I sat on my bed today incandescent at the sameness of all the posts on social media that were talking about mindset and the dreaded imposter syndrome.
I’ve labelled myself as having imposter syndrome for years. Telling myself as a child that I wasn’t as sporty, smart or attractive as my older sibling and that I would get found out. As a young woman I bemoaned my lack of creativity in comparison to my younger sister who is the most artistic and naturally gifted seer of beauty that I know.
I told myself that the reason I didn’t achieve more was because I lacked confidence and I lacked confidence because I must believe that I was a fraud amongst genuine talent.
If I’m honest, I always thought I was the black sheep of my family, the odd one out of our little brood. I told myself (along with the above) that I wasn’t as hard working as my mum and when I formed other relationships they simply seemed to ‘confirm my worst fears’. I wasn’t as good as I thought that people thought I should be and when found out everything went to shit.
I was the perfect carrier of that ugly fucking albatross ‘imposter syndrome’
If you checked back through my old school reports there are frequent mentions of my need to be more confident in order to succeed and with hindsight I see that I simply grew to believe what I was told.
As I sat on my bed at 3pm this Tuesday afternoon in August 2020 (what a freaking decade this year has been) I’m mindlessly scrolling Instagram. I’m just whiling away some time before a call with one of my best friends and my feed was filled with coaches declaring my issue is imposter syndrome and giving me tips on how to beat it.
Internally screaming I yelled “STOP TELLING ME WHO I AM AND WHAT I HAVE” and with my whole body I could feel that they were wrong.
On every level. Wrong.
It’s NOT Imposter Syndrome – The Epipheny
I realised with a smack in the face of shock that I had been wrong all these years too.
It irritated me so much that my face began to hurt from scowling at my screen. Oh the ridiculousness of it all. I asked myself; What if my 38 years on this planet haven’t been plagued by a lack of confidence or imposter syndrome. In fact…what if it’s the opposite?
What if I feel to the very core of my being that I am in fact a font of untapped potential and what if that potential has been bubbling away inside of me just like hot lava in a volcano? What if I haven’t lacked self belief but have simply been afraid of the collateral damage and lack of control should I ever allow that hot lava of potential to burst forth from deep inside me?
I jumped up from my bed with a gusto that I normally only really feel when there’s some kind of buffet.
If I know how much I have to give, that I’m super smart, empathetic, capable, funny, kind, skilled, and all the other things I’ve pretended not to be by jumping onto the imposter syndrome bandwagon, what does this mean?
After years of smothering myself in the myth of my imposter syndrome, reminiscent of dousing myself in Charlie Red when doing the walk of shame all those years ago, I’m just not sure what that makes me.
Does this knowledge make me arrogant? Too big for my boots? Up myself? Stupid? Snooty? Aggressive? A bitch? Ridiculous? An embarrassment to myself?
Is this what I think people who know who they are, are?
This bizarre turn of events has taken me somewhere I hadn’t expected to go today. All these thoughts whirring around in my head and the volcano is starting to shift. In fact, I feel quite emotional. Like I’ve just discovered that I have been taking the toughest route possible when I needn’t have.
I’m overwhelmed with the thought of this and I’m not sure where this has been leading me in terms of writing this blog post for you. I have just experienced a revelation that I am utterly different to the person I thought I was and it’s crazy making.
So here’s what I know and this is ultimately why I’m sharing this with you. So that you can know this too.
There’s a thing we all do as humans, we soak up the knowledge, beliefs and thoughts of the people we spend the most time with. Often, we don’t even think to challenge it and particularly so when it comes to our belief of our capabilities and the truth of us. Why?
I’ve just realised I can totally redefine everything I want to about myself. Just because I believed it for so long does not make it true.
So just remember, to build a truly authentic life that enables us to care for our body and mental health, to build a life that we desire and can wholeheartedly live for we MUST question the beliefs we hold about ourselves and shed the outdated tomes given to us by others.
We are who we are and we get to live as such.
Sometimes people are just wrong.
Catch you later,
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