How I Kick Impostor Syndrome's Butt | 5 Ways To Deal With Fear & Self-Doubt
If you've ever gone outside of your comfort zone and went after something you want, chances are, you have experienced such paralyzing fear and doubt.
Do you ever just feel so unworthy of your achievements because you believe people got it wrong and that you're not really as good as they think you are? Do you ever doubt your capabilities and think it's only a matter of time before the big humiliation comes when people find you really don't know what you're doing? Asking yourself, "Do I really have a right to call myself a _____? Am I really cut out for this?” The word sounds so big and when you look at yourself all you see are your iniquities, how much you still have to learn, what you don't have, who you aren't.
Oh girl. Welcome to the club. Impostor Syndrome is something prevalent for a lot of people, especially creatives and entrepreneurs. It's really no fun in this club, except when we raise each other's spirits back up and share ways how we can combat the real enemy and kick it up the butt— femme fatale style.
So in this post I'm going to share how I am able to push through and keep on showing up despite being my own biggest critic. I hope it empowers you to stand in your power & purpose in the face of fear and doubt. That the 5 ways I deal with impostor syndrome inspire you to show up in the face of feelings of not being enough and encourage you to give yourself permission to take up space because girl, the world needs exactly what you're discounting.
SO PULL UP YOUR OWN CHAIR. Class is in session.
1. I Practice Positive Affirmations
Speaking those "I AMs" in the morning, listening to them throughout the day or writing them down — it always help to reinforce a more positive relationship with myself. When bad thoughts start to come, I stop myself in my tracks like, "girl, we don't have time for this." When you don't stand in front of them, they will take over. Kick those away by speaking and thinking of only good things, the ones you want to believe, the ones you want to be true. Because in the end, what we think about, we bring about.
I created a downloadable positive affirmation PDF you print and hang above your desk, by your washroom mirror or the door just before you leave for the day.
2. I Start listing my past victories
“Remember when you did this? Remember when you got that? Remember that time you thought it was gonna take you out but it didn’t? Remember being so scared yet crushing it anyway?” Reflecting on my past wins makes me realize how much I am cabale of and ultimately brings me to the other side, the brighter one.
It also helps to contrast how much I have grown. See, I'm writing this at a coffeeshop where I just had a meeting. I looked up from my laptop and realized that this was the same coffeeshop I had my very first client a year ago. I have grown so much from that girl. Sometimes things become so normal for us that if we don't stop to acknowledge it, we'd miss how much we have changed for the better and how much we have learned. We deserve more credit than we give ourselves. Girl!
3. I remind myself of my biggest inspiration and their beginning
In episode 1 of my podcast — The Get It Girl Radio, I talked about the different things I learned by surrounding myself with successful women, and another reason why I interview them is selfish. Hearing them share about their challenges remind me that we all start somewhere and that we are all just making it up along the way.
My biggest inspiration, Jenna, the girl who turned a $300 camera from Craigslist, often share about how she didn't know what she was doing AT ALL when she started. No idea what the numbers on the lenses meant. But she pushed through. And here she is now, inspiring me to do the same.
Now imagine if your biggest inspiration let the fear & doubt take over? Most likely, they wouldn’t be called your inspiration. You wouldn’t even know them. Push through. For you. For the world that’s available to be yours. For the girl in the future who will look up to you for inspiration.
4. I allow myself grace to make mistakes and trust that I will rise from them
One of the sentences I will never ever forget— one that has changed my life forever— was something I heard back when I was in college. It was one of my art courses and the professor was making comments on our group painting after we presented it infront. Mostly, my mind was flying but then he snapped me back to my senses when he said something so nonchalantly. Something about the painting. It had nothing to do with anything else but the painting but in that moment he changed my life. He said, "You don't see it as a mistake. You see it as part of the process." I'm not sure he had any idea because everything just went on, but I will always be thankful.
That's how I saw my mistakes from then on. Just part of the process — a crucial part, for that matter. And everytime, I rise from them. And I never rise empty handed. There will always be lessons carried by a better, stronger, more strategic and kinder version of me. And knowing that? It takes the power from my mistake to terrify me.
5. I make sure I'm prepared
If I'm being honest with myself, my tendency to feel like a fraud and that I'm not enough comes from feeling incompetent. Incompetence could be just a major insecurity but when I face it and ask, "why are you here?" I often find that it doesn't only stemp from my lack of confidence, it could also stem from lack of skill, knowledge, preparation and sometimes equipment.
So I do my due diligence. I feel it's not only my responsibility to the other person but to myself as well. And it goes full circle because when I feel more confident, I can serve better. When I'm going to interview someone, I notice how even when I'm scared, there's a deep assurance that it will turn out fine because I did my research. I prepared my questions. I know where I want to conversation to go. Or coming to a client meeting with paperwork pre-written and an initial moodboard we could brainstorm on. I make sure I keep on learning. That I know what I'm talking about so even when I'm scared they'd ask something, I have hope that maybe I'll be able to have answers for it. I invest on buying or renting equipment to do my job better. And also sometimes, the fancier equipment just make me feel more legit. Ha. Anyway.
The way I walk is a little different when I'm prepared. And that's how I kick Impostor Syndrome's butt.
So choose to show up.
Show up anyway. You'll find that as you say yes to life, life says yes to you. Do it with legs shaking and palms sweaty from being terrified. You know how they say that excitement and being nervous are basically the same thing? Well, if you hold the power in your mind which side you're going to be on, why not choose the brighter side, right?
Remember this: You already are enough. You can call yourself anything you want. You are whatever you choose to be and I hope what you choose to be is brave, strong, willing and kind. To yourself. To others. I hope you pursue those big dreams because I see in you a warrior with a lot of potential that I wish you see in yourself, too.
I hope you know that you belong anywhere you choose to be.That the door is opened anywhere you welcome yourself to.You have a place here and I hope you're courageous enough to allow yourself to begin. If you want something, go for it. It's all yours for the taking. Pull up a chair because girl, the table is long & wide and there is plenty of space for you and those grand dreams of yours.
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