In the past, I’ve talked a bit about imposter syndrome and why it totally makes sense that it arises because of the societal structure we live in (hello consumer-based, patriarchal society). Today, I want to share an amazing tool that I started to use to overcome my own imposter syndrome. Because yes… it still pops up.
And whether or not you have a business like me, imposter syndrome and self-doubt will arise in your life, too: in relationships, at work, or even when we plan a solo trip or try to learn a new skill… or go back to school after a long time. Really, it shows up everywhere. Especially when we aren’t getting enough sleep and we’re tired, or we aren’t eating well or not exercising enough.
But the sneakiest way that imposter syndrome can show up is when we downplay our own accomplishments.
We can easily lose sight of what we have accomplished and created… and how far we have come. When that happens, we just think that anything good has happened out of pure luck. That all of our success and accomplishment this far has been a fluke.
Or we attribute them to someone else: “They’re only dating me because they’re lonely.” Or “My resume looks good, but they’ll realize that in real life, I’m not all that great.”
But Ana, aren’t we supposed to be humble in our accomplishments? Well, yeah. Spiritually, we’re taught to not brag or be egocentric. But the difference here is intention.
Is your imposter syndrome keeping you from bringing your gifts to the world? Because, trust me, it really really needs them. Is it keeping you from loving yourself and seeing your true Buddha nature? Then that’s something to get on top of!
Doubt is part of the path.
If we look at the mindfulness model, then when we experience imposter syndrome, our accomplishment is in the C “circumstance” line. Our thought is, “it’s a fluke.” Our feeling is dismissive. Our action is to ignore our success and to downplay things or credit others.
And the result isn’t a surprise: We keep the shitty story about ourselves and our capabilities. That doubt spirals! Then what happens? We struggle to take effective action and commit to our practice and goals.
Then there are the systemic barriers I talked about in Episode 88 (link in the resources below): racism, misogyny, homophobia, classism… With these, we can become afraid to play BIG. To dream BIG. To aspire towards enlightenment. Because it’s dangerous.
What’s important at this point is to use mindfulness of thoughts so we can catch what’s going on in our brains when we feel these doubts. Then we can recognize that those thoughts are creating feelings like, “It was a fluke.” “It’s not a big deal.” I don’t belong here.”
Can you see how these thoughts can be sneaky? Maybe they look like modesty, but they’re actually invalidating our accomplishments and gifts.
So what do we do with this?
We can move our accomplishments from the C line (circumstance) to the R line (results). In other words, we acknowledge the results we’ve created and move UP the model. We can look at those results and ask ourselves, “What actions did I take to create this result?”
That question has been life-changing for me. It allows me to own that I actually created it.
Not owning what we’ve created isn’t a good thing. We need to own our accomplishments so we can see that we make a difference in the world.
So, seeing our accomplishments as results instead of circumstances (due to life happening to us), it builds a body of evidence that we created it.
And that result would have never happened without YOU.
So, if your find you’re doing a lot of self-coaching and meditating on your thoughts and it’s not getting your anywhere, try this exercise:
Identify an accomplishment that you aren’t taking ownership of. Then make a list of all the actions you took to create that result.
In this Episode you will learn:
// The sneakiest way imposter syndrome can show up in our lives.
// How imposter syndrome can hinder your spiritual practice and personal growth
// How to use the mindfulness model to change our thinking
// Why owning our accomplishments can make a difference in the world.
// One exercise you can do now to start owning your accomplishments
// Episode 18: How to Coach Yourself – Applied Mindfulness
// Episode 88: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist FB group, and tune in every Wednesday at 11:30am PST as I go live.
// Want to dive into this work on a deeper level? To study it and practice it together? Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out.
It’s also where you can get individual help applying the concepts to your own life. It’s where you can learn new coaching tools not shared on the podcast that will blow your mind even more, and it’s where you can connect over all things freedom with other freedom junkies just like you and me. It’s my favorite place on earth and it will change your life, I guarantee it. Come join us at JoinFreedomSchool.com. I can’t wait to see you there.