I’ve noticed impostor syndrome rearing its head when I share work publicly, even when I send out an ezine to my subscribers it can murmur in my mind accompanied by feelings of self-doubt. I’ve spotted it arising recently in relation to a book I’m in the process of writing, so felt to explore it here for support for anyone else who may suffer from the experience, which is particularly prevalent among empaths. The more conscious you are of how it effects you, the more you can do something about it.
The term “impostor syndrome” was first coined in 1978 by two American psychologists, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes. It is essentially an underlying feeling that you’re in some way fraudulent, not good enough, that you don’t belong, or that you don’t deserve the success/recognition/job/promotion/attention/book deal… (you name it).
Even if you’re highly skilled, experienced, successful or acclaimed, you may still not be able to shake feelings of being some kind of an ‘imposter’, and you may worry that at any time someone may find out you’re not the real deal. If you’re new to a project, job or experience it can obviously be even more prevalent.
Prizewinning author Maya Angelou, after publishing her 11th book, said that every time she wrote another one she would think: “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody.”
Here are some ways you can support yourself through imposter syndrome outbreaks:
♥ Own your worth. Imposter syndrome can go hand-in-hand with failing to recognize and own your inherent value and worth. Working to boost your sense of self-worth and esteem can help to minimize its impact. You are unconditionally worthy of all good things just as you are right now. You don’t have to change and be something or someone other to be enough and deserving and your worth has nothing to do with anything outside of you.
Your worth never needs proving, it only ever needs owning.
♥ Doubt your doubts, not yourself. Doubting yourself is different to self-inquiry and questioning life, situations and yourself. Humility always has openness to inquiry. Doubt, however, predisposes you to lack confidence and positive expectation in a particular experience and outcome. Know when you are in self-doubt and its connection with imposter syndrome so you can support yourself through.
♥ Believe in yourself. Believe in the universe. Believe in the possible and dreams-come-true. Have a reflect on any possible limiting self-beliefs you may hold that could be tying in with imposter syndrome. Do you believe you are not good enough, unloveable, or that you don’t deserve love/success/attention/you name it?
It’s amazing what happens when you believe in someone.
Be that someone and believe in YOU.
♥ Give yourself credit and recognize your gifts, talents, accomplishments, and capabilities. This might include listing those in any given area. You could also write a list of 5 or more reasons why you are ‘qualified’ to be doing the work you are doing. Also own that you always deserve to do the work you love and are passionate about, period! If your heart guides you, validate yourself in pursuing your dreams, desires and interests.
♥ Positive affirmations. What statements of self would support you moving through this complex? Perhaps you affirm “I am capable”, “I am gifted”, “I am enough”, “I am talented”, “I am confident”, “I am worthy”, as examples. If you prefer you could add your name instead of the “I” at the beginning of your affirmation and experience the mental and emotional impact of your statements. Soak up your affirmations by repeating them daily in the morning and/or at night, after meditating, or whenever imposter syndrome surfaces.
♥ Know that imposter syndrome is a condition you are suffering from as a tendency and don’t blame yourself. When the voice of self-doubt starts creeping back, be conscious of it so you can nip it in the bud and move through the feelings regardless. Be aware that self-doubt isn’t the voice of truth, and engage in a loving internal dialogue to support rather than hinder you.
Be mindful about how your mind is full.
♥ Talk to a friend. If they also have imposter syndrome it will be easy to recognize and will help you realize you are certainly not alone in the experience. If your friend doesn’t have imposter syndrome they will easily support you in stepping out of yours, kindly calling you out on the inaccuracies of your self-assessments, insecurities and inadequacies.
♥ Bolster your confidence. This can include owning how capable you truly are, and consciously stepping outside of your comfort zone. Take a stand for your truth, expertise and what you believe in. Express your heart. Be your authentic self and claim your personal power.
It takes courage to step outside your comfort zone into the unknown
but you will look back and feel grateful at how far you’ve grown.
♥ Visualize success. Spend time imagining being in the successful realities your heart desires to become more and more acquainted to the experience and align yourself energetically to them. Experience the positive EMOTIONS associated with any desired outcomes and embody those feelings during a visualization experience to vibrationally align with your heart’s desires. This can help to enhance feelings of confidence and positive expectancy.
♥ Self-love and self-appreciation. Love and accept yourself exactly as you are. Don’t judge yourself for having imposter syndrome or feeling inadequate. Face and embrace your fears to help release and move beyond them. Take time out to speak into a mirror or write down what you love and appreciate about yourself, and to lovingly accept without judgement what you don’t.
♥ Get comfortable with failures and mistakes. Both are a natural part of the human experience and can be catalysts for learning and evolution. Imposter syndrome can potentially make you more inclined to take failure to heart. Failure doesn’t make you a fraud. Don’t let failure define you or mar your self-image. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Work on your resilience by enhancing your positive self-image via some of the steps above. Be aware if you’re being a perfectionist or are procrastinating to hold yourself back because of resistance and move through your blocks consciously and kindly.
♥ Fully receive, acknowledge and allow in positive feedback in your life. Don’t deflect, deny or resist words of testimony, appreciation or support you receive, be they from yourself or from another. Remind yourself of these positively confirming messages when imposter syndrome flares up.