You will need your journals for this blog, and maybe grab a cup of tea while you are there...
Let's talk about Imposter Syndrome. You may have never heard of it, but you probably have had the feeling it gives you at some point.
What is it? The answer is in the name, in a nutshell it is that anxious feeling you get when you feel like you are not good enough, you may have thoughts that someone is going to come along and call you out on whatever it is you are doing, it makes you feel like you are an IMPOSTER, that you shouldn't be doing what you are doing.
You are not alone, one study I read estimated that 7 in 10 adults experience Imposter Syndrome it at some point or another- it is normal.
It was back in the 1970s when studies first found the symptoms of Imposter Syndrome, back then it was thought to only revolve around high-achieving women who had trouble attributing their own success to themselves, fast forward to today, men AND women experiences this phenomenon.
Interestingly, it’s often people who are hard workers, high achievers and perfectionists who are most likely to feel like frauds — including many doctors, lawyers, academics and celebrities, I also read that even Einstein once said that he thought his research got way more attention than he thought it deserved.
What does it feel like?
Here is an overview, you may have felt one or more of these symptoms at some point in your life, if you have remember it is normal...
Crediting luck or other reasons for any success
Not accepting compliments.
Fear of being seen as a failure.
Feeling that overworking is the only way to meet expectations.
Feeling unworthy of attention or affection.
Holding back from reaching attainable goals.
Now, for the main bit- CAN WE OVERCOME IT? The short answer is YES! YES you can, it is not easy, and it takes time, but I am here to help you start taking your first steps today.
I have been working on my own Imposter Syndrome of late, so I am with you on this, so these are tried and tested methods to help kick out that imposter. I have found that journaling has been the best way for me to get these thoughts out of my head, down on paper, and then working on banishing them for good. Feelings vs facts: Journal how you are feeling, what is worrying you or taking over your thoughts, then write down the facts for and against your thoughts. You will find that you can not find anything to prove these thoughts right, and if you do then you can work to overcome this. Here is an simple example, as you can see here, it is hard to think of a fact to prove that you're not worthy. This is because it is your eo telling you this, there is no factual evidence. I do not deserve_______I feel like I am not going to be able to do it as well as_______, everyone is going to judge me, and I will end up_________, I am not good enough to do it, I don't know why I have been picked.
I have worked hard for this.
I know what I am doing.
I am qualified.
I am just as good as_______ if not better at __________.
Everyone comments on how well I________. There is nothing to prove that I can not do it.
Note what you have accomplished: I have mentioned this in a previous blog, BUT THIS WORKS!
Journal a list EVERYTHING that you have accomplished in your life so far- EVERYTHING.
Then sit down and read that list. Give yourself a pat on the back, and let that imposter inside read it too. Over time the imposter will quieten because you diminishing the limiting beliefs by showing yourself just how deserving you are
Prove the imposter wrong: This was the hardest for me as it takes courage to go against the imposter, to prove it wrong you just have to go for it. You have to bite the bullet and take the leap of faith. You literally have to prove to it that you can do it, trust me here, that when you have done it you will feel amazing.
Journal about a time when you have done this in the past, maybe the job that you are in now, you once thought you couldn't do, but look at you now, doing it every day.
You have done it once before so you can do it again.
Stop comparing: STOP! We all do this and it is one thing that feeds the imposter. We look at others and see what they are doing, and COMPARE. We compare ourselves in a negative way, we think the way others do it is better, they look better, they work harder, they are stronger, faster, smarter etc etc, I could go on. But you know what, you are the same, what you see in others is in you, it is what you choose to do that makes the difference.
Journal on that one person who might be triggering you right now, write down what it is, it might just be that you see them as being better than you in someway, it could be celebrity, some one on social media, it doesn't have to be some one you know.
Then, write down how you are the same as them, down to the simple things like your gender, from doing this you will see that there is no real comparison, and what you see in them you have within you, and what they are doing with their lives is possible, if you see it, you can be it.
Now, I know you might be thinking that 'I am not like Jennifer Anniston' (she is my go to when I started this) but when you break it down, we are just the same, she just happened to be born in the states, and chose to pursue a life in the spotlight, that doesn't make her better than me, she just has a different career.
Talk to others: Ask 5 people around you to describe you, what they like about you, then read it, and enjoy the compliments. You could whittle it down further and ask them why they think you are good at__________, you can be specific. They will tell you the truth, and they will prove you imposter wrong.
Journal on what these 5 people said about you, go into detail how it made you feel, pull out every single positive, THEN turn these into affirmations, make them your screen saver, or record yourself on your phone so that you can play these back.
Write your imposter a letter: This is my fave one, tell your imposter to 'do one', tell it how wrong it is, and how you don't care what it says, tell it how amazing you are and how you have had enough of it- you get the point her, let it all out, swear if you need to, say whatever you need to get it out there. Then burn it! Let your frustration go watching the negative words burn (be safe here, do this outside or in the sink). Let me know if you try any of these, just remember you are good enough, that imposter on your shoulder does not know you! You control the imposter, it doesn't control you. And a little treat after all this hard work, here is a lovely water element flow, you can take you time with this and really get into those sticky areas, releasing any tension which has built up because of your imposter.
I will see you in a couple of weeks when I send out my Vlog, hopefully recorded from my new home.
Magic always, Joanne xx