Do you live with Imposter Syndrome? This is what I want to talk about this week in the musings. Something slightly different. No cards, just musings this week.
This is a subject that comes up again and again for the people I work with. And for me sometimes too! That feeling that you aren’t quite good enough. Or that some faceless person will show up with a clipboard and tell you that you aren’t an expert so can’t run your business or take that job. Feeling awkward or “icky” when you try to show up to others as yourself.
Often that comes from a disconnect inside. Maybe you are presenting yourself as someone who is really confident but behind the scenes you doubt everything. Perhaps you talk about being an empowered woman (or man) but you are living a lie. Or do you tell others they should walk their talk – but you really don’t?
We see it on social media all the time. People only showing their best bits to the world. Instagram is like a highlights reel. You don’t get to see much of the real deal. People hide their truth so much. And then we feel inadequate when we see these wonderful looking lives. Because we start comparing them to our own. But often they are far from real!
You can see this in the spiritual world so much. You know that feeling when you see some “expert” online. Maybe a coach who is telling you how to be happy and healthy. But who is deeply sad and unhealthy off screen.
Someone who is promoting love and light. But something is off. Their energy is just not quite right but you can’t put your finger on what it is. And then you happen to encounter that person offline and realise they are full of anger.
Someone who is talking about how you should meditate but who has never done it. Another fake spiritual expert who doesn’t walk their talk. Your bullshit detector goes off! Doesn’t it?
Does this resonate?
Nobody is perfect. Certainly not me! But I have learned that in order to live with integrity you have to walk your talk. That means doing the right thing when nobody is watching. Showing up as your true self online and offline. Not being afraid to be completely yourself.
But it is not easy. I have really had to work on this. Recently I was working with a mentor. She asked me if I was the same person online as I was offline. And I said yeah, pretty much. Because I genuinely believed that was true.
But she pressed me a little harder. She asked, “Do you ever stop yourself from going after something even though you know you really want it?” And I said yes I do. She asked why that was.
I had to sit with this for a while. Why would I sabotage myself? What stops me investing in myself. Apart from the money itself. Is there a deeper reason why I don’t allow myself to really go for what I want?
On reflection I realised it was fear. Fear of not being good enough. Also a concern that it wouldn’t work for me . Or bigger still – that my family would tell me I had wasted money – and then be disappointed in me. Oh yeah – there it is. Disappointment.
It came from growing up watching my parents struggle for money. Perhaps subconsciously I was afraid to spend money. Or worried what my family would think if they saw me doing something different. Something that broke the “normal” mould. You know – like being a self employed Reiki teacher!
It also came from always trying to please people. Never wanting to disappoint my family. Always trying to do what they wanted. And slowly losing my voice along the way.
Feeling like a fraud?
It is this disconnect that causes imposter syndrome. You know I run my own business. So because I wasn’t prepared to invest in myself – there was an issue. If I was to go online and promote an offer I’d feel like a fraud. Because I wasn’t taking action and investing in myself. So how could I expect others to put their trust in me and buy my offer?
Over years of working with Reiki and other healing tools, I have had to face some demons. To take a look at my shadow self. Trying to integrate it and work to really walk my talk. I am work in progress. Aren’t we all?
Anyway I had a word with myself. I knew I really need to shift this block about investing in myself. So I bought the programme the mentor was offering! Already my energy has shifted and I don’t feel the imposter syndrome sneaking up so much.
I do feel fear. But it is the slightly excited feeling that I get when I know something really feels right. So I’m facing that fear head on and we shall see what happens!
How does Imposter Syndrome show up for you?
When you are going for a promotion at work, do you feel it? Maybe you know that you don’t really want that promotion. You actually hate your job but feel you have to progress the corporate ladder? Could that be a reason why it shows up?
Perhaps you are in a toxic relationship. Yet outwardly you are telling everyone that life is great and you are so in love.
Or is it a lack of integrity? Do you only do the right thing when you think someone is watching you?
Share your honest answers with me – I would love to know. No judgement just conversation. Come and join the discussion in the Mind, Body & Spirit Wellness group – a free community for people who are building a life aligned with their spirit and passion. And who want to find the support, connections and conversations that really matter.
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