It always seems to creep in when I least expect it. One day I’m doing fine, pushing through work, running my two businesses, being a Mum, a wife, and then BOOM… I get that feeling. The feeling that I have no idea what I’m doing, and someday everyone is going to figure me out. That my friends is impostor syndrome.
Sometimes I get that feeling when it comes to motherhood, other times it’s in my personal relationships, and often it’s about my work. I have the feeling that “I'm not good enough or smart enough or educated enough”. I feel like I’m not great at the Mum thing, and I’m just trying to fit in with the other Mums who are more patient and more organized. With my friends I sometimes feel like I’m not as caring or dedicated as they are, and soon they will realize the person they thought they liked really isn’t who I am. Often it’s work, when I start to question my value and I think that I’m not good enough to have a business, and soon everyone is going to see it.
Impostor syndrome is common for even the most successful people, but it’s a feeling that can be detrimental to your mental health and self worth. When you start to question yourself or your value, it’s important to have a few tactics in your back pocket to talk yourself through the feelings associated with impostor syndrome.
It happens to all of us
If you are starting to feel like you’re not good enough, know that it happens to everyone. Whether you’re feeling like an impostor in terms of work, family, relationships, or even what you look like, remind yourself that it happens to everyone. EVERYONE. Even the most successful people. Jennifer Lopez, Jodie Foster, and Maya Angelou are all amazing women who have spoken about this feeling. Even after platinum records, Oscars, and writing countless influential pieces of art, these women felt like they weren’t as good as they should be.
You aren’t alone in your feelings, so don’t feel like you’re the only one hiding in a room of other people who have it all together and you’ve tricked them into thinking you belong. You DO belong, and they are probably feeling the exact same way that you are.
SAY IT, EVEN IF YOU DON’T FULLY BELIEVE IT YET
When you start to think you’re not enough, talk yourself off a ledge with positive affirmations. Whether you’re scared to launch a product, you’re questioning yourself as a parent, you’re feeling down about how you look, or you don’t believe you deserve the people who love you, talk to yourself in a loving way. Like you’d talk to a friend who was feeling the same way.
You worked hard on your product, and it deserves to be out in the world for others to see.
You are the parent your kids need, and you’re doing the best you can with what you have.
Your body has gotten you through so many hard times, and it’s strong and capable.
Your friends and family love you for a reason, and you deserve to be loved.
Even if you don’t fully believe it, just say it. Be kind with your words, kick out the bad thoughts, and replace them with positive ones. Everyone has to start somewhere, and even if you’re not exactly where you want to be right now, you have to complete the 1.0 version before you can get to the 2.0 version, and the 6.0 version, etc. Even if you don’t believe it yet, just say it.
Nobody is like YOU
Listen, you may not be the person with the most education, the most experience, the best body, or the most friends in a room, but nobody in that room is like you. Nobody has your voice. Nobody has had your experiences and can offer the insight you can offer. People may have done similar things, but nobody has been on your journey. You are completely unique, and you shouldn’t compare your story to someone else’s, or allow yourself to feel less than because your story isn’t like someone else’s. Remind yourself that no other story is like yours.
I know that I’m never going to be the smartest, prettiest, or most successful person, but I know that I have a unique perspective and a big heart. I know that my ability to connect to others is what fills my heart, even if I don’t have the most credentials in the world. I know that nobody loves my kids like I do. My body is the body that’s birthed my kids, done a few crunches over the years and ran a half marathon. No one else has the same friendships, family members, or relationships that I’ve had.
You are NOT an impostor. You are unique.
Have you ever experienced impostor syndrome? How do you talk yourself through those feelings?