise and enjoy it. I know we probably won’t though because we are women, and that is what we don’t do. Far be it for us to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. We would never dream of it.

Imagine if we did though. Imagine if we took that praise, and used it to bolster our confidence for the next task, the next campaign. Imagine we used it to convince ourselves to run for election. Why are we only imagining? Impostor syndrome, that’s why.

The definition of impostor syndrome is thus: Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

This definition encompasses my experience so far in the field of politics. Local area representative for the Social Democrats? Moi? Why would anyone think I could possibly be the right person for that? Run for the National Executive Council? What a joke. Ok so, I’ll run if you insist but no one will vote for me. Get elected to the National Executive Council? They must have made a mistake counting the votes. There is no way anyone actually voted me for any reason other than pity. And my amazing shoes. It isn’t just politics. I run my own business. I own a music school. I can’t say that without being embarrassed. When people ask what I do, I dumb it down as much as possible. No, it’s not really that cool. Sure it’s only a small school. It’s nothing really. Boss lady, me? HA.

My post-referendum resolution is to have done with this impostor syndrome once and for all. I would like you, Women of Ireland, to join me. Own what we have achieved, take that positive energy, and use it to keep changing the world we live in. If someone tells you they think you would be a good candidate for public office, take it and run with it. Put yourself forward for election if that is what you want from life. If not, find a candidate you like and you feel could represent you and support them. This country, and the people that run it, need fresh ideas, a fresh perspective and they need to be representative of our current society. Our current society, by the way, is you.

We have already shown that we can shake things up. Now we just need to believe it.

 

 

Sile is the Social Democrats local area rep for Macroom as well as a member of the party’s National Executive Council. You can keep up with her or get in touch via facebook or twitter.

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