Imposter syndrome, the fraud police, the negative inner voice how can we beat it?

As I write that title my inner voice is doing this crazy dance telling me that I am defiantly not the right person to be writing this. Who am I to share these thoughts? Surely it needs to be someone hugely successful or with degrees and letters after their name. The truth is there are a million other people who can speak about it, and they are very welcome to. I can not wait to read more, because I have been reading, and reading and learning more and more about this. It’s a challenge for creatives and for people generally. That voice tells us we cant do it, that we are not capable and if we are trying that now is the time to give up.

The thing is that voice is mean, and its a lier!!

There is no-one in the world like you and no-one who can do what you do the way you do it. That my friend is your super power.

As soon as we can recognise that its ok to be different and to be ourselves it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. I really struggle with boxes and being put or seeing people put into them, I want to push and slam at the edges and break them. People are all so different and so amazing. My kids remind me of that everyday, they are in the same environment but their characters are totally different. Celebrate who you are and know that you have something unique to bring to the world.

So what can we do? How can we win? Well like I say I keep reading and learning as it’s a massive subject and the challenges will change all the time.

I have created a podcast talking about it, and how it manifests itself and ways in which we can work to make a better environment for ourselves. In my podcast I always give a creative project to try for the week so do pop over and have a listen to the episode.

Recently I have been reading Amanda Palmer’s book “the Art of Asking’. It is brilliant!! Easy to read, she feels like a friend you are chatting to and she shares some very honest struggles and discoveries. The stand out thing for me is that she talks about the need to ask when you face the ‘fraud police’ as she calls them, because we are not qualified, not one of us for every aspect of what we are doing. Going it alone is hard work and too big. Learning to ask for help, to acknowledge we haven’t got it all makes the world of difference!!! It really inspired me, I realise that my fear in asking and getting help is often because of that fear of showing cracks in the cup, but actually we all know its the cracks and the scars that make us beautiful. It also reminded me of my friend who told me in no uncertain terms that when I moved away that I was to ‘let other help you!’ Something I hadn’t thought of in that way.

We often see receiving help as our weakness when we should try to see it as someone’s generosity. Their opportunity to serve you and bring some joy! Try thinking about it that way and it becomes something very different. That negative voice looses some of its power when we are all working together to make something beautiful.

Another thing I realised is that the negative voice is only chattering away about the stuff you do and can do, it doesn’t talk you down from some thing you have never considered. If you are facing opposition maybe that is the exact thing you need to be fighting for?

Someone else I find some helpful is Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved Big Magic, and in fact someone recommended I read ’eat, pray, love’ first so I understood /got to hi so her better. I think that was really useful as I felt like she was someone who I’d love to spend time with, so when she talked about what felt very personal (my creative life) in Big Magic, I felt comfortable talking with and listing to her (Yes I do feel like books are a conversation). If like me you are a slow reader then watch her ted talk first, it’s the essence of the book and that 18 min talk is mind blowing (just think what the book is like). She reminds us that the creativeness and ideas dont belong only to us and although we have a responsibility to help bring them to life we are not wholly responsible for them. Hey come and they go and if you can host it then what a wonder! Equally it is not all you being the best, that makes it a success either. We are not responsible for the outcome, we are responsible for playing our part and showing up. So like Elizabeth says just show up and create, being ready to be the best or the worst but you have done your part.

How about setting yourself a challenge of doing your ‘thing’ everyday for 10 mins for a week. See what you get see what you make. Refuse to listen to the inner voice if its mean, just say I’m here and I’m doing my thing and its not for anyone else in the world I’m just going to do it. Think of it like a walk, you wouldn’t just stop half way and say ‘I’m not walking right I’m done’ you keep going until you are finshed.

Lets work together

Lets keep going

Lets show that negative voice that there is lots of good to be shouted about so lets shout it from the roof tops.


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