Betty Irabor has a Message for Everyone as Genevieve Magazine turns 17
It’s 17 years since Genevieve Magazine started operations. That’s 17 years of consistency, 17 years of quality, 17 years of doing the work.
Editor in Chief, Betty Irabor, wants everyone to know that 17 years after starting the magazine, it’s not been all easy.
She, too, has felt the bite of impostor syndrome. And because she has witnessed it firsthand, she wants everyone to know, no matter what they may think, they are worthy.
Here’s what she has for us:
To anyone who’s ever thought, “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.
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 21st 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.