Looking at Imposter Syndrome Differently
Updated: Jan 25
When you were little, did your parents ever tell you that carrots helped you see in the dark? Maybe it was that broccoli could make your hair curly? They are two things that I know I took to be true from my childhood!
Growing up, we learn stories from our parents and from the world around us, stories like 'fire can burn' and 'put the teabag in the cup before the milk'. These stories keep us safe and keep us company as we grow.
When we become adults, we can carry that voice from our parental figures into all kinds of situations. That voice can be critical or it can be nurturing. It can be smothering or it can be constructive.
Think about a time when your imposter voice piped up, what does it normally say?
Is it something like, ‘you can't do this’. Or ‘you are not strong enough’? When you hear that sentence, what kind of person (nurturing/ smothering/ constructive/ critical) is it being?
All these descriptors can fall under what we call the Parent voice. It does not mean it is what your parents said, but there is a chance that there's something learned from childhood in what you're hearing.
And so, when we hear that Parent voice in our head, we respond as the children we used to be (mentally most likely!). Maybe we sulk, do nothing or get sad or something in-between. This is called our Child.
Imagine this was a video game and a pixie dropped in to tell you not to do something. What would you do? Challenge it, ignore it or attack it maybe but certainly not believe it blindly to be a reliable source! In sort, you would keep playing.
By choosing an option where we question the pixie, we are bringing some reasoning to the situation (this is our Adult voice!) - we do not know yet if we can believe the pixie but we know that there are options.
So with that in mind - when you feel your imposter voice kicking in - how can you stop and respond as your true reasoning Adult rather than your Child?
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