Leaning into imposter syndrome.

I see so many articles writing about ‘breaking free from imposter syndrome’, ‘how to get rid of imposter syndrome’, ‘letting go of imposter syndrome’ and so on – but no one ever talks about working with it.

 

As a society, we often try to avoid difficult feelings and emotions, but what if instead of running away from these – or trying to avoid them – we instead noticed how we’re feeling and leaned in? Let’s get curious about why we feel the way we feel rather than turning away from the discomfort. 

 

So what do we mean when we talk about ‘imposter syndrome’? It’s that nagging feeling of doubt about our skills, talents, and achievements, and leaves us fearing exposure as frauds. Picture this: you’re at the peak of success, yet there’s this persistent fear lurking beneath the surface—a fear of not being good enough, not belonging, or even a fear of losing control. Hello imposter syndrome, is that you? So, where does this come from? Well, it’s like a cousin of anxiety, often popping up in the face of new challenges or responsibilities. Ironically, it stems from a place of care — caring about meeting expectations, about proving yourself. But here’s the kicker: it starts creeping in when we least expect it, during those moments of novelty or challenge, questioning our abilities and making us feel like outsiders.

 

“But if I’m feeling like this, then I’m not cut out for the role, right?” – wrong! It’s very natural to have self-doubts and feelings of anxiety, especially when being outside of your comfort zone. 

 

But here’s the thing: imposter syndrome doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s like a friendly reminder that we’re growing, evolving, and striving for more. It’s the time where we’re creating new evidence that we can succeed and a chance to look back and see just how far we’ve come. 

 

Imposter syndrome is just another type of fear, another type of anxiety. But what if we take a look into this even more; where does it come from, WHY are you feeling this way? It’s most likely because you’re in a new environment, you’re stretching yourself, you’re out of your comfort zone and you have some limiting beliefs that are holding you back. This is the time where you will learn the most – and that’s a great thing. The only way to ever truly avoid imposter syndrome, or anxiety, or fear – is by staying in your comfort zone, and where’s the growth in that? Now, of course, there’s a balance – we need to feel safe but we as humans, also need to push ourselves. 

 

Confronting imposter syndrome means diving deep into our beliefs, especially those buried in our subconscious. You know, those little nuggets we picked up during our formative years, between ages zero and seven? Yeah, those shape our view of the world and influence how we perceive ourselves, who would have known.

 

But here’s the silver lining: we’re not prisoners to our thoughts and we are not our thoughts. Thanks to practices like meditation and mindfulness, we can observe those unhelpful thoughts and wave them goodbye without letting them drag us down. It’s all about shifting our mindset, reframing those negative self-talk loops into positive affirmations of growth and learning. Sure, imposter syndrome may linger, but you don’t have to be held hostage by it. By leaning into discomfort, embracing vulnerability, and reframing our self-talk, we can turn imposter syndrome from a fear into excitement — excitement that we’re growing and getting closer to being the best version of ourselves. 

 

You want to let go of what’s holding you back, don’t you? Book in a call with me to get started.

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