Thoughts on Imposter Syndrome
What we can learn from the voice that tells us we are not enough.
This week I wanted to share some thoughts on imposter syndrome. Hope you find the information useful. Thank you for your continued support!
Believing a fallacy.
I think most of us have felt this at some point in our lives. That voice in the back of your mind that tells you that you are not good enough, not qualified enough, not talented enough, have not earned your place. The fear that you will be found out for what you are, a fraud. You could never compete with your idols. You will never be part of the tightly guarded circle, and if you dare to try you will be ridiculed for it. Regardless of our accomplishments these thoughts still persist.
Imposter syndrome takes many forms, yet they all share one thing. That they are the manifestation of all our insecurities. I want to focus on that word our. Because at the core they are our feelings about ourselves and have no real merit outside of ourselves. Yes, outside influences are very real and can negatively affect our self-esteem. But when it comes to imposter syndrome, it is about how we perceive and internalize these outside influences that make all the difference.
You are your own gatekeeper.
When it comes to following your curiosity to create and learn, there are truly no gatekeepers. We have all been beholden to the lie that to enter certain fields whether it be professional, artistic, or social you must go through the predetermined channels. You must go to the right school, be in the right club, know the right people, have a certain amount of experience. It is simply not true that you must do any of these things in order to contribute and create. Give yourself permission to feel confident in what you set your mind to.
I want to let you in on a secret, the simple act of trying and following your curiosity is enough to qualify your experience. This puts you in league with everyone you admire. Everyone that has exceeded in their field started out in the same place, as someone who was driven to discover. Following their curiosity to learn, grow, expand their knowledge, to hone their craft. To discover more about themselves and the world by proximity.
If you feel like you don’t have it all figured out, that you are not quite where you want to be in life, that's okay. Because all those people you admire, don’t have it all figured out either. It's worthy of praise to accept the current stage that you are in. Learning is a journey, and we all are at a different place in that journey. No one ever truly reaches the end, but if we can be content with where we are, that is a gift.
Your perspective is unique and that has value.
The way you approach life, your thoughts, and your ideas are completely unique to you. This is incredibly valuable because no one can bring to the table what you can. By embracing what makes you unique, you bring value to others. What may be obvious to you might never have occurred to someone else who doesn’t think the same way you do.
A few things that can help quiet these feelings.
Continue to learn, not with the goal of becoming the greatest expert in your field. Because becoming an expert won't help with imposter syndrome. In fact, some of the most successful people may feel imposter syndrome to an even greater degree. Having the mindset of a student will help you keep an open mind to new ideas, and prevent you from comparing your accomplishments to others.
Follow your curiosity.
Pursuing the things that you are curious about will keep the spark of creativity alive. It will keep you excited to learn and grow. Rather than settling into a routine with the things you already know and feel accomplished in. It will keep you in a learners mindset.
Realize that you are not always in the spotlight.
We tend to get caught up in thinking that we are constantly being judged and critiqued by others. When in reality most people are more focused on themselves than they are on others. All of the little things we stress over people judging, most of the time will go completely unnoticed by others.
Understand that you are not alone.
Feeling isolated is something that can easily lead to feelings of imposter syndrome. It is important to have a strong community of support around you. Finding and sharing with others in healthy relationships will boost feelings of inclusion. Which will lead to less intrusive thoughts of imposter syndrome.
Mind and body.
Imposter syndrome is very closely related to inferiority complex. Like many mental issues, it is tied closely to the overall health of our body. Having a healthy diet and exercise will help ease anxiety by increasing endorphins. This can help with feelings of inferiority complex and imposter syndrome.
Thanks for reading,
Very much appreciate your thoughts on this. I have a LOT of experience letting that voice of discouragement weasel it's way into following my dream. It is worth learning how to detect and dismiss this counterfeit assessment of ourselves for what it is - all of us being our own worst enemy. (I am still a student and not a teacher here) There are plenty of rotten tomatoes
being hurled by self-professed critics out there. We don't need any more coming our way from our own darker side.
Thanks for the good words, Nathan!
Imposter? First thought, not me! I'm the original. But you're right, Nathan, all of us have some tiny voice that tends to belittle who we are. Good ideas offered here to counter act that. Thanks!