In my last post I claimed my vision and my path publicly. I put my stake in the ground and sent a powerful message to the Universe that I am serious about my intention to serve. I figured what better way of staying accountable and attracting the experiences I need to step into my vision than to blast it loud and clear on the internet to all my readers, friends and family?
I was feeling inspired, empowered, and confident. Thinking to myself, “Fuck ya, Amy. You go girl!”.
Now those feelings haven’t disappeared, but I noticed something interesting happen over the following weeks. Along with stepping up and pushing myself past my comfort zone, came this feeling of being a fraud or an impostor. Commonly known as impostor syndrome.
Lucky for me I know this feeling is super common for humans, but unfortunately rarely talked about. So that’s why I’m bringing it up, getting it out in the open, and letting you know how I managed it. So that when it comes up for you, you have an idea of how to tackle this feeling when it’s trying to stop you from going after what you desire, claiming your power, and expressing yourself fully.
1. GET CURIOUS AND QUESTION YOUR IMPOSTOR THOUGHTS
First off, I got curious about this feeling. I decided to not judge it or make myself wrong for feeling it. BUT I also decided not to believe it was true.
Instead I went inward. I meditated. I journalled. I sat in it. Fully embracing what lesson it was here to teach me.
I asked myself,
- What is your mind telling you that is bringing on this feeling?
- What limiting beliefs do you have running in the background?
- What is the voice of the “impostor” saying?
2. TELL THE TRUTH ON YOURSELF
The voice of my impostor in this specific situation said, “If people knew about my past they wouldn’t accept me for who I am now”.
There it was. The voice of shame. And shame thrives in secrecy. Meaning it was time for me to get vulnerable (thanks for that one Brene Brown!).
Through our vulnerability we have access to love, connection and freedom.
I discovered I’ve been carrying around some emotional weight to do with my past that I thought I’d already worked through.
Yet I realized I’ve only skimmed the surface of vulnerability (even my best friend said she only had the “Cole’s Notes” version). This was the missing piece holding me back from putting myself out there to an even greater degree. Keeping me small. Playing it safe.
I talk about being authentic. I talk about being self-loving. I talk about stepping outside of comfort zones. That’s why I was feeling like a fraud… there’s this one area I hadn’t fully accepted or shared, which is the story of how I got to be where I am now. It’s the reason I am committed to choosing love over fear. The reason I have chosen to go down this path in the first place.
Because I definitely didn’t get here because everything was perfect. In fact far from it. And my ego was judging my past, therefore I was projecting that others would judge it too.
3. LET IT OUT
So in that moment of recognizing my shame, I decided to let go of judgment and release my story. Because we all have a past that has made us who we are today, and I am willing and ready to love and accept all parts of me.
In order for me to move forward in the direction I want to go, it needed to be out in the open.
So I spent hours writing pages and pages of story purging my darkest moments from a place of self-acceptance and self-love.
Teenage addiction. Losing my dad to cancer at sixteen. Sexual trauma. Anxiety. Bullying. Depression. Eating disorders. Sex, drugs and after parties. Heartbreak. Transformation. And both my spiritual awakenings.
Then I let it all go and I stopped letting it define me.
Writing alone was super cathartic, but I also let those closest to me read it to feel witnessed and to heal my belief that others wouldn’t love or accept me if they knew. (If you want you can create a letting go ritual and burn your written story, recycling and transforming it’s energy back into the Universal flow.)
I became free. It was just a story now. And what mattered most is that I loved and accepted myself.
- After writing out your own story it can be helpful to also write out a letter of acknowledgement to yourself too. Focusing on all of the wonderful blessings in your life. Write out everything you are grateful for as well as all of your accomplishments up to date. Take credit for your own amazingness. See how wonderful you truly are!
- I also keep a “praise” document where I record the wonderful things people say to me, to remind me of my true essence when I’m feeling disconnected.
4. CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION
We all have a story of pain and suffering. It’s not about comparing who has had it better or worse. We are all human and we all experience the same emotions at our core. When we shift our perception from victim to gratitude and forgiveness, we experience a miracle and our mess becomes our message. We take our power back. We are who we are today because of what we’ve overcome.
I needed to experience these things in life to unlock compassion, faith and empathy. And the same is true for you in whatever adversity you’ve experienced, or whatever you may be going through now. Look back on your life and find the positive lessons that you learned from what you experienced.
Once I decided to tell this truth on myself, my story stopped having control over me. I was no longer ashamed.
And the moment I opened up about having these feelings of being an impostor, was the moment that those feelings passed too.
Because I was no longer hiding anything. I was being authentic in my truth, therefore neutralizing the feelings of being a fraud.
It’s crazy how much the truth really can set us free.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
This feeling can show up in our relationships, careers, or when we achieve success.
I would love to hear from you and your unique experience.
Does this impostor feeling ever come up for you and how do you move through it? What do you need to clear in your life to feel more free and authentic? What accomplishments can you acknowledge yourself for? And what are you committed to doing to express your true self more fully?
Let me know in the comments below, and like or share this post if it’s well timed for you or someone you know!
Photo by Unsplash