How to overcome Imposter Syndrome?
Have you ever had an idea or task that you were excited to dive into headfirst because you finally “figured it out,” only to be crushed moments later by negative self-talk?
I have. We all have.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
More specifically, have you ever asked the question, “who am I,” or, “who am I to share?” or, “why would anyone listen to me?”.
All of these questions are a result of “Imposter Syndrome.”
I read a lot of books, and I have learned from some of the best entrepreneurs and thought leaders that exist on our planet. I have learned everyone has a moment of feeling like they are a fraud or an imposter or any other label they choose to place on themselves for why they are not good enough to achieve their goals and live what they dream.
In a world where social media is so prevalent, it is easy to get caught up in what other people are doing, what others are offering, and why they are better than you. It is easy to think of yourself as someone “less worthy” or “less knowledgeable.”
If success isn’t happening fast enough, we often feel shame and automatically compare ourselves to those who are proving to be successful in their endeavors.
The truth is, we often compare our chapters one or two to someone else’s chapter 20 or 30. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing it. We forget to consider the amount of work they had to have put in to get to where they are, and the reality is; maybe we haven’t put in that work yet.
DO NOT GET CAUGHT IN THAT TRAP.
I am guilty of all of this, too, and wouldn’t write about it if I couldn’t speak to it genuinely. Just last night, I was wide awake at 2 am with the worst acid reflux, gross I know, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I was up at 630am to drive the kids to school, which is a one hour drive one way. Also gross, I know. I was home at 920am. I am exhausted, and on top of that, I am 40 weeks pregnant and ready to pop at any second.
Why am I sharing this? The truth is, in all of this exhaustion lately, I have found myself feeling shameful at times. I haven’t been this tired, and this sleep-deprived since the death of my fiancé in 2016, and I know it’s only going to become more exhausting when the baby arrives, so I am trying to embrace it and do the best I can.
In the moments where we are so tired, and barely have the energy to brush our teeth, we often find ourselves filling up our minds with negative self -talk. “I can’t do one more thing,” “I am too tired for this,” “I don’t have time for this,” “I am not like those other people, they have their shit together, and I don’t.”
Guess what everyone, no one “really” has their shit completely together.
Some are just better than others at making it appear that way. I have made a conscious effort only to learn from those who are transparent as well.
I want to learn from those who are willing to share the good the bad and the ugly.
Not only do I want to learn from others that are real in describing and sharing their day to day lives, but I also want to be that person for people who learn from me.
I would never preach something that I do not practice, and the practice of navigating negative self-talk is something I do almost every day.
Today I asked myself, “If you were talking to one of your coaching clients who happened to be feeling this way and experiencing this negative self – talk because they haven’t had a lot of sleep or motivation, what would you say to them?”.
Here is what I would say.
You are just tired, and humans, assuming they are physically and mentally healthy, can fight through tired.
You are not going to be tired forever, but if you wait until you aren’t tired, you may never get anything done. How many of you remember the last time you didn’t feel at least a little bit tired?
Do at least one thing today to move your life in a positive forward direction. I don’t care what it is, do it.
Even when you think you might not be good enough, you have to remember to ask yourself this;
But what if I am good enough?
Trust me, you are.
When you experience negative self-talk or “Imposter Syndrome,” you must remember that it’s not real. You are not your thoughts; you are your actions.
If you can pull yourself together long enough to complete one task, you may be surprised to find out that YOU are good enough, and that there are people just waiting to hear from you.
If I had let my negative self-talk get to me today, I would have accomplished nothing. I am exhausted, very pregnant, and feeling far from motivated, but there are certain things on my task list that fuel my fire.
What to do if you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome?
1. Talk to someone you trust – Explain to them the thoughts you are having and acknowledge what you are feeling. By talking about it and hearing someone else’s perspective, you may realize just how silly you are being. Imposter syndrome is a real thing, but the thoughts that stem from imposter syndrome are not.
YOU are not your thoughts.
2. Recognize your skills and expertise – When you are experiencing imposter syndrome, take a moment to acknowledge your skills and knowledge. Perhaps grab a pen and paper and write out everything you are good at and why. Remind yourself that there is a reason you are doing what you are doing. Your experiences brought you to where you are. You should never underestimate the skills that you have accumulated through experience, and sometimes you need a reminder.
3. No one is perfect – Remember, even those who appear to have it ‘all together’ don’t have it all together. Everyone has to overcome obstacles, and sometimes our most significant barriers are those in our heads.
The need to be perfect often stems from the habit of comparing.
Don’t worry about what other people are doing and producing. Focus on your life and your mission. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing. You only need to focus on breaking your limits and living your best life.
Stop comparing and remember, done is better than perfect.
“Do not compare your behind the scenes with someone else’s highlight moments” – unknown.
4. Reframe your thoughts – There is a psychological phenomenon known as The Self – Fulfilling Prophecy. The meaning behind this phenomenon is that we always perform in the way that we see ourselves. If we see ourselves as incapable, we behave as if we are inadequate. If we see ourselves as good enough and as powerful, we perform as such.
Always remind yourself that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.
You need to think about it and believe it.
5. Discipline is crucial – I always try to maintain consistency and complete at least one or two tasks each day. As a result, I can go to bed feeling accomplished, empowered, and confident in my ability to get shit done. On days you accomplish nothing, be kind to yourself. However, with that said, try not to have too many of those days. They feed the negative self-talk instead of the empowered and determined soul.
Are you experiencing negative self – talk and perhaps Imposter Syndrome? What is one thing you can do today towards your goals so you can go to bed feeling accomplished?
It doesn’t have to be something big; it just has to be something.
It’s not what you are that holds you back; it’s what you think you are not. – Denis Waitley-