The Imposter Phenomenon

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The Imposter Phenomenon
Being successful can come with a price. Here is some advice on how to embrace your success.

I was on a coaching call recently where we discussed learned helplessness and how it plays a role in our lives.

If we don’t all have learned helplessness so deeply embedded in our psyche then why is it so easy for most of us to say “I can’t” when faced with a challenge that takes us outside of our comfort zone. It’s almost a reflex reaction for many of us and I believe it stems from past experiences where we had a loss of power. These experiences may not even be currently in our consciousness but deep down they still reside.

To compensate for this we have developed a “fake it until you make it” persona. We present a polished image to the outside world because we know this is what is expected and necessary to survive- but inside we experience fear -not really knowing what exactly it is that we fear. Often we have learned what we need to do to be successful and think we are still “faking it” but in reality we have reached a level of mastery that ensures success if we only believed it ourselves.

We often attribute our previous accomplishments to luck or good timing and fear that others are going to find out we don’t really know as much as we let on or are as capable as we appear. This is the Impostor Phenomenon as some would call it. Even accomplished performers confess to having these insecurities.

It holds a lot of us back from being all that we can. For myself, I know that I need to continually focus on moving out of the “fake it ’til you make it” persona and see myself as the accomplished woman that I am.

In personal development, awareness is the key and I know that when I allow myself to consider a different possibility- for example the possibility of being “bold” and “abundant” in everything I do it opens up a whole new realm of experiences to me.

Having this awareness however isn’t enough. It’s important that I have a structure in place to keep me in possibility.
I need to first create an intention- in what direction am I headed? I then visualize what that will look like when I arrive at my destination.

It’s important for me at that point to make a decision- draw a line in that sand that I will not stop until I reach my destination. No excuses- no kidding!

That way, whenever circumstances come up, I know that I am 100% in charge of either changing the situation or changing my attitude towards it. Being a victim of my circumstances isn’t even a consideration. There's no longer any room for blaming others. This helps to keep me focused on solutions not problems.

How will I keep my intention alive? – by using affirmations every day that keep the vision alive.  “I attract people to me who support me in what I’m up to”. Regardless of how much time I have to spend on the project at hand (i.e. growing my business, community service) it is important that I stay fully present during the time that I do have to get the most results. I need to book that time in my calendar and keep distractions to a minimum.

When I stop thinking that things have to look a certain way I open myself up to all kinds of possibilities and results that I hadn’t even imagined. I limit my sharing to people who see my dream and never question that I’m going to accomplish it, regardless of how many times I have picked myself up after my failed attempts. Not taking myself so seriously really helps at these times.

Recognizing that every conversation I have either moves me forward or holds me back keeps me focus. When I have a negative thought or experience self doubt I snap the rubber band that I wear around my wrist as a reminder that this conversation doesn’t serve me.

I read everything that I can on abundance to overcome my self-imposed limitations on how much money I am deserving of having. I take all the actions that I have committed to taking then take a step back, let the universe take over, and do its part. I start every single day by being grateful for what I have. This simple act of expressing my gratitude is so powerful that I instantly feel a surge of happy emotions.

Then finally I consider what it would be like to be totally happy without needing anything on the outside to cause it- and I carry on with the knowledge that everything is unfolding as it should.

More self-love advice from Yourtango:

This article was originally published at Catherine Sternberg. Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Catherine Sternberg

Life Coach

Catherine Sternberg

Email info@catherinesternberg.com

Website www.catherinesternberg.com

To access my free 26pg e book on Assertiveness www.assertivenessformula.com

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Location: Richmond HIll, ON, Canada
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