So, what exactly is Imposter Syndrome?
Simply put, Imposter Syndrome is a fancy term for self doubt and it is rooted in anxiety and poor self esteem.
Not believe you are skilled enough or smart enough, even though you are getting great grades or successfully doing the work.
Difficulty believing the praise of others. You tell yourself little things like, “They don’t actually know” or “What do they want from me?” or “They are just saying that to be polite”.
Feeling like you are faking your success. This hows up with actors who take every job they are offered because they fear every job will be their last. It shows up in students who think every semester they will finally get bad grades, even though they make mostly A’s every single time.
Thinking you are going to fail. You have this sense of “waiting for the other shoe to drop”. Every time you are asked to your bosses office you are sure you will be fired.
Devalue your worth. You keep waiting for others around you to figure out that you’re a fraud, but they never seem to.
So that was Imposter Syndrome, now what the heck do I do about it?
As with most things involving our beliefs, the answer includes your self talk… the inner dialog that always happening inside your head.
Learn to recognize who’s voice you’re hearing. Who criticized you so much as a youth that you even began to doubt yourself? Is it a parent or grandparent? Teachers or kids from school? Learn to question that voice who criticizes you so much. Usually that voice is wrong.
I strongly advise working with a therapist to learn how to question your self talk correctly. Embrace your doubts, talk to them, ask them questions. We tend to feel anxiety when we fear something. Listen to what your fears are trying to warn you of so be careful to not let them happen.
We are what other people see
Take a page out of Hollywood’s textbook. Actors reinvent themselves over and over again with each new role they take and each new character that they bring to life.
When we see others, we make snap judgements about who we think they are. Usually the only thing we have to go off of is body language and clothing choices.
Our posture and facial expressions affect our thoughts and our feelings. A fun exercise to try is playing with your body language and making a connection between how your movements affect your frame of mind, for example, how hard or light your foot steps are, how erect your spine is, the position of your head and eyes walking with your head up and your eyes forward or your head and eyes facing downward.
When you are feeling discouraged or anxious it will show up in your body language. Purposely change your posture and your thoughts and emotions will shift as well.
Our body language is trying to tell us something, if we would learn to listen to it.