If you often find yourself doubting your abilities and worthiness, despite the trail of achievements behind you. You’re not alone. Imposter syndrome is a familiar foe to many.
Let’s set the record straight: these feelings, while normal, are not the truths that define you. It’s crucial to distinguish between the natural emotions that accompany any ambitious journey and the reality of your accomplishments.
If you pause and reflect on your path, you’ll see that it wasn’t mere luck that brought you here. It was your hard work, your resilience, your blood, sweat, and tears. Every step you’ve taken, every challenge you’ve overcome, was earned, not given.
Understanding the Fear of Not Being Good Enough
The Roots of Self-Doubt
So let’s look at why, despite all you’ve accomplished, you’re still feeling – well, not worthy of it.
Fear often stems from a blend of high personal standards, the habit of comparing yourself to others, and a focus on what you perceive as flaws or failures. It’s like walking through a hall of circus mirrors, each reflecting a distorted image that emphasizes what you think you lack, rather than what you possess.
How It Shows Up in Your Life
This fear might manifest in various ways: overworking as if to prove your worth, holding back from sharing your work for fear of judgment, or hesitating to leap into new opportunities. It’s like standing at the edge of a pool, watching others dive in, while you’re convinced you’ll sink. Left unchecked, imposter syndrome can start holding you back.
7 Way To Take Back the Reins of Your Imposter Mindset
1.Recognize the Impostor Within
Understanding and acknowledging impostor syndrome is a vital first step. It’s like turning on a light in a dark room and seeing that the monsters are just shadows. Many accomplished individuals experience these feelings. You’re in good company.
2. Chronicle Your Triumphs
Keep a journal of your successes, positive feedback, and milestones. It’s like creating a map of your journey, reminding you of how far you’ve come whenever you feel lost. If you haven’t heard my friend Tim Ferriss’ experiment of the Jar of Awesome. You must check this out. It’s the idea of writing down small wins as they happen and adding them to a jar. When you’re feeling ground down by the creative process and you’re in need of a little reminder, simply pull some of these small wins out from the jar as a reminder of how far you’ve come.
3. Stop the Thief of Joy
Comparing your journey to others’ is like trying to walk in shoes that don’t fit. Marie Forleo, often talks about the “Compare Schlager” – that bad beer you really shouldn’t be drinking. Comparing ourselves to others is a one-way ticket to joy-stealer and a creativity killer. Remember, your path is yours alone, filled with unique twists and turns that no one else can replicate.
Figure out where and why you’re comparing. Marie suggests practical steps like cutting down on social media scrolling, which often fuels comparison. She also advocates for a supportive community that cheers for individual progress. It’s about embracing your journey, with all its ups and downs, and recognizing that your creative path is as unique as you are.
4. Share Your Story
Talk about your feelings with those you trust. It’s like shining a light into the shadows and realizing others have been there too, and they’ve found their way through.
5. Embrace the Journey of Learning
Shift your focus from proving to improving. It’s not about being the best; it’s about becoming better than you were yesterday. Value progress over perfection.
6. Practice Kindness to Yourself
Be as kind to yourself as you would be to a dear friend. Understand that being overly critical serves no one, least of all you. Mistakes are not failures; they’re stepping stones.
7. Challenge the Inner Critic
When self-doubt whispers in your ear, counter it with evidence of your abilities and achievements, just like Julia Cameron does with her inner critic she names “Nigel.” Imagine your inner critic as a less intimidating, almost cartoonish figure. This visualization can help diminish the impact of their negative comments. When they criticize, respond with a light-hearted, “Thank you for sharing,” and move on.
Julia teaches us the importance of humor in dealing with our inner critics. By not taking these negative voices too seriously and using humor to lighten the situation, we can manage them more effectively. She also emphasizes the need to step around fear and keep working. Acknowledge the presence of fear and criticism, but don’t allow them to stop you from pursuing your goals.
Moreover, trust in a higher path guiding your work. Despite the doubts and fears instigated by your inner critic, believe that there is a greater journey unfolding for you. This trust can help you overcome the challenges posed by self-doubt and criticism.
Remember, it’s not about completely silencing the critic; it’s about managing their influence. Julia’s approach shows us that we can miniaturize our critics, use humor, and maintain trust in our path to keep moving forward despite the challenges.
You Are The Protagonist
Remember this: You are not an imposter in your story; you are the protagonist. Your journey, with all its ups and downs, is uniquely yours. The doubts and fears you face are part of what makes you human, and overcoming them is part of what makes you extraordinary. So, dear imposter, believe me when I say: You are more than good enough.
You are exceptional, just as you are.