I have a Syndrome. It’s called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and it sucks! It impacts most parts of my body as it is a connective tissue disorder. It is incurable and despite having an amazingly positive attitude and overcoming almost everything it has thrown at me in my 55 years to date, it regularly reminds me that I can’t think it away.
When people talk about Imposter Syndrome, they are making a grave misrepresentation. The Imposter in our head is not an incurable disease, it is a mindset. And mindsets can be challenged and changed. New behaviour and language can transform mindset and there are no limits on what can be achieved with the right support.
This is no Syndrome.
The very acceptance that our Imposter was a disease, plays into the idea that we need to be ‘cured’ of it. I have news for you; this is a life-long relationship. Anyone who tells you they can free you of your Imposter is lying. I am an expert on Imposter Mindset™; I’ve been talking to mine for at least 50 years on a daily basis. Way more than 10,000 hours put in here!
Learning to live with the Imposter Mindset™ and understanding how to be kinder and understanding is a big shift in thinking. And it’s a wonderful one. You can take back ownership and control of this once you see this simple truth.
Nothing about your Imposter needs to be fixed except the way you respond to it
Responding with fear in the past has made you listen to the smallness your Imposter wants to maintain.
Responding to the old, historical (and often hysterical) evidence without challenge has allowed your Imposter to take you back in time.
Responding by giving up on your BIG idea or brave challenge has empowered your Imposter to become your reality. ‘I knew I couldn’t do it’ and ‘I always quit’ become your mantras. And because you’ve accepted you live with ‘Imposter Syndrome’ you don’t challenge this mindset.
The first key lies in changing the responses, one day at a time or even one conversation at a time. Hearing what you say to yourself and having the courage to ask where that is really coming from and who it was that sold you this version of your truth. Start by saying the words out-loud and you may be surprised what memory it triggers.
Kindness to ourselves is essential if we are to succeed. When we tell ourselves, over and over, that we can do something and that we will achieve a goal, we are more likely to do so. Conversely, when the words we repeat are those of failures past and inevitably repeating them…Yes, you know what that outcome looks like.
Creating a habit of kindness is a great step in the right direction
If we acknowledge that we do better in our daily lives when we are feeling good about ourselves, then it makes sense to create a plan to support that. A plan to co create a way to maximise the number of days per month that we are at our best. A plan to be kind and supportive so that we can be that best version of ourselves for and with others.
Daily ways to support a kindness habit might include:
- Starting the day with a positive affirmation. Something short and uplifting that gets your day off to a happy start. There are some wonderful examples here. https://www.oprahdaily.com/life/relationships-love/g25629970/positive-affirmations/
- Taking five minutes in nature to listen to the peace and quiet. If you can get to a place where there are trees or a beautiful view, this is going to top up your happy tank.
- Rewarding yourself for a job well done. When you complete a task or a project, instead of crossing it off a list (which always reminds me of getting something wrong at school) reward yourself with something that lifts your spirits. Listen to a beautiful song, write a letter to a friend, have an iced coffee or call someone just to say ‘Hi’.
- Accepting a compliment. This is such a gift. When you respond with ‘Thank you’ notice the impact that has on the person paying you the compliment. Nice one, right? That’s a new experience that is worth repeating.
It’s a long process changing the way you treat yourself. You’ve become an expert in repeating the cycle of your current behaviour, so allow yourself time to learn this new way.
If you’re ready to stop your Imposter from stopping you, then join me on this FREE one hour webinar on 18th August where I’ll be sharing some of my top tips on challenging your Imposter Mindset.