Feeling like a fraud who will be found out any day now? You are not alone.
Impostor Syndrome does not discriminate. You could be highly qualified and experienced to do your work, write that book or launch that blog, and still, a little voice will whisper “you’re a fraud!”
I’ve said before that social media is a highlight reel and there is often much more going on behind the scenes than what we see in our news feed. Yet, you’re comparing yourself to this.
I remind myself of this whenever I catch my insecurities taunting my ego because someone else did something amazing. Whenever I reprimand myself for not doing, creating, making, and launching 19783869572 things, comparing myself to the other successful women on the grid. I also remind myself that I am successful and I can do a lot. Some things come easy because I’ve got experience and wisdom, and it’s all perfectly valid and logical to be successful because of that.
We use social media to compare ourselves with our peers; one person’s visual version of success is another person’s unreachable goal, or so it seems. It’s so easy to make it look easy, right? And so when it is less than easy for you, or perhaps way too straightforward, you begin to question yourself.
But I’m telling you, the fact that you’re doing this work is proof enough that you are equipped to do it. The very fact that you’re reading this is proof enough that you’re ready to learn more and love yourself more so you can do the very thing you want to do. Course, podcast, book, blog, whatever.
Your years of experience and insight brings something nobody else does, so why do you talk yourself out of producing such wonderful things? Why do you :
- dismiss compliments about your work?
- shrug off encouragement?
- feel like you don’t deserve to bathe in the wonderful feeling that comes after you do something epic?
I’ve totally been there and still stay here, because I think there’s two things to consider here:
- Your perception of yourself, your skills and your achievements.
- Your perception of success.
I’ve put together some tips to move you past Impostor Syndrome and hopefully get you on track to embracing your greatness!
Here’s how you can get started:
You tried something and discovered you were good at it, so you did more of it. People noticed. Someone complimented you for it. They shared it with their friends. Another person sent you a message saying how they felt you wrote that for them. Someone else left you a voice message saying how much they love what you do. You received an email with an offer of collaboration from someone you admire. You’re asked to speak at an event…
Don’t choose this moment to question how epic you are. Even if you don’t see it yet, people are seeing value in what you do and say and that is beautiful. Don’t talk them out of what they blatantly see in you.
You may not be in a place to see the greatness yet, but please at least accept that it exists.
You’re on a journey, you know? Not all of us are blessed with buckets of confidence and felt good about ourselves from the day we were born. Sometimes it’s a slow process of unravelling, unlearning and relearning, and it’s hard work. Sometimes we’ll be reborn time and time again, until we arrive at a version of ourselves that we feel most connected to.
But until you get there, it’s honestly in your best interests to actively work on the parts of yourself that are still resistant to change. Rather than shugging off emotional outbursts, returns to past habits and holding onto low self esteem, write in your journal. Ask yourself what it is about self-sabotage that is actually serving you. Work through it. Remind yourself of it.
It won’t go away if you ignore it. It won’t resolve itself if you deny it’s existance.
Make a change.
Do you celebrate your wins? Your milestones?
I think part of the reason I’m so dismissive about my successes is because I rarely do anything to celebrate them. I’m getting better though, sharing my happiness with friends, writing it in my journey, treating myself to a new read or new clothes. Some people might choose to host a little get together or even throw a bigger celebration to honour the incredible things they’ve done. All of this is okay, you know?
Someone commented on one of my posts recently, saying how she plays a particular song every time she accomplishes something – and I love this! Imagine every time you heard this song, you associated it with that good feeling?
What can you do to honour your wins? How can you celebrate those milestones? And actually, how can you document them? *cough* Journal them. *cough*
I know how convincing my negative thoughts can be, but also know how to combat them. I journal everything, share celebratory moments on social media, and I read comments where people congratulate me or tell me they resonate with my words. It feels good.
There was a moment when I was ready to tell the world about ORSUM and I honestly began to feel Impostor Syndrome creep in. I began to doubt myself, that I’d be any good at the work and that anybody would be interested in that side of me. I told my Business Consultant, the incredible Daniella Genas, and she was like “But you do this as your normal job? You are paid for this every month, so why do you think you can’t turn it into a business?” And that reality check was on point. I had to sit back and be real with myself, look at it in that perspective and remind myself I’ve been doing this for a while.
It used to be the same for my writing. Now, at this point, I’ve been writing forever with books and awards behind me, as well as a gorgeous degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Am I the best writer in the world? No, but I am a good writer, and I remind myself of what I did to get to this point. I didn’t just wake up with the skills, I developed them over time with practice and education.
Last year I attended a writer’s group and for a moment I felt like I didn’t deserve to sit with them. But didn’t I write those books and blogs and win awards for them all? Didn’t I earn my degree? Didn’t I hold events for writers and authors to come together? So, why shouldn’t that qualify me to sit and mingle with other writers? And it’s that process alone that cancels out the fear of not being good enough.
Let it go.
If you want to move forward in life, you must accept that fear is present but hope runs the show. Holding onto the feeling of inferiority will only hold you back and weigh you down. The old narrative that you’re not good enough, will never serve you. It’s not easy to let it go so let it be a process that you work through, a feeling that you have but that doesn’t consume you.
What kind of story do you want to believe about yourself? That you’re a fraud or that you’re not? That you made it all up or that you stand in your truth? Focus on whichever it is that you aspire to feel is true for you.
Remind yourself that you get more of what you focus on, so focus on the things that confirm you are on the right path. Focus a little less on your fears and a lot more on your truth. Combat insecurity with facts, challenge low self-esteem with warm encouragements, accept compliments with grace, and embrace the very possibility that it is okay to be good at something – and known for it too.
Let go of this need to compare yourself to pretty little posts on social media, because only you know your reality. Your version of success might like different from someone else’s, but it doesn’t make it less valid. Obsessing over being perfect will not bring you the results that obsessing over self-acceptance can.
Remind yourself of this: You are good enough. You are real. Your expertise is real. The value you give is worthy of receiving.
Let that be your new truth.