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How to overcome your imposter syndrome

Here's How to Overcome Your Imposter Syndrome

confidence creativity goal getting practical advice

You know the feeling. You walk into a party, or onto a stage, or get an invite to do something you're otherwise completely psyched about, only to hear your inner critic pronounce loudly and clearly:

"You're not good enough to handle this!"

Instantly, the sense of excitement is gone and you're left with a debilitating fear that your dreams truly are out of reach. You believe that your accomplishments are flukes, and that you've somehow convinced others into thinking you know what you're doing, when the reality is that you're a fraud or imposter. 

You start to think that what you want isn't truly meant for you. Some of us are even secretly worried we're going to be "found out" at any moment.

This, my friend, is imposter syndrome. It's not only demoralizing, but it can derail our productivity, creativity, and leave us unable to spot opportunities. It's counterproductive in one of the most malicious ways, since it's inside of you. There is no airplane mode for imposter syndrome. 

Does any of this sound familiar? Here's how to reframe imposter syndrome, so you can move forward in a mindful way. (Because it's totally doable!)

1. Claim it. There's no use in trying to deny, ignore, or otherwise bully imposter syndrome into disappearing. It's not a willpower thing; it's a self love thing. By acknowledging your feelings of inadequacy (do it out loud, even!), you're giving yourself the opportunity to create a new pathway for your thinking.

"Ouch! I am really feeling doubtful of my awesome right now!"

2. Name it. Do I mean literally? Yes! Give this inner critic of yours a name, preferably something that feels right and has the perfect level of humor to it. Make it silly. Make it weird. Just make it happen. You're not trying to demean your inner critic here, rather to gently put it in a place where it isn't in charge anymore. By doing this, you're internalizing that the negative voices in your head are not you. 

"I dub thee Madam Nonsense of Doubtshire!"

3. Hug it out. Recognize that your imposter syndrome is truly trying to protect you. It isn't easy expanding your creative skills, or being in situations that challenge you to stretch to your goals. By speaking up (as annoying as it is), imposter syndrome is trying to keep you safe from change — which to your nervous system, feels like possible harm!

"What are you trying to protect me from?"

4. See it as feedback. Imposter syndrome shows up precisely when you're meeting your creative edges. You don't feel the strain of inadequacy when you're at the grocery store buying tomatoes, do you? Of course not! You feel it when you find yourself doing or dreaming of things that feel rightbut are definite stretches to your mindset. Imposter syndrome isn't a sign you're on the wrong track, it's a sign you are finding your next step!

"Thank you for reminding me how much I want to do this work!"

5. Repeat steps 1-4, forever. You might think that after a certain level, you'll stop feeling imposter syndrome. I'm afraid not! Because our minds and nervous systems are always on the lookout for scary situations, the goal posts of imposter syndrome are always shifting. You may feel it before launching your first blog post, publishing your first book, or speaking on a stage in front of thousands. It likely won't ever disappear, but you can learn to claim it, name it, and reframe it.

"I feel this doubt, but I'm choosing to honor my awesome instead."

Above all, remember: we're all just figuring it out as we go. 

 Despite how awful the negative spirals of imposter syndrome can feel, your mind is a muscle and you can retrain it to support you with a little self love, patience, and consistency. You are not the negative voice in your head, it's just a natural part of being the creatively awesome goal getter you are. 

Want to know what else can help? 

Consuming uplifting content is one of my favorite ways to keep my vibe high and the negative self talk under control. You can download ten secrets to creative living here, for a boost of inspiring energy any time you need it. 



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