My Self Inflicted Imposter Syndrome
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The Return of My Self Inflicted Imposter Syndrome and Self Doubt

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This morning I woke up being flooded with so much anxiety, I wanted to puke. I didn’t know where it was coming from because nothing had gone detrimentally wrong. I had written a really impressive article the night before, something I was proud of. My kids and husband were amazing. Everyone was good. Everything was fine, but here I was, trying to catch my breath as my self-doubt nagged and nagged away at me.

Alright, on the surface, everything was great, it was like any other morning. But subconsciously, I had been worried about our finances, which that morning spiraled into whether I would be able to monetize off of this project that I wanted to do for myself. Then that turned into the thought of I can’t believe I left a high-paying job for something new and un-secure. And then, of course, the “omg, I’m wasting my time because this entire thing is way out of my usual ball game” thought popped into my head. I can build a physical business from scratch, sure that’s easy, proven, and measurable. However, I’m diving into a completely new niche in an online world that’s a bit different than the business plans, product placements, and pushing out marketing ads that I’ve become so familiar with, in the ‘real world. Am I phrasing this right even? You know what I mean.

Anyways, this, currently, is something intangible and invisible. It’s not even a service that I’m offering. And, yes, there it is, those are all of the subconscious reasons for me to inflict myself again with impostor syndrome and yup, hello again my all familiar frienemy, Anxiety, nice of you to bring your friends Irritability and Irrational to the party too.

Case in point, anxiety, and self-doubt can creep up out of nowhere. Literally, even when I had just woken up from a dreamless sleep, trying to be all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and all of sudden – BAM! They’re staring right in my face, and I’m suffocating. Actually, that’s not at all accurate. There was a trigger, there are always triggers, and I have to be aware of them. My trigger this morning came from a routine habit of checking my phone first thing when I woke up. Bad, I know. Let’s not talk about it. I, subconsciously, was hoping for some feedback on the article I had sent out in the middle of the night before falling asleep. OK, I know life doesn’t happen that fast, but my impostor syndrome and self-doubt do not give a flying f*ck on how real life works. There’s no logic to them. They just do. That’s why their pack leader, Anxiety, makes sure that my nervous system has been weakened before the rest of the gang takes over my logical mental state. You know, the uncontrollable worry, fear, fast heartbeat, physical discomfort, muscle tension, and all those other syndromes to wear down your body first. Ya, that.

We all go through this at some point or another. You’re not alone, and there’s nothing wrong with us. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a part of being alive. Occasional anxiety is common, but when these feelings become chronic and impede your daily life, they are a sign that you should seek professional help and know that anxiety is treatable. There are many reasons why anxiety happens, but the commonality is, there’s always a trigger.

How I dealt with my unwelcome anxieties this morning was noticing the triggers that caused it, and I’m honest with myself about them. Anxiety can cause me to have negative thoughts, and as a result, it can give me a very poor assessment of the situation. But I’ve learned to become more patient with myself over the years, and I am willing to explore my past to identify how it affected me today. I also write and talk about it. I find this outlet to be a form of self-growth, trauma healing, and self-therapy. 

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This morning was bad for me, I was impaired to the point where was walking in circles, and I didn’t know if I should sit or stand. But talking it out with my husband and recognizing my fears and stressors helped me greatly. 

Here’s the absolute truth, I have a fear of doing this and being financially unstable. It’s understandable, and this fear is reasonable. Except I didn’t start this to monetize. I started this to tell my story and possibly to help others. I started this because I am passionate about how personalized cultures and traditions can impede a child’s personal growth. I hope that parents recognize this and change to stop intergenerational trauma. I also started this to share how important it is to have emotional intelligence, especially when raising kids – because this is something I craved for as a child. I’m just here, expressing myself and what’s important to me. What makes me, me. I strongly believe in all of these points. And according to my husband, after he made me reiterate my project’s mission statement, that this is the magic formula for me to keep my feet grounded and move full speed ahead. So I forced myself to do exactly that. I wrote another article even when I wasn’t at 100% believing in myself. By the time I was done, it felt so tremendously good that anxiety and self-doubt suddenly disappeared, and I was restored again.

Aiden, my littlest man, must have caught bits of our conversation because he later crawled into bed with me for some snuggles and deep thoughts. He’s my little guru, stuck in a 12-year-old puberty boy body, and he said something that really landed with me. He said, “fear is something that will level you up. Being scared because you’re out of my comfort zone means that there’s something to explore. And if you’re worried about posting a story because it may hurt other people’s feelings, that must mean that the story will be a good one.” I was reminded by all three of my manly men that they were proud of my bravery and that I don’t have to reach the entire world, I need to reach those willing to hear my truth, and that is more than enough. #TrueStory.

Here’s more truth and reasoning that I made with my self-doubt and impostor syndrome brain. Who the frick am I impersonating?! I’m writing about myself, to myself. How can someone tell me that I’m wrong about that?! Therefore, how can I be an impostor to that?! Plus, here’s a reminder of the inside scoop, we are all insecure, awkward, and desperately hoping we could change certain things about ourselves. So on some level, we are all individual impostors trying to figure out our unorthodox ways to balance and understand life because we all have different levels of emotional and different ways of thought processing. That’s human nature. Ha! Gotcha, self-doubt! 

#AlsoATrueStory.
(yes, I know hashtags are useless in a blog. #StopRuiningThings.)

Some tips to help you get back to the present moment:

  • Check in with your body
  • Breathe deeply into your belly
  • Tune into your five senses
  • Touch something around you 
  • Put your hands in water
  • Use aromatherapy and savor a scent
  • Savor a food or drink
  • Use an anchoring phrase or mantra, something like “I am safe, I am strong” or “breathe all the way in, and all the way out and count 1, breath all the way in and all the way out and count 2…”
  • Make yourself laugh by watching a show, reading or a funny animal clip online. 
  • Be kind to yourself and show yourself compassion

Check on your triggers when you sense anxieties. Write them down, talk about them, and work through them. But most importantly, be honest with yourself.

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Glad you’re here, friend. ♥️

-Theresa

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