Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
We're coming to Imposter Syndrome. Now as if you weren't overloaded already by all the baggage we're unpacking, no we're going to talk about how it feels to feel like an imposter. So please join me, sitting up nice and tall one last time. I'm glad no one has like either hyperventilated yet or just fallen asleep. Close your eyes. Let's cleanse what we've done. Let's create some space together in the room and in our own heads and hearts. Inhaling through the nose when the next breath finds you. Breathing in deep. (inhaling) Exhale, just let it go. (exhaling) Just feel it all kind of wash away, melt away. Inhaling once again, breathing in. (inhaling) Exhale, release. (exhaling) One last time. Inhale. (inhaling) Let it all go. (exhaling) Beautiful. And coming back into Imposter Syndrome. (audience laughing) Welcome, good morning. So, last but not least this is the last shadow that I want to work on with you guys. This one is really near and dear to me in particular. Because, we'll get into...
the shadow specifically but here's some of the scripts first that tend to come up when we're talking about Imposter Syndrome. Something that according to statistics is said to afflict, again much like writers block around 60, 70% of people. I don't know where these statistics come from but we'll just treat them like as just informing us of this exploration. Not exactly scientific in all likelihood. First script. Who said this one? Who am I to call myself a writer anyway? Show of hands? Half the room, the quarters of the room. Myself included. What could I say that hasn't been said before? Show of hands? Shame birds, all of us. (audience laughing) Thank you (laughs). Last one. Even if I succeed, I'll be found out to be a fraud. Anyone say this? Or how about, this is also like a fear of success, right? Meaning something else comes and I don't know what's coming and I don't know if I'll be capable of keeping up with it. This one's getting me right in the chest guys. Do you deal with Imposter Syndrome? Can we get one last example? Would you like to? We have a couple in the back. Can we pass one of the microphones to the back and hear about the Imposter Syndrome that has befallen you my friends?
So I'm an editor by profession.
So I'm coming at it from that perspective and this year I'm in a Master's of Publishing program in B.C. and I'm actually launching my own press this summer. So, I have been told I can't do it. I have been told I'm dreaming too big. I've been told all of these things. And internally, it's terrifying. Even right now like my heart is beating just thinking about it. But I'm doing it anyway.
Because if not now then when?
But I definitely feel that Imposter Syndrome on a daily basis. As soon as I saw this writer's block workshop, I thought my writer's block definitely manifested itself as Imposter Syndrome 100% of the time.
I totally understand. Thank you so much for sharing that. And guys, the thing about shame is that it's a personal wound. But as you were expressing, you're getting that from the outside. And people are actually so brazenness to tell you that you can't do it. And not to single you out but this is the experience of shame. The definition of shame and how it's differentiated from guilt, guilt being a personal feeling. Shame tends to happen in a formative moment of experience, especially in schooling. There's a statistic that I believe 80% of all people in a scientific study, this one was attributed to Brene Brown, was a fantastic writer and speaker. Many of us know her work. Experience an episode of shaming so severe in their schooling days and their upbringing, mostly in a school environment, that for over 80%, it affected their self perception and their self worth for the rest of their lives. And for half of that group, half, 50%, the shaming episode was around their creative self expression. That hurts. Shame tends to manifest in formative moments, especially when we're young. I myself haven't had like a severe episode of shaming but for some reason, shame and insecurity and feeling like an imposter, feeling a lack of self worth has for some reason always been with me. And so I've kind of become a student to my shame in learning how to feel it like I'm enough. And go figure guys that up here teaching you how to use self expression as a vessel of self knowledge, of self-actualizing through the words and stories that you speak. It's no coincidence. I'm becoming a teacher of what I've learned myself. But you can hear it from the outside in. And when we're writers and we're creating, writing, putting our creative work out there in any way, shape or form, that also means subjecting yourself to criticism, to trolling, you know, anonymous critiques. And it makes you question your, not only what you're doing but who you are. And that's what the shame is. It's not just about what you're doing professionally. It's making you question who you are. So if the shadow of shame are these doubts around like who am I do do this, the shadow, the potential is doing things creatively and in our our practices, off the page that affirm that I am enough. And that who we are, uniquely, individually, as whole and truly complete and perfect though imperfect around the edges. By our nature, perfect beings. We're just trying to get the baggage out of the way so that we can be our whole true selves. And it's not anybody's prerogative to tell us what's gonna keep us from being whole. That's our mission, that's our dharma. That's our path.