One thing that I struggle with, and I see a lot of other people struggle with is this nasty little thing called Imposter Syndrome. We’ve lightly touched on it before in previous episodes, and I’m thinking of doing a full episode on it at some point because it’s becoming more known, and more people are beginning to identity with it.
If you don’t know, Imposter Syndrome is this psychological state of feeling like you are essentially a fraud. You begin to doubt your accomplishments, doubt that you won’t achieve whatever it is your set out to achieve, and that feeling that you pretty much don’t have what it takes. You feel like an imposter. It happens for me all the time, sometimes on a weekly basis, sometimes on a daily basis, and I will say I feel it the strongest, when I have really big things I’m trying to accomplish – like moving to LA. First week here, I realized omg, this is something new, I haven’t done this before, I have no friends, I have no family here, I can’t make it – and then I started Googling how to break my lease.
I think everyone experiences it – and I have been able to maneuver my way through these episodes that I have , and still have with a few steps that I take – and I’m hoping that you are able to use these steps in your life, to help navigate through those times for you. Save this episode, come back to this episode when you start feeling down, and you have those feelings like you don’t know what you are doing, and revisit this as often as you can, because these steps have helped me, and continue to help me to this very day. Did one of the steps yesterday a few times and instantly felt better. So if you have a pen jot this down in your journal, you know I love the notes sections in our phones – but whatever you want to do boo, you do it.
Remind Yourself of Your Achievements
Hello first episode of 2019. Remember those credentials we talked about? When we start feeling like we can’t do it, if you can take a few minutes and look back at what you’ve done so far – it helps to see that growth. It helps to see wow, okay if I can do that, I can do this. One thing I do, in my notes section in my phone at the end of every year is write down all that I’ve achieved that year, and so now I have a 2016, 2017, and 2018 list of achievements, and my 2016 achievements look nothing like my 2018 achievements. Start your list now, and pull it out when you start feeling uneasy about what you are trying to do, and doubting if you can actually do it.
NOBODY Knows What They Are Doing
Yes boo – no matter how much money they have, or how good their pictures are, you really don’t know people until you really actually have met them, and you know them personally. And from what I’ve gathered, is that we are all in this together. Some of us are on different paths, but none of us have it all figured out. Point me in the direction of someone who has it all figured out, because I have yet to meet that person. So don’t feel like you are lacking because you think everyone else knows what their doing. Everyone else is feeling extremely confident, and crushing their goals. No. Other people may be on different levels then we are. But that doesn’t mean that they know everything. That doesn’t mean that they have it all figured out. You have to remember that everybody had to start somewhere. No one came straight out the gate, knowing exactly what to do, when to do, how to do it, etc. Nobody knows what they are doing, we’re all just trying to figure it out.
You Have to Crawl Before You Walk
That’s a word within it’s self! You have to remember that you have to crawl before you walk. Everything won’t be perfect coming straight out the gate. You can’t be Beyonce and you only have a mix tape. You have to start at the beginning. You have to do the legwork. It has to look ugly sometimes before it looks pretty. When you constantly look at what you think it should be, vs. what it is – you start to feel like, ugh I can’t do this, ugh it will never be right, and you’re feeding into that mindset. Remember, baby steps. When you run hot water out of a faucet, its not boiling, it’s just warm, so you have to put it on the stove, turn on the heat, wait a while, and then what…it boils.
Pep Talk Yourself To Death
This was the one I did the other day boo. You may look insane, but you are the only person in your life that will talk to yourself the most. You hear your voice the most in your entire lifetime – so you have to start saying some things to yourself to shake off those times where you feel like an imposter, and a fraud. At first it seems silly – and I’d recommend doing it alone otherwise people really will think your nuts! But I’d start by saying out loud the exact opposite of whatever your mind is telling you. I can do this. I am the bomb. I do look like this. I will accomplish this. This will happen, and keep saying it throughout your day, and watch how you start to shift. It may take a couple of days. It may take a couple of weeks, but you have to say it out loud and let yourself HEAR yourself speaking. There is a study that was published in the journal Scientific Reports that showed talking about yourself to yourself is a way to instantly change your internal dialogue. The study also shows that speaking to yourself in third person, or using one’s own name increases your ability to control your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors under stress.
Turn Off Instagram & Facebook
I think this is the quickest and most effective way to turn off that mindset that you don’t have what it takes. Partially because we know the culture of Instagram and Facebook, and although they lead to good thinks like Self expression, community building, Emotional support – it heavily promotes everyone’s “Highlight Reel” where everyone is having a picture perfect time, all the time, and nobody is going through anything, no one else is depressed, no one has anxiety, no one is battling with their body image – and when it looks like no one else around you is going through what you are going through – you become pigeon holed into thinking that, we’ll maybe I really don’t have what it takes. Well, I’m not good enough. I can’t be like them – when in reality the only person you can be like is just yourself. Everybody has issues & drama – social media just doesn’t show that – and that should not be your reality. Constantly being on social media also shuts the door on creativity. You constantly looking at how cool this one blogger looks in a heavily staged photo – relinquishes your creativity in trying to do something cool like that for yourself. I’m just using that as an example – but I feel like we all have that one persons page we stay looking at and wish we could be like. But as you’re scrolling, I encourage you to start thinking – what can I do differently than these people? What makes me stand out, and how can I put that out there for people to see? What doesn’t exist yet that can help people? How can I do all of this effectively while still maintaining what makes me, me? If you have a decent answer to any of those questions – my guess is that you won’t have time to scroll aimlessly on either FB or Instagram – and you’ll be too busy in your bag making something amazing.
You Have What It Takes
I think I will definitely be touching on Imposter Syndrome more in a future episode, because there’s just so many levels to it, and it can really hold you back from achieving the things you want if you allow it. So definitely send me a message if you want to hear more about it, I feel like it’s something we all need to be mindful of when it’s happening – and know how to acknowledge when it is in fact actually happening, and how to maneuver through it. I find that during times like this for myself, when I’m feeling like I can’t do it, or I’m feeling like a loser and that I don’t know what I”m doing – I put my laptop down. I put my phone down. I turn up the TV, or my Spotify playlist and I cook a new meal at home, or binge on a Netflix show. Sometimes I just lay in one spot on the couch. Other times I get outside and walk, and I slow down. I stop thinking about not having what it takes, and start trying to feel like I’m enough for myself. And when I start to feel better, and feel like I’m good enough for me…I pick my laptop back up. I pick my phone back up, I get back to work.
You really do have what it takes, but our mind likes to play these jedi mind tricks on us all the time, and you can make yourself believe that you can’t achieve what you want, or that you don’t have what it takes, but we can 100% control the way our thoughts affect us – and in turn change how we go about our day to day lives so that no matter what thought we have, we do know we have what it takes.
You are not alone boo. We are all in this together. Start that pep talk. Turn off social media when you need to, and get your mind right for you.