Until recently I didn’t quite understand to what extent this thing called Imposter
Syndrome can diminish your worth, rob you of clarity and leave you feeling undeserving
of your glory. I couldn’t understand why my accomplishments, since I started Genevieve
at the age of 46, meant very little whenever I took stock. I always felt I didn’t deserve to
be listed among successful and powerful women who were changing the world and
reinventing narratives. I always felt that founding Genevieve was no big deal, and that
anyone could start a magazine and impact lives without feeling they had done
something extraordinary. I never saw my contributions as major accomplishments and
for the same reason I found it difficult to effectively process compliments without
thinking: Do I really deserve that? I could not easily accept that I had in any way
influenced thoughts, opinions, culture, fashion, lifestyle or shaped conversations. The
imposter syndrome would always remind me that I had not merited such praise.
However, everyone around me saw what I couldn’t see; people would walk up to me
and tell me how Genevieve Magazine changed their lives, career, relationships, or
helped them achieve their goals and in most cases I would just nod. I couldn’t accept
that I, Betty, through this magazine had provided women shoulders to stand on and that
I was worth the accolades. I didn’t see how my contributions gave women a voice or
how sharing my challenges helped other people to find their own voice unafraid.
I had this persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a fraud, I would always feel
guilty about accepting recognition. Those who are familiar with this feeling of
unworthiness, would probably understand what it is like to feel as though you are living
a lie, even though all your accomplishments are there to validate you. But in the last
couple of years, I have felt less like a fraud, especially since I began to have more
clarity about who I am, what my purpose is, what I have achieved and the lives I have
impacted. I now know beyond every doubt that I am not an imposter.
This shift in mindset has helped me to be more appreciative of everything without
feeling I don’t deserve it or, feeling like I have not earned it. I now see clearly how in
seventeen years, Genevieve Magazine has changed lives, influenced opinions, role-
modeled the youth, helped people to find purpose, changed narratives, and empowered
thousands. I no longer feel it is arrogant to accept that Genevieve has contributed
immensely to opening minds about contemporary social issues in Nigeria. Our vision
remains to be a complete lifestyle guide to the international African woman of the 21 st
century. Our mission is to use valuable content as a strategy to inspire and empower a
new generation of African women.
And who do we thank for being worthy allies on this journey to reinventing our brand
Genevieve? It is YOU, because YOU never stop reminding us how we have impacted
you these 17 years. We are able to continue to be more and do more because of your
trust and loyalty. Our task continues to be to reinvent “brand Genevieve” in order to
meet with global expectations.
Lastly, let me leave you with this, the strength and the beauty of enterprise lies not only
in being the First or Foremost, but in the ability to remain consistent in forging ahead
against every barrier.
To anyone who thinks, “I am a fraud, I don’t deserve it, I am not worthy”, because
you think you are an imposter; listen to me, you are not a fraud, you are deserving,
you are worthy.
Lots of love,