I am so passionate about being authentic and yet this notion of imposter syndrome is something I keep facing in my role as a business owner, speaker, and podcast host. The more I learn about my business and the various aspects of it the more I am challenged to live into them authentically. The struggle is real. I have spoken to many individuals for whom living as an imposter has become comfortable and a reality in and of itself. Not for me. I don’t even like the phrase, “fake it till you make it”. If I want to live my story authentically, why would I fake anything?
What does living authentically mean to you? Let’s connect!!
I learned years ago that some people who said they accepted me for me, really wanted “their version of me” because as I grew and learned more about myself and what it meant to live authentically, they didn’t stick around. When we want our version of someone else; based on their role or title, we are in fact potentially feeding their imposter self, or a fake identity as I like to sometimes call it. Is that you?
I think expectations play a huge role on both sides of a relationship, be it personal or business. Whether they are expectations put on us or we have expectations of our own, realistic, or not.
So how does one fight the imposter syndrome…fake identity…and not let it grow roots in our story?
Here are a few ways that have worked for me that I would like to share. You may have your own so please connect and share them, I always like to learn from others.
You don’t know what you don’t know…but are you willing to learn?
What are some aspects of your role that you need to learn? Perhaps through a mentor or written resources that give specific direction.
Knowledge is important but having the motivation to implement will take you a lot further.
I wear many hats and have many responsibilities, so I have had to learn about each one of them along the way. In most of the areas I learned that even though it was fun to have a title or two, the learning behind the scenes would grow me deeper in ways I didn’t expect. Learning to live into your own story and maintaining authenticity takes time, surrender, learning and being gracious to yourself and those around you. If you don’t do the work, you will continue to live into insecurities, challenges and the expectations of others.
Acknowledge negative messages and replace them with the truth.
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
What messages are influencing your heart and mind that are coming out of your mouth and are reflected in your image?
When we entertain thoughts like doubt, insecurities, inabilities, low self-esteem, fear, rejection, etc., we allow the voices that have spoken them over us to distract us from the identity we were meant to have. Negative feelings about ourselves are like a phone number. Certain people in our lives know that number and dial it. The problem occurs when we answer that “phone call” and get into a dialogue that feeds our imposter mindset. Or we have those thoughts on speed dial the minute we are in a similar situation (aka. a trigger). We eventually feel defeated and stop innovating to a better place. Solution? Stop accepting their calls and delete the messages!!!
As a young mom (a couple decades ago) I struggled with the above-mentioned messages that held a clear path to specific people. When I started Seema Global Consulting a few years ago, many of those messages came knocking. I didn’t answer. Even though learning to be a mother and building a business sound completely different, they weren’t. They had this in common…someone/something was growing while I was growing myself. Because I had learned to overcome those messages from years past, I knew I could maintain that position now. I did the hard work, so you can too!!
Understanding your own cultural bent prevents you from assimilating to the point of losing sight of who you are.
When we assimilate, we are showing acceptance of the new culture we are in. However, there is a tipping point unique to each individual. Those of us that have immigrated from other countries understand the struggle of assimilation. I am a firm believer of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” but to a point. Personally, I got to that point through a series of painful experiences that made me realize that I had assimilated into the Dutch and American culture to the point of losing sight of who I was created to be. I say Dutch and American because I married a Dutch American and we live in the USA.
However, as with most things in my life, I was determined to change that track because I wanted different results. I got different results all right. Although we experienced greater unity and diversity in our marriage, I experienced more rejection from others because I was showing up as “different” (to them) when they had gotten used me as “the same” as them. I would say that in this area, again some people wanted “their version of me”. The more I practiced my cultural bent, the more I grew in confidence and the more authentic and freer I am able to live.
(Stay tuned because we will have a special podcast interview in September about assimilation, you won’t want to miss it!!).
Here’s to Growing Forward Together and learning to live authentically!!
Thank you for joining me, be blessed!