Okay, I’m not. But I do often ask myself the following questions: Am I really good at what I do? Do I actually have solid experience to be giving you a reco (aka recommendation) and my POV? Am I just lucky? Do I deserve to be here?
Some days, I’m a natural hustler – I can tackle my day-to-day tasks and leave feeling very accomplished. Other days, I get too hard on myself if I mess up or don’t get something right. I crawl into a tiny ball inside my head and feel unnecessarily small, telling myself I’m not fit to be doing the work that I do.
There’s a word for that. It’s called the Imposter Syndrome. And here’s how I’ve learned to beat it on the not-so-good days.
So if you’ve managed to skip over the definition of Imposter Syndrome, in brief, it can be described as “…a feeling of phoniness and unworthiness among people when it comes to their achievements. And even though they’re highly motivated, they don’t really believe any of the credit that comes their way.” (Lou Solomon, TEDx)
“We feel like we have snuck in the back door of life’s theater and made our way up on stage and there’s a big bouncer out there and we know that if he sees us, we’re outta here so we’re constantly looking over our shoulder.”Lou Solomon, TEDx Charlotte: The Surprising Solution to the Imposter Syndrome
1. Use social for self-good.
Affirmations are really energy boosters. Sometimes when I’m in a rut and I can’t seem to get out of my thoughts, I need emotional support. And it’s completely okay to need it and want it. This usually comes in the form of a social media post on Facebook where I ask friends and family to send me words of encouragement; this can either be in the comment section or a personal message. It’s not because I’m self-absorbed or needy (fortunately, I’ve overcome this thought), it’s because I’ve gathered the courage to ask of and for others so that I can continue showing up and being the best version I can be.
“The things you can do to sustain strength in your life is to live, fail, love and ask for help.”Lou Solomon, TEDx Charlotte: The Surprising Solution to the Imposter Syndrome
2. Go out and see people.
Usually on my bad days, all I want to do is shut the blinds, hop into bed and watch Korean dramas – consciously forgetting that I have a million other to-dos. I do this because it’s easier. I’m still working on keeping myself accountable, but as described, I can’t some days. So I make sure I get others to keep me accountable; this usually means setting up dates with friends! Coffees, dinners, brunches, you name it. Getting up, dressing up and eating out seems to do the trick. It’s refreshing to talk about other topics of interest and catch up with people I love. It’s real medicine and I forget that my mind and soul needs it from time to time. And maybe yours does too.
There’s something so peaceful about letting your creativity just flow. No pre-conceived notions, no creative briefs, no goals or strategies. I’ve just recently started this creative journey with 100 Days of Drawing – instead of strictly going a hundred days, I’ve taken it slow, skipped a few pages and drawn whatever I felt like drawing. That’s the beauty of creating; there are no expectations and no limits. Drawing, manifesting, creating – it all leads to self-discovery. However, I’m not a regular doodler and I don’t draw on the daily (as mentioned). I save drawing for when I most need it. When the days are exhausting, my thoughts too heavy and my social a little too saturated, it’s only then that I draw. It’s the “me now” investing in much-needed space and time for the “future me.”
4. Find your radical hero.
With every villain, there’s a radical hero. In her TED talk, Lou describes this radical hero being wiser and not willing to buy into your negative thoughts; someone who has a deeper point of view and is essentially your own personal cheerleader. When you start to doubt yourself and your self worth, summon your radical hero to call out the lies and the limiting beliefs that could isolate you and allow yourself to listen for brilliance. Once you’re able to, you’ll start to see some clarity and feel a lot better knowing that you’re more than qualified. You’re right where you’re supposed to be.
I’m no where near where I want to be in terms of mental and emotional wealth, but I’m getting there. Slowly but surely. And it all comes down to reflecting. Reflecting on my way to work, through a podcast, right before bed or even as I’m brushing my teeth. I’m a busy person and I get bursts of reflective moments. It’s odd but it works for me and my lifestyle. So here’s my last request of you in conquering this epidemic, always pursue a sense of wholeness over perfection. Taking time to reflect on your highs and lows, the work you want to do and your purpose in life will allow you to see things in a different light and set you up for success. And even that might look a little different and that’s okay.
Intrigued? Learn more about Imposter Syndrome HERE.