or at least I thought I was
Have you ever woke up and thought…who the fuck am I?????
Well I have on many occasions. I’m not asking myself that questions because I wake up with amnesia or that I’m a chameleon trying to blend in. I wake up asking myself that question because there are times that I am not sure of who I am. I know who I wish to be and what I am striving to be but it is the who am I now that I struggle with.
I often feel like I don’t belong in many spaces offered to me. I don’t necessarily feel worthy of where I am because I’m not even sure at times how I got here. It wasn’t luck of course. It was due to my overachieving behaviors that got me here and the here is where I feel lost. Lost in the space, lost in myself, lost in overachieving to achieve a status or goal that I’m unsure I want to achieve. And where did this all begin?
Imposter syndrome or IS is real. It is a result of feeling like you don’t belong or that you are faking it. Imposter syndrome is filled with self doubt and fuel with some inner child wound of overachieving, perfectionism, or people pleasing. Imposter syndrome has a way of making you feel like everything you did wasn’t real and that you don’t know who you are. Imposter syndrome is a form of anxiety.
As a recovering perfectionist, overachiever, and people pleaser, imposter syndrome has been something I’ve recently dealt with in the last few years. I have often minimize my skills and abilities and played small because I feared that if I was with the “big wigs” they would find out that I don’t know anything. That is what IS wants you to believe. The truth is that most times you do know all the things that you know and that in all times you are good enough to be in that space. IS doesn’t want you to be in a vulnerable space to say “I don’t know” or “I am good enough”. When we are vulnerable we expose ourselves to others and that is scary and liberating at the same time.
So how do one tackle IS?
Self talk helps you to redirect those distorted and irrational thoughts about yourself, talents, abilities, and accomplishments. Self talk is used in a way to empower and not discourage you. Self talk allows you to talk aloud to self to process the thoughts and then find positive affirmations or language to support you in embracing that you are not an impostor.
Journal writing is a way to write out your thoughts and feelings as well as tackle the wounds that says you are an impostor. Write out your feelings, thoughts, and urges to behave in a way that is self sabotaging or self defeating. Then write opposite behaviors that would encourage and empower you to say you do belong and that you or not an impostor.
Meditation is a great way to regulate the anxiety that gets pumped up and allows you to lean into imposter syndrome. Through meditation you are able to calm down and return to your body. Once you return to your body you are given opportunity to be in a present state instead of the past experiences that may have told you that you were an impostor. In the present you are able to find the language for self talk or the affirmations to help you remain positive and empowered.
Celebrate your accomplishments and achievement. As an overachiever or perfectionist we don’t take the time to celebrate. Anxiety has us looking for the next thing to conquer or to perfect. Take a pause. Celebrate the accolades as a way to imprint memory of the celebration to use the next time you feel like an impostor. You can go into your memory bank and say “wow I did do this thing. It felt great and I can achieve it again” instead of speeding through accomplishments like a runaway train missing the moments. I see the pause as a way to regulate. Anxiety needs regulation (another post on that soon).
Talk to a professional about your IS. When you speak with a professional about your IS you can get more insight into the origin of it and what you need emotionally to address it when IS shows up again…because it does and it will. A professional can provide you with tools to help you manage the anxiety of being seen and teach you how to embrace you seeing you.
As I mentioned earlier I struggle with IS. IS shows up for me and now instead of being ashamed of it I embrace IS as a reminder for me to know that I am not seeing me and that I already know who I am. I just need to accept her in all her glory and flaws.
Until next blog…
Looking for help to tackle your IS? Or understand the origin of you IS? Try the Healing the Child Within Program that begins June 28th with Crimson Academy. Click here.