I don't like the term imposter syndrome.
I feel labels are important to help us communicate and understand each other.
But here's why I feel the term "imposter syndrome" is doing us a disservice.
And what to do about "imposter syndrome", so you feel more empowered to share your gifts.
To be clear my focus of today's writing is for you if you have an expertise.
You've invested a lot of time and energy into developing that expertise, but you still feel not good enough or have resistance to sharing it.
I know that's what a lot of people are referring to when they speak about imposter syndrome.
Of course, there also is the case where you are a beginner...
and things feel new and chaotic, so you're hesitant to share because you're still establishing your foundation.
That is different. And I'm not focusing on your specific situation.
But I encourage you to still keep reading because this will benefit you either way.
So yeah...imposter syndrome.
I've experienced it. And it's something many of my clients have too.
They're great at what they do and often feel confident in 1 on 1 situations with people they're helping.
But when it comes time to sell or to share their work on social media they freeze up.
I'm super familiar with this too. I'm a 5/1 Projector in Human Design.
My literal make up is to go deep on many topics, develop mastery, and guide others in my own unique way.
But, for a long time, I'd hesitate to talk about things like sales, marketing, and money on social media. And I wouldn't share my depth around emotions and healing.
Even though these were things I was super curious about, studying and helping others with 1 on 1.
Wtf was going on here?
Many would call it "imposter syndrome"—some psychological phenomenon.🙃
But I dislike that term because I feel it brushes over what's really happening and treats the "syndrome" as if it's a random "illness".
When in reality what's happening is a perfectly normal response.
What we call "imposter syndrome" is really just the manifestation of a relational wound.
In 1 on 1 situations, where someone has opted into your guidance, it feels safer to be your full self.
But there also is a part of you that got the message at some point in your life that your fullness wasn't acceptable or appreciated.
Whether it was your sexuality, your curiosity, your sensitivity, your humanity, etc
You got the message that making mistakes, "talking too much", or being yourself would be met with rejection, criticism or removal of love.
This often happens in your younger years at home or in school with bullies or in other relationships.
And so when it comes time for us to share our fullness online or to strangers where there's the possibility of rejection, the body goes into protection mode...
- critical thoughts
- the need to be perfect
- the need to wear a mask
- dimming your light
And we call it "imposter syndrome" and treat ourselves once again like something is wrong with us.
While really this is a deeply intelligent response from our system to help us survive.
If "talking too much" meant you got yelled at by a parent, it'd make sense for your body to keep you from sharing.
So what do we do it about?
I'd say start with looking at what's really going and not treating it like some personality trait.
- What situations trigger you?
- How's your body responding?
- What are the associated thoughts?
- What behaviors follow?
Can you see the wisdom here and acknowledge it?
Now it's time to show yourself everything that wasn't allowed before is acceptable now.
Can you give yourself permission to like what you like, share what excites you, and create what you want to create?
Once we make that decision the real work starts.
One of the most helpful things you can do is compassionately speak to the part of you that is feeling anxious/uncomfortable.
And it can help to imagine it's a younger version of you.
Inner-child work bb.
Ask that part what it want's to express.
Ask it what it needs.
Give them what they need—to be felt, to be heard, to be loved, permission to use their voice, appreciation of their effort, protection, etc.
Realize the separation between your "awareness"—the observer
And the part of you that's experiencing the discomfort or responding to the prompts.
You are no longer the younger version of you that's suffering. You are the observer of them.
That distance is important to regain your power.
There's a lot more I can share and if you want to go deeper, I'd love to support you.
Reply to this email letting me know you connected with what I shared and want to chat more.
Sending you lots of love,