We as human beings often struggle with experiencing a complex web of feelings of inadequacy, despite evidence that shows otherwise.
We may feel that we aren't skilled enough to perform at a new job. We may feel like our fellow classmates are more intelligent than us. We may feel that we are not a good enough partner, parent, friend, etc. These feelings of self-doubt, comparison and a lack of self-compassion all lead back to the same root cause: feeling like we aren't enough, despite the fact that our successes frequently show otherwise. This combination of feelings is known as imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome holds a lot of power in our lives because we get comfortable sitting in cyclical feelings of shame, loneliness and insecurity, which can be a challenging pattern to break out of.
I hope that people find comfort in hearing what I am about to write about these feelings: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Read that again and again, as often as you need the reminder. In fact, I would say that the majority of people who don't ever seem to struggle with feelings of being an imposter have masked their feelings by pretending that they are more confident in their abilities than they really are.
Now, through my years of personal self-growth, working with clients and studying human beings as a whole, I have come to know the following:
Our feelings of unworthiness, shame and insecurity often stem from pressures that have been fabricated by a larger society that profits from us not feeling good about ourselves.
When we build support networks that normalize vulnerable conversations about difficult feelings such as unworthiness, shame and insecurity we create a space to feel connected and heard - this is a game changer. Surrounding ourselves with people who do not allow conversations like this to be had hinder our opportunities (and theirs!) to heal and grow.
Being vulnerable can be cathartic and empowering. This is self-compassion at its finest because it shows that you are invested in being kind to yourself. Being kind to ourselves in the first step in challenging our imposter mindset.
I invite you to take your feelings of being an imposter and sit with them. Allow them to consume you, allow them to make you feel uncomfortable but then take that opportunity to acknowledge them. Once you have acknowledged their presence I invite you to share these thoughts with your support network (family, friends, co-workers, classmates, professional supports. etc). The worst thing that can happen is that your network doesn't validate you and if that is the case, they aren't your people and that reflection is necessary.
Transparency allows us all to realize that no one really has it all together, we all struggle with feelings of inadequacy from time to time but we are enough anyways. Transparency is showing up for yourself and those around you which I personally believe is the bravest thing you can do. Your bravery is inspiring and empowering so thank you for sharing this with the world.