When was the first time you felt like you didn’t belong? Although I can’t think back to the very first time I felt like I didn’t belong, the intensity and familiarity of the feeling date back to my early childhood. Born a first-generation American to Jamaican parents, I spent the earlier parts of my childhood living in the countryside of Jamaica, where our bathrooms were outhouses, and we washed our clothes in the closest river. Ya girl was hella country so assimilating to the American culture was somewhat of an adjustment. There were many times I knew I had the talent and skill to be in certain spaces yet, I felt like I didn't belong given the culture gap.
Navigating new territory can be exciting. However, that same excitement can metamorphose into self-doubt causing us to second guess our achievements, expertise, and creativity. Sometimes we fear that the skills we have learned may not measure up to our new opportunities. These feelings are common signs of imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence, involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments. (Healthline)
Today, I am here to spread the news that imposter syndrome is the wackiest and tackiest bitch of them all.
At times, imposter syndrome has crippled me. And at other times, I have stopped it dead in its tracks. Needless to say, experiencing this phenom is common, and having practical ways to manage it can make a helluva difference in your mental health. So, I am sharing four techniques that have helped free me from the shackles of imposter syndrome. At times, I have used one technique, and at other times I have had to use all four a dem. * read in patois*
1. Check-In With Yourself:
I learned this grounding technique from my therapist. It took me some time to learn because it required me to peel back the root of my emotions by first identifying them. In moments when I am second-guessing my abilities, I ask myself reflective questions such as:
- Why am I feeling like this?
- What is the root of this feeling?
- What am I actually afraid of?
Though our emotions are valid, they are not always fact. Taking the time to pinpoint the origin of our emotions takes patience, discipline + grace. With practice, we can remedy imposter syndrome from the inside-out.
2. Be Your Own Hype Person:
Words have the power to heal, hurt, and hinder, especially the words we use when we speak to ourselves. So, in moments of self-doubt, I get in my Issa Rae bag. I find the closest mirror and boldly and confidently repeat a list of my favorite affirmations.
3. Preparation + Execution:
Preparation is key. As a former athlete, I live by the principle of “What you do in practice you will do in competition.” Most times the pressure of performing well can lead to doubting your abilities and skills. Knowing that, I lessen my self-doubt by shifting my attention to 1) using practice as a formula for preparation and 2) setting and executing smaller objectives that lead to the overall goal.
4. Setting Your Own Expectations:
When we set our own expectations, we define our own measures of excellence. So that the subjective opinions of others do not take us over the edge. Plus, yall know people be projecting so, we have to be mindful of what we allow to penetrate our hearts.
Anything and anyone that causes you to second-guess your greatness is an immediate red flag. And as odd as it sounds, most times, we have to protect ourselves from our feelings because they can be a regurgitation of past trauma. So in moments, when you are feeling like an imposter remember that imposter syndrome is the wackiest and tackiest bitch of them all.
Don’t stoop to her level.
Printed Tied Top
Padded toe thong heeled sandals in lime