Your Superpowers are Real!
Do you think you’re a fraud? Do you doubt your abilities even though you’re driven, motivated, and a top performer? There’s a term for this that I’m sure you’re already aware of. It’s called imposter syndrome. Have you kept this a secret throughout your life? Me too, until recently. I’m not an expert on the subject but many of us experience this type of anxiety, which can come from many places including our childhood, who we surround ourselves with, or trying to live up to others’ expectations or those we put on ourselves.
We tend to set expectations on ourselves based on what we see in others. Here’s a personal example. I have always thought of myself as disorganized, physically, and cognitively. Where did I put that? I don’t understand what they said. Why can’t I say this succinctly? One of my leaders earlier in my career described my thought process as “one, two, blue alligator.” Actually, this was a good description! It still feels true. I have so many thoughts and it can be a challenge to filter and organize them on the way to coming out of my mouth.
In my past, when I felt like my thoughts were disorganized, I immediately thought, I’m not good at this. Those types of thoughts have led me to feel frustrated and then I think, I’m not good at that either. Then, the less than desired behaviors follow, like visible lack of patience with or judgment of others or me. Shutting down has been another outcome. Very unproductive. How can someone who can’t even articulate their thoughts have achieved what I have?
I haven’t shared this with many people in my past because if I told others maybe they’d think less of me. Admitting to my self-doubt was like bringing attention to a weakness and maybe all of the things I doubted about myself would become validated. Then I wouldn’t continue to have the opportunities I have had. Sound familiar?
Do you have a story like this that you’ve hidden from others? In my unfinished journey to being my authentic and best Self, I have sometimes thought I must be the only one experiencing these thoughts and feelings. But I have learned I am in good company.
Next time you are experiencing imposter syndrome or are doubting your talents and abilities, think about your surroundings.
1. Take an inventory of the people you spend time with at work, in the community, or at home?
2. Write down their names.
3. Circle the names of those whose mere presence boosts your energy and confidence and lifts you up immediately.
4. Write down the words they say to you that sweep away that self-doubt when you are with them.
5. Believe those words. Soak them up. You are worthy.
Over time, people have shared with me, “you are so put together” and “you are very articulate.” What? Really? Until these words were said to me a handful of times, I didn’t believe this about myself. I eventually thought if this many people believe this about me, maybe I should too.
Believe the uplifting and positive words people use to describe you. Don’t brush them aside. Your superpowers shine through and when others see them, it’s evidence that you are capable. You are talented. You are not a fraud. This is the real you!
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