Stop Feeling Like an Imposter
And Embrace Faith
You know that old saying, ‘fake it ‘til you make it?’ Is that the right advice? Let me get this straight, you’re encouraging me to pretend to be something I am not?
I’ve been guilty of being a faker for most of my life. I didn’t know how to walk at age 1, yet I stood up like I knew exactly how to put one foot in front of the other. Drive a car? Sure, I got this. (Don’t tell my parents I accidentally backed into the side of the car wash at age 15).
Dating — no problem. Marriage, piece of cake. Landscape designer, I’ll just learn it as I go along. Spiritual teacher? Not even sure what that looks like yet but I’m willing to explore what’s calling me.
Don’t we learn everything this way? Through life experience I mean…
Imposter could be defined as a person who deceives others (and ourselves) by pretending to be someone we are not.
Note: I added ‘ourselves’, as deception happens most often inside of us.
If it’s true that 100% of the new things we attempt we have no idea how to be or do, why do we choose to feel like an imposter?
Questions swirl around in your mind: what if someone finds out I wake up in the middle of the night, afraid and uncertain about where to go next in my life? What if my adult facade is exposed and they catch a glimpse of my inner, vulnerable child? What if they discover I really don’t have any idea what the hell I am doing?
Yes, yes and yes. But keep in mind that every single one of us has felt the same exact way.
So we walk around hiding or posturing or pretending so we ‘look good’ or ‘fit in’ or appear to have it all together. All in an attempt to meet some perception we hold about others’ expectations. We allow our inner critic to beat us up — while at the same time almost everyone we know is walking around struggling with the very same problem.
It almost seems to me to border on insanity (I mean no disrespect to those who are struggling with mental illness). I wonder if Imposter Syndrome might be the most widespread mental illness of all?
Consider for a moment: an entire society of human beings who constantly struggle to feel good enough, to value ourselves and to love the inner me. The toll self-doubt takes on our health, on our relationships and our overall quality of life.
Why do we choose to feel like this? I’ve observed it often becomes an unconscious habit, like donning a different suit for each social situation . All the while we know something is ‘off’ deep inside but we put on a good face anyway because we mistakenly believe it’s for our self- protection.
What if, what actually makes us safer is our willingness to be vulnerable and admit to ourselves and others we are doing the best we can, with what we know right now? Security comes in the form of relief and validation as we connect at a true authentic level — it’s ok to admit we don’t know. Making it possible to step back to a less serious place and even recognize the humor and irony in each situation.
What might be possible if you changed your mental construct from ‘imposter’ to ‘learner’ and from ‘mistake’ to ‘valuable life lesson?’
I believe it really comes down to faith. (And trust, but mostly faith). Where you stand right now, you’ve made it through absolutely everything so far. You’ve learned, you’ve grown, gained a sophistication about the world you didn’t have before. Each new challenge, you stepped up and moved through.
You’ve begun to recognize your tendencies, seeing the patterns of your behavior and the behavior of others. You experimented with different ways of communicating and quickly found out which ones work and which ones didn’t. You tried on various careers, different relationships, some of you even gave the most difficult role (parenthood) a go. Lived here, moved there, met new folks, stayed connected to some for a long time. With others you only touched lives for a brief moment.
This rhythm, this crazy dance we call life has been rich, incredible, painful and joyous. It will continue to be so.
What if you could embrace faith that you’re being and doing and expressing exactly what is intended? Every choice you make is the right one because all choices go down the same path to deepen and stir greater knowledge within you.
You are after all not an imposter, you are the real deal.
Are you ready to stop shifting and bending yourself to meet the perceived expectations of others? Are you longing to shine your unique and beautiful inner self out, your light just can’t be contained any longer? I invite you to engage in a powerful conversation with me about my upcoming group program, Three Thresholds to Authenticity. You will answer the age-old question, Who Am I? Step forward fully into the love, wisdom and personal power that’s already present inside you.
To your highest good,