What is it with bright, talented, heart-centred women? Why do they feel like impostors who live in fear of people finding out waht they’re ‘really’ like? Why do they have such trouble in believing in themselves?
Take Mandy, for example. She’s bright, successful, and savvy. There’s not much you can throw at her that she can’t deal with – in her professional life, at any rate.
But when it comes to her personal life – her emotional life – you’d hardly recognise her as the same person.
It’s almost as if there were two Mandies living in the same body.
Actually, there are: competent Mandy, and Impostor Mandy. Impostor Mandy lives with the fear that if people knew what she was truly like, they wouldn’t much of her ,at all.
Which one do you suppose is the true impostor: Competent Mandy? Or Impostor Mandy?
If you answered “Impostor Mandy” give yourself a High Five. You got it right.
Impostor Mandy is the true impostor but Competent Mandy just doesn’t believe that. She’s too busy living in a world where she only ever has a limited shelf-life until they find out what she’s truly like…
Can you imagine the havoc Mandy’s fear plays with her life?
It means she is never free to be who she truly is.
So she shows up as a shadow of the person she truly is – because she doesn’t really know who that person is, anyway. Sure, she has an inkling. But that person is like a beautiful evening gown that’s been hanging up in her wardrobe, for that special occasion that’s bound to come. Sooner or later.
That’s not how life works, is it?
Life is not all about that special occasion. Life is about making every occasion you have as worthwhile and meaningful as you can. Because it’s pretty rare that you can say, in advance, which things will be the turning points in your life.
I can remember that happening to me just once. There was an event that I absolutely knew I had to go to – although I didn’t really know why. I went, hated the event – which was dismal – and came away wondering what the point of all that could possibly be. But I did take one action, as a result of that event: I sent off an email to someone who became a mentor and a dear friend, someone who resolutely refused to buy into my Impostor self.
In the end, whether or not Life gives you advance warning that something meaningful could be coming your way, you still have to step up to the plate and claim opportunities and other good things as your own.
That’s a lot easier if you are not engaged in a constant altercation with your Impostor self.
Years ago, I did a training with someone – a man, no less – who could follow simultaneously follow a program on the television, and the radio well enough to be able to talk intelligently about what was said on both.
Not a lot of people can do that.
If your Impostor self is constantly whispering in your ear,
“Yes, but, what happens when they find you out?”
That’s consuming a LOT of emotional energy.
Is there any doubt that energy could be better used empowering you to show up as the amazing human being you truly are?
Your Impostor self may well believe it can’t be done.
Your Impostor self can’t do it.
But your competent self can.
Different women get stymied in different areas of their lives by their Impostor self. Some are brilliant in the work-place, but endlessly unlucky in love. Others have a great partner, but never seem to reach anything like their potential in the work-place. Some women feel like Impostors in every area of their lives.
If you’re being stymied by your Impostor self, and you’d like your Competent, grown-up self to shine through 24/7, I’d love to help you.
Just drop me an email, and I’ll arrange a free Imposter-busting Session with the 2 people whose Impostor story resonates the most with me.