“Sussy Baka” is a term my little seven year old brother uses all the time, thanks to learning it while playing the widely popular and addictive multiplayer game, Among Us. From the very helpful website, Know Your Meme, to be called “sussy baka” is to be called a suspicious fool. Using this term in the context of playing Among Us means that you’re the chosen suspect to be the imposter, or the crewmate responsible for sabotaging the spaceship that all players are on. Basically, you’re the only one who doesn’t belong.
As all little brothers do, mine loves to taunt me from time to time calling me a sussy baka. Embarrassingly enough, I do believe it sometimes, especially when I’m at school. Attending college has provided me wonderful experiences in both academic and social life, however, at times I encounter moments of insecurity. Especially when I look around and can’t find others who look like me.
I find myself often questioning: Am I good enough to be here? Have I done enough? Should I do more? Especially with the learned habit of comparing myself to others, whether it’s to my friends or my classmates, I feel as if I’m an imposter undeserving of all my achievements and accomplishments.
From a Harvard Business Review article “Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. Many question whether they’re deserving of accolades.” Within that article, authors Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey argue that the term itself, “imposter syndrome” is an outdated concept as the term centers around the individual’s feelings of unbelonging rather than exploring the reasons as to why many people, especially women, feel this way in the first place.
As a woman of color, my parents have told me many times that I have to work harder and go to the nth degree more than, say, a mediocre white man would. They don’t say this to disparage me, but say it as an act of protection to prepare me for the inevitable combination of systemic racism and sexism I’ll have to face when I enter “the real world”. Although they mean well, this places immense pressure on me to do well, not only for my own survival, but also to show for the sacrifices my family has made for me to be in the position I’m in today.
Instead of getting angry at myself for feeling insecure and inadequate, I replace these feelings with compassion and understanding towards myself. It can be easy to place the blame onto ourselves and see our problems as reflections of our personal shortcomings. However, I offer the advice to give yourself the comfort you deserve in acknowledging that as complex individuals living in an unfair world, sometimes the best we can do for ourselves is be forgiving.
Whether it’s to ourselves or the people around us, forgiveness reminds us that we’re all worthy of feeling included and appreciated. In addition to forgiveness, it’s also important to remain questioning the reasons why we may have feelings of inadequacy in the first place. In combination with practicing self-care, it’s necessary to question the foundational systems and structures in place which make us feel this way. That way, we can destroy them and create a brighter future for ourselves and future generations. It all starts though, with looking ourselves in the mirror and saying: “You’re Not a Sussy Baka.”