All though this syndrome is not a legitimate disorder listed in the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM-5) used by psychologists and psychiatrists for the tools of diagnosis. It is a very real problem that a lot of people struggle with. In turn, I felt the need to highlight this phenomenon within our mind.
Call this my journal screaming out loud, or me projecting my own emotions, or me sharing my observations of others in these past few weeks.... But this syndrome is a sneaky little toxic vortex that seeps its way into the mind of highly intelligent, ambitious individuals. this syndrome then inhibits and places doubt in ones ability to conquer and achieve.
So what is this "imposter syndrome?" It is where an individual is flooded with feelings of inadequacy even when their track record proves the opposite. This is a term for those individuals who have chronic self doubt. Especially, in the situations where one's past actions reveals competency and success yet they feel like a fake and fear being exposed as such. Those who suffer from this chronic self doubt tend to ignore the evidence of their success as they do not believe they deserve to be where they currently are.
Raise your hand if you have ever experienced this?
Both of my hands just went up...
I am guilty of this monster of bull shit that likes to dump its negative thoughts into my mind. My mom has always said to me "Sky, you are you own worst critique." She would typically say this whenever I was giving her an analysis of myself. At the age of 26 I have realized by thinking and sharing in this way I am limiting myself and lessening my own self worth. What an unproductive use of energy and what an unfair unnecessary limitation that I am imposing on myself.
See? It really is a monster of bull shit - a literal negative dump.
This phenomenon became even more clear to me these past few weeks. You see, I meet with a group of girls weekly where the intent of these meetups are to encourage each other to make leaps that may prove to be difficult all by yourself. These group meetings reinforce accountability while highlighting each of our strengths and allowing us to work on our weaknesses. This is one scenario where both me and another attendee felt similarly about this imposter syndrome.
A common thread has been the culprit known as social media. the anxiety surrounding posting daily content. Especially for the small business owners of the world. Its a lens into who you are and who you want the world to see you as. It can be a real lens or an illusion and ultimately the one posting has to make a decision on the message they are sending when they decide to post.
Why this is relevant is that when I came back from Bali I was so inspired to start my own business in the realm of wellness and holism. Then I realized I would have to start posting more frequently online... Duh duh duhhhhh
The idea of me sharing my thoughts with the world scared me. All these scenarios played out in my mind. Such as: what if what I posted was mis-perceived, perceived badly, or worse not even acknowledged? What if I failed. Then I spoke the mantra I speak to myself often which goes like 'Sky, I would much rather have a life of 'oh wells' than a life of 'what ifs.'
This then equips me with the courage to leap. Although I still find that when I press "publish" or "post" that there is a moment of dread that begins to seep its way in. Its a work in progress as I have to combat my own imposture syndrome. What I have found is that as my exposure to this increases my negative feelings tend to wash away and become closer to being extinct.
Jumping back to these weekly meet-ups. What I realized is that I am not the only one who feels this way. This was both relieving as well as disheartening because as I looked around at this group of beautiful people, I was astonished that they felt this road block. These women are amazing in their own right and should have no qualms posting daily, yet they too have the same hesitation and reservations as me. Then I realized "shit Sky you do this same thing all the time." Its a laugh out loud moment when you have a glass shattering revelation about yourself.
Throughout the years, I have this tendency to limit my own successes, I downplay my accomplishments and I often feel as though what I have accomplished was just sheer "dumb" luck that was not necessarily deserved. If you know me, you know this is the farthest thing from the truth. I have had a lot of adversity that I have had to overcome to get me to where I am right now. I have had a lot of physical hurdles and limitations in my own body that has shut down many doors in my path. Rather than waiting for new doors to open I re-purpose my ability and create new doors.
So this post is a reflection of my self limiting and chronic self-doubt. This is a new year after all. This is part of transformation is to acknowledge where I have my own mental road blocks. This is a check in with myself to keep me from holding myself back.
As I type I am going to attempt to transform my schema of myself within my mind. I will make a solid effort to stop limiting myself when I think or discuss. My ideas may be bold but they are valid. My dreams are my dreams for a very real reason. I will discontinue looking at my past successes as something undeserving. I work f*cking hard, day in and day out and that is something worth recognizing.
I am kicking this imposter out. I do not have space for it anymore. I intend on shifting that space (my mindset) for something that serves me.
Perhaps this will have you stop and think for a moment. Do you have a monster in your mind that tells you that you cant? Perhaps its time for us to reframe our intellect and kick the imposter out. They aren't serving us they are holding us back.