Imposter syndrome is a killer isn’t it? And I’m sure you’re here because you either feel this way right now, or have done many times.
That feeling of comparing yourself to others and just not feeling good enough.
That feeling that no matter what you do, everyone will always be better than you.
You forget everything great you’ve done in your life and solely focus on the things you feel you don’t do well, or the things you haven’t yet achieved.
You feel like a failure, you are constantly tough on yourself and you compare, compare, compare.
Ok, so firstly, what is imposter syndrome?
As per Wikipedia
Imposter syndrome is a psychological occurrence in which people doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments and have a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as frauds.
Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon do not believe they deserve their success or luck.
They may think that they are deceiving others because they feel as if they are not as intelligent as they outwardly portray themselves to be.
Impostor syndrome can stem from and result in strained personal relationships and can hinder individuals from achieving their full potential in their fields of interest.
Now, I’m pretty sure you’re reading that and thinking, yep that’s me on times.
I can relate to this massively and mostly relate to the last paragraph ‘result in strained personal relationships’
I can look back at my whole life and know that when I feel at my weakest, most vulnerable most fragile, then imposter syndrome has been huge for me.
I have suffered with imposter syndrome massively, but only at a time when I was struggling with my own self confidence and had completely lost my identity.
My ‘ego role’ that little horrible, negative self-talk voice I have in my head (I call her comparison Cath) she comes out big time and she literally sabotages every thought, which in turn affects my actions and behaviours negatively.
The only way I can describe it is like I felt useless, my confidence was non-existent. I also felt so fragile, like I could break at any time.
Becoming a mum was when I found I lacked confidence, I had low self esteem and I completely compared myself to others who seemed to do this job amazingly well and still have a successful career, look good and have it all together.
At a time when new mums needs full support, silly comments can be very dangerous and what we have to remember is that every parent and every child are different, so whatever your beliefs on parenting, it’s unfair to voice your opinions to others. This can be so detrimental to a new mums, confidence and ultimately mental health.
Ina role that we think we should be exert at as a mum, it’s new, it’s unknown and it’s bloody hard, so giving ourselves a break is the real answer, but not what most of us do, unfortunately.
Luckily, this rarely happens to me now, but when it has, boy it’s knocked me off my feet for a while and it’s so hard to lift yourself back up.
With all the personal development I’ve done over the past few years, I have realised that imposter syndrome is linked to low self-worth, low self-esteem, lack of confidence.
You see when we are lacking in these areas, we see the world very differently and our judgement becomes quite clouded, resulting in further isolation and negative self-evaluation.
The opinion we have on ourselves is very often made up from past stories, experiences and negative belies that we have held onto.
Most of which are not true.
Unfortunately for us, the brain attaches to negativity and brings it to the forefront of the mind, as it devises a strategy to protect us from it. This doesn’t benefit us mentally, as we are constantly in ‘fight or flight’ and constantly feeling negative, down and low about ourselves.
This is why I journal every day, practice gratitude every day, surround myself with people who lift me up and see all my great points, and who enable me to see them too.
You see, the environment we live in has a huge influence on our thoughts, feelings and emotions.
If we are in a good place, with good people, doing well, then we think positive good things about ourselves.
And the opposite is true too, if we are in a negative environment, not supported by good people and therefore not doing well, not doing what satisfies us, challenges us and grows us, then we will only think bad and feel like we are not worthy.
I’ve learnt that life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us.
We have the power to change our story.
If you are lacking self-esteem, self-belief and self-confidence, then what around you is causing you to feel this way?
Who are you really and what do you really want from life?
Without questioning your ability to achieve it, why not start working on your self-awareness, self-acceptance and take accountability for where you are right now and the changes you need to make for the life you want.
You see, it won’t just land on your lap, you have to make it happen.
And comparing yourself to those who have it, do it and seem so much further forward than you, will only set you many steps further back.
I know this is tough, believe me, I’ve been there, but recognising that this is what’s happening to you is the first step, then finding help to get through it is the next.
You can do it.
Faith, love and Joy
Emma Jay xx