Awwww thank you so much- I really appreciate that!
Well-said, my friend!
Lots of love to you too!
Awwww thank you so much- I really appreciate that!
Well-said, my friend!
Lots of love to you too!
I can’t remember if I did or not, but now that I have a reputation to uphold…
Imposter syndrome is like our emotions missing a phone call from our memory. It’s a weird idea, but bear with me!
Usually, imposter syndrome is about our ability with something, even if that thing is an intellectual pursuit. But the evidence of our ability lies in the material world. It lies in the books we’ve read and the things we’ve written, the projects we’ve completed or contributed towards, the people we’ve helped, the things we’ve created, and so on.
But for some reason, our emotions keep not seeing this evidence! It’s like, every time we make an assessment while under the influence of imposter syndrome, the memories of the actual, objective accomplishments don’t get heard by our emotions. It’s almost as if our emotional brain is on “Do Not Disturb” mode, selectively ignoring the calls from our rational brain that’s loaded with all our achievements and successes.
Think about it – how many times have you pulled off something amazing and yet felt like it was a fluke? Like you’ve just been winging it, and soon everyone’s going to find out you’re not as smart or capable as they think? That’s the imposter syndrome talking. It’s the emotional side of our brains refusing to acknowledge the stack of evidence piling up in the corner of our rational minds.
The irony of it all is that the more we achieve, the louder these doubts seem to get. It’s as if each new achievement adds another “missed call” to the list. You’d think that with every new project nailed, every new commendation, our confidence would skyrocket. But nope, our emotional brain is out there, hitting “ignore” on every call of reason.
So, what’s the deal? Why do our emotions ghost our memories? Maybe it’s fear of failure, or perhaps it’s the pressure of maintaining the success we’ve already achieved. It’s like being in a never-ending game of “catch up” with our own expectations. The more we do, the more we feel we need to do to prove that it wasn’t just a one-time wonder.
So, imposter syndrome is a battle between what we know and what we feel. And while it might sound a bit crazy, understanding this weird disconnect can be the first step in getting our emotional and rational sides to finally sync up. Maybe one day, they’ll start taking each other’s calls.
Thank you for attending my TED talk.
There was this fun Instagram post by Luis Mojica, an embodiment coach (who has a really nice podcast about what our bodies are doing) about imposter syndrome, that took a very different approach
“If you feel like an imposter, that’s because you are”
Are you your:��
��I’m not. I’m a conscious mind, and many times unconscious mind, that gets to live with this beautiful body.
��My work, my style, my money, my habits, even my breath are not mine. ��They come to me, move through me, and reside with me but they are not who I am.
��Imposter syndrome is the most felt experience of everyone I speak to when we begin moving in the world.��
When we begin feeling seen, asserting our ideas, and receiving the gifts of life.��
This is because it’s true.
We are all pretending to be something we’re not.��
We can see this in a really negative light, but I see it through a gorgeous light. ��I see this as our way of navigating our multi-dimensionality.
Our HIGH ambiguity.
Our abstract nature.��
We must confine it down to an identity, idea, or character so others can make sense of it.��
If I’m a trauma therapist you understand me. ��
If I’m a cosmic squid dressed up as a man teaching people how to have psychedelic experiences from their own bodies then…well, maybe some of you are already hip to what’s beneath.
��My point, if I have one, is to embrace your imposter.
Have fun with them.�� Play the character well. Don’t wait for the imposter syndrome to go away before you “do that thing” or USE the feeling of being an imposter as proof that you’re not valid or worthy.
Use it as proof that you’re awake to your endless dimensions and you can never truly be one thing.
Feel your unlimited potential and take great pleasure in limiting it so you can exist in this world.
��Don’t believe the limits of identity, but play with them. ��Be an imposter for THE GOOD.
Not to deceive, or control, or oppress, or manipulate.��
This is how I see it: if the character I play brings you closer to yourself then I’m invoking the right Spirit.
��If it disconnects you from yourself, and causes you to obsess over me or feel less than, then I walked into the wrong dressing room.
Great opening. I’ve had so many discussions with my partner about these being used to identify not just others, but us in the eyes of others. People say that I am the software engineer with an elegant clothing style who plays computer games and writes about political economy stuff all the time, etc.
I understand a desire for convenience in terms of language, but I don’t think many truly realise how much this affects their self-perception and their perception of others. A simplification which can become hurtful and hinder growth.
For example, those heavily invested in such labels become lost, sad, angry, and frustrated when one of these tags feels/is lost, whether through an intentional act or a life event thrust upon them. Life becomes a constant stream of losses, failures, and hollow achievements, like constantly trying to fill in a hole in the ground with air. True contentment an fulfilment are hard to come by.
Of course, that’s on the extreme end of things. It’s not always so bleak. But the further we move away from rigidity self-perception/identity, the more we open ourselves to growth.
Now I feel like they’re not talking about what you can do with imposter syndrome here, but something different. Like they’re trying to connect imposter syndrome to this really good outlook on life, but an outlook on identity separate from the problem they claim to be addressing.
It’s something akin to the difference between meeting an “acceptable” standard and literally being something. I can understand that they appear close, but for example, I am aware that I am not essentially one such or even a collection of such labels (my materialist understanding of existence), but that doesn’t prevent me from having imposter syndrome (manifest as doubt over whether what I do is of value or wasting everyone’s time).
But for all my nitpicking, I think the overall message is a valuable one. Like my partner once said, we are capable of being so critical of things we like, because we have such intimate knowledge of them. And we can claim this “like” is true, because the scrutiny is not enough to dull their shining positives.
I feel the connection to imposter syndrome there, the message I got, was to stop the next time I’m feeling it, and question what it’s really about… what are these feelings really connected to? Why do I care? And what am I feeling in my body? Whether I’m wearing this label convincingly enough or not, I will be safe, it’s okay. It doesn’t compromise my identity in any way, if my identity is built on more stable ground, like that I’m an unlimited consciousness that’s decided to take this limited physical form. What you said about being heavily invested in the labels rings true… what we wear becomes what we are in our eyes, and when we lose it we suffer.
This really is the biggest illusion of all… the idea that we somehow have to deserve it, and we put such an impossible cost on it that we can at best attain it temporarily. Now this is very similar to imposter syndrome… we raise something on so high a pedestal we can never measure up.
Something I really enjoy about the tantric teachings… that absolute bliss is not just attainable, but it’s our inherent nature. It’s right there in our core, but we’ve accumulated layers and layers of stuff on top of it we need to take off first.
Ah, I love your explanation. It’s both more beautiful and actually makes sense to me.
I wonder where that even comes from. I wouldn’t be surprised if our competitive culture had something to do with it. Like, “You can’t do X if you don’t first beat everyone else at Y (or get in the top Z%, anyway).”
Is this sense I’m feeling of distilling the self down to the smallest and most basic element an intended message? I’m interested to know more either way, though. Like, I imagine this metaphorical core would grow as we grow and accept more love into our lives, but at the same time, it seems these dried, scaly flakes that make up the outer layers, can both fall away and grow back. Like the contraction and expansion you talk about in one of your poems.
It’s past midnight and my brain is off in space.
Oh… Crap. That’s why I was such a perfectionist.
An example from a young age would be having to get in a top % of students to get into a good high school. And on one hand, it just seems like it helps with getting into a better university.
But it’s not just that. The normal schools often had problems with drug use and violence. So it was like, get into a good school or have more negative influences in your life, an increased risk of getting stabbed in the school parking lot, and a more difficult struggle to get into university.
For example, there was one punch thrown in my entire year in high school during the entire 6 years of it. At one of my friend’s schools, this was weekly.
Awww, that makes me happy
That’s really another thing I’m passionate about, how there’s so much knowledge out there, but it’s not always in a language that works for us. Like there were different soul languages and we only speak and understand some of them. When I manage to read the meaning behind the words, and translate it to different words that are better received, it really lights me up
Everything’s a feedback loop, our culture shapes our mindset and we create more of the same. Good old “garbage in, garbage out” Consciousness really is the only way we see out of it. And that also means a lot of shadow work, to bring all the patterns into light, to gain the power to act more and react less.
I’m kinda seeing two different beasts here First the intended message, concerning the imposter syndrome, and threats to self… that’s where distilling the self into not necessarily the smallest, but the most permanent element helps. If we want to take refuge in who we are, we don’t want it to be something that changes all the time – the sense of safety is low level nervous system stuff, something that happens way below our cognitive functions. So identifying with the consciousness that we are helps there the most – it persists even past incarnations, even death can’t shake it.
The second part has more to do when we have that sense of safety down, and can start expanding. The image you painted of dried scaly flakes is beautiful. I’m reminded of the alchemical model of “solve et coagula” – first stripping it down into bare bones (solve, dissolution), then building something more beautiful on top of it, something that’s more loving and true to us (coagula, coagulation, bringing together). The parts that aren’t us we can leave out or transform to something that resonates. And that’s definitely something we do in cycles
Not all of that was in the words
Oh, mine is too, but sometimes it helps thinking in more abstract terms
Sounds like perfectionism was a perfectly good survival strategy there… we’re all so good at integrating these things into us. We absorb what works, keeps us safe and makes us feel better. In ten years it might be completely unnecessary or even harmful, but survival only cares about present moment.
So, I knew of what Imposter Syndrome is/was… then I read the alternative way to understand it & I’m now… not sure Now I’m like… huh… may need to revisit this… which also means reading further discussion as it gets explained with other members. I sort of feel like I’m now experiencing it because it’s almost like I don’t know what I thought I did, maybe…
One reason why I like the reversal that we’re all impostors on this planet, none of us know what we’re doing but trying to act all serious and wise anyway, a nice big court of Emperors and Empresses with no clothes
12 posts were split to a new topic: Witch “wands” and love [cw]
haha maybe one day they’ll get on the same page. I’m trying to journal and really take note of the things I do and accomplish. Then, if I’m feeling like an imposter, I can go through and physically read the evidence in my own handwriting. I know it might not help fully (because I still get that feeling of like… lost my train of thought it’s like sometimes I’ll still try to downplay what I’ve done and write it off as not that great, if that makes sense. So, as an example, my YouTube channel has like 8k subscribers. I got huge jumps in subscribers when two larger channels recommended mine. Cool, right? But that didn’t translate into more watch time or engagement, and consequentially it makes me feel like the subscribers aren’t really there and I wouldn’t have gained them on my own. (I’m fine with this, actually - my channel stuff is changing soon, anyway)
Anyway, all that rambling to say that I’m trying to figure out ways to help with imposter syndrome - successfully? Not quite but the effort is there!
huh… I’ve never heard that perspective before! It makes a bit of sense to me, but I’ll have to think on it a bit more. For me, imposter syndrome is more of like… feeling like I’m not good enough or don’t know what I’m doing in regard to specific things. It has less to do with me taking on my career, habits, or something else as an identity. Maybe I’m not understanding it well enough
I do agree with the harm that labels can cause when it becomes an identity rather than part of the whole. It happens with parents all the time - we become “child’s mom” rather than our name. We lose our name and our previous identity because all of a sudden we’re a parent (there’s a great poem about it that encompasses how it makes me feel) – it’s one of the reasons I make it a point to learn the names of my child’s friends, but to also make sure they know mine (and that my child also uses someone’s name instead of “kid’s parent”).
That’s a good thing to do when I’m feeling imposter syndrome. Maybe my feelings of imposter syndrome are connected to identity labels more than I realize? More pondering is necessary!
I feel the question that often comes up with imposter syndrome is “who am I to be doing this”… very much related to identity and roles.
That’s a very good (and important!) point – I think that’s what I struggle with, especially in online spaces when I’m seen as an educator. I had someone tell me that I’m a teacher online and I physically recoiled not out of disgust but out of… surprise, I suppose? Like… I’m not a teacher and I never expected to be viewed as a teacher, but they’re not entirely wrong. It’s hard for me to view it that way because I guess I don’t feel like I have the right to be a teacher. Here am I now talking through my own thoughts and realizing that yeah, it does have a lot to do with the identities I take on or the ones I feel don’t suit me.
It sounds like whenever that happens, both sides have a very different picture of whatever the role in question is… like for a teacher, one might be thinking about sharing knowledge, and another about the responsibility. Often it seems that when people say “hey, you’re like a…” they have one thing in particular in mind that they see, and are not thinking (or even familiar with) the intricacies of the profession.
I don’t know if there’s a field of study entirely focusing on labels but there should be They’re complex creatures, both subjective and made of smaller parts, some that you might identify with and some that you may not
Would it help if you reminded yourself to think about whether you would be proud if a good friend accomplished those things? It might help you snap out of the mindset you have when your brain wants to downplay what you’ve done. Because if you say you would be proud of a friend going the same, it’s a lot harder to argue that it doesn’t count for you, as that would be like saying you’re so much better than the friend that they don’t count.
I know it’s kind of like negative reinforcement a bit, but maybe we sometimes have to fight fire with fire?
The job title thing throws people off a lot. With this, there are two commonly made incorrect assumptions:
Neither is true. And even if we, ourselves, do not fall for these false assumptions, it doesn’t mean we are immune from feeling like imposters when praised for doing something considered “professional” for free.
Another way to put it: it’s common in society for people to think if we don’t get paid for a task, we aren’t authorities on the topic. And the more we get paid and the more famous we are, the more likely we are to be good at the topic. So if we do get paid something, but not a huge amount, we are still likely to feel like imposters.
But it’s good to remember that there are many well-paid, famous people who know nothing about what they’re talking about, and many, many, unpaid and unknown geniuses.
Thank you for attending my TED Talk. See you next time.
I tend to fall for these often… well, this whole thread got started from me wanting to market my skills! I’d just love to get paid doing what I love, that’s all. And paid well enough that I can keep pursuing my passions as effectively as possible
That’s so different, though. There’s no claim to morality over whether getting paid for it is okay, just that one’s ability isn’t tied to their job title or money earned.
You’re wonderful at what you do whether or not you’re getting paid for it or how much you’re getting paid for it, and anyone who disagrees will get slapped with a giant hand by me. Slapped hard, and not in the fun way.
Awww, thank you
I think what I meant was how getting paid for what you do really is a neutral thing, but we all tend to have these beliefs attached to it and they go deep. Positive and negative ones… in one circle becoming professional means “finally making it” and in another “selling out”. There’s so much power that we ascribe to money… love it or hate it, both emotions have a strong energetic potential, and that tends to charge things.
Meanwhile we have the skill that we have, and there are chances to use that skill. Whenever doing it with others though, roles tend to get mixed in and things get complicated…
And often those are just means of saying “I like what you’re doing” or “I don’t like what you’re doing.” Or even just based on whether it’s us versus them – we make it, they sell out.
I personally don’t think anyone should base their self-worth on such things. It’s great when one “makes it,” but that also implies that it’s also deserved if they don’t become “successful.” Sometimes, things just don’t go the way we want them to. Sometimes, we can do everything “right” and still not get a good outcome. Sometimes, the world isn’t ready, the algorithm doesn’t pick us up, or whatever the case may be. The outcome isn’t always in our own hands. We can only do the best we can and see how things turn out.
And having that connection can really get people down, destroy their hope, and make them feel worthless. But this “success,” or lack thereof, is not a judgment of their character or ability. Everyone who tries at all is worthy of praise! We are all aware, to some degree, how difficult it is to make our mark on the world. So, to try in the face of the odds is bravery. And it’s not a cop-out or consolation prize to feel proud of oneself for putting themselves out there and trying.
People are capable of being so much more than these labels or statuses, but these belief systems imposed on us can really hurt us. They cause that imposter syndrome that we’ve been talking about, anxiety, depression… Hence, I will argue against them to the death. I will get on my little soap box with my little cardboard sign saying, “Love yourself! You are more than these silly worldly measurements!” (because there’s no way I’m capable of yelling).
Just in case, I’m going to add the disclaimer that I’ve gone off on a tangent from that line I quoted and am speaking generally, not trying to tell you that you’re doing something wrong.