Dethroning Imposter Syndrome Like a Queen
All of my posts lately start with some variation of “the other day I posted...” and it’s different. It’s different because I haven’t always been one to open myself up on social media. Outside of sharing my blog posts, I never post about my failures in business, my insecurities at work or anything else relatively close to those ideas, but lately? Lately I’ve been getting to it. Lately, I’ve been feeling like someone may need to hear this too. So anyway, the other day I posted a story explaining how I’ve missed out on a lot of dope opportunities out of fear that I might fall victim to imposter syndrome. It’s crazy, because after posting that I got a lot of feedback thanking me for the explanation and for opening up about my fear of this because many of my followers had experienced the same feeling. So now that I’ve unveiled this fear, it’s time to dethrone it.
Before I tell you how I plan to dethrone this unorthodox queen, here’s what imposter syndrome has been defined as...
Okay, so now that we’re all on the same page. Let’s dive in!
As an artist and a fairly new business owner, I’ve been fortunate enough to have my world opened up to so many great opportunities. As a full time manager at a rather large non-profit organization, I’ve also been fortunate enough to be recognized internally and given many promotions within a short time. As glamorous as these opportunities sound…having all of this? I started to sweat. Man, I started to sweat real hard. Opportunity after opportunity, promotion after promotion…I started to feel like my path was incorrect. I would be asked to do things that I’d recognized as being beyond my scope of capability, or so I thought. In turn, I would internalize the feeling that I wasn’t ready for anything coming my way and it began to show. No matter how hard I tried, I started to turn down opportunities, ask for help on things I knew I could handle alone and just sweat sweat sweat an sweat some moreee!
I felt like a fraud. Like I didn’t believe that the things others saw in me were true. It didn’t matter how many people I got to vouch for me or hype me up, I felt like I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time ALL of the time. I couldn’t get over this feeling. I tried and I could never really get to the root. Where is this coming from? Why do I feel this way? Countless questions went unanswered. It wasn’t until I tuned in to the latest episode of the “How I Built This” Podcast by NPR that a lightbulb went off. On this episode, Guy Raz sat down with yet another mindful entrepreneur and dove into what it meant to really explore imposter syndrome (and I apologize for blanking - but I’ll find the episode and get it to y’all later!!) that I understood. I’d never heard the term before, but now that I was familiar? Oh, my thought process would never be the same.
I’ve been working on dethroning imposter syndrome for some months now and like always y’all…I wanted to share my tips :)
Tip Numero Uno! Everyday when you wake up, pick up your feet first and not your phone. Get out of bed, look at yourself in the mirror and recite at least one positive affirmation to yourself, from yourself, by yourself. It helps…tons actually. Trust me. As weird as this sounds, hearing encouraging words from you to you will trump anything anyone else could ever possibly say to you, because the origin is genuine. Looking in the mirror while you do it kind of forces you to believe in yourself, it’s almost like you can’t break eye contact or un-hear what you’ve said, because well…no matter where you look, you’re still the only one who heard it! If you don’t have random love spells for yourself (like me, cuz well I’m weird lol) then try out a few daily affirmation apps! A good list to get started by LifeHack may help!
Tip Numba Two! Recognize that your achievements are your capabilities. If you’re promoted at work, it’s because you ARE capable of taking on the job! If you’re accepted into a dope ass art show that’s been on your bucket list for years, it’s because you ARE a dope ass artist! If you get a compliment for your hard work and others see that you’re grinding, it’s because the grind is starting to pay off! The list goes on, but you get the point?
Tip 3! Log your accomplishments. It sounds narcissistic, but it’s not. It’s actually therapeutic…as f*ck. When good shit happens to you and you don’t get a party for it, it’s sometimes hard to feel that you truly accomplished something that you are proud of. If you are that person who needs a pat on the back, start patting! Finish all of your heavy load at work without any negative feedback? Log it! Lead a big project artistically? Have a drink! Just feeling like, damn - I’m kinda great today? Write down all of the reasons why! I know I do (cough cough) hence this entire blog. *insert sarcastic smirk*
Alright, I like to keep my little “tip lists” short and sweet, so that’s all I’ve got for y’all today but just know that no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you aren’t worth everything you’ve accomplished? You TOTALLY are. Sorry folks, you’re f*cking amazing and you’re gonna know it. :)
Header Photo by Chelsi Peter from Pexels