It happens to all of us. Those times when you feel you don’t belong. When you feel you aren’t good enough, and at any moment someone is going to tap you on the shoulder and ask you to leave. And it’s horrible. Some people get crippled by these feelings constantly. For others the feeling comes and goes. I’m in the latter category, but what I can say is that when in does arrive for me, it is bad. But I’ve developed some ways to help me through and I wanted to share them with you!
Firstly, remember that everyone goes through this. Sometimes in the perfect, polished, social-media-land where you only see images of people’s successes, or a face they paint on for the camera, it can be difficult to picture what goes on behind the scenes. Secondly, be kind to yourself! Feelings of self-doubt are a method of your brain to try and protect you from harmful situations. Back in history, it might have been the difference between life and death. But because in the modern-day (especially in richer parts of the world) we don’t regularly face these life or death situations, these protective instincts get inernalised.
The best advice I’ve heard is to talk to this self-doubt voice as if it is a child. Thank it for its concern and its desire to protect you, and let it know that you aren’t in danger. And tell it that everything is ok. This is much better than thinking of it as a voice of authority that must be listened to: instead see it for what it is. It is a voice that is scared and needs your guidance.
The next piece of advice that I suggest you take is: when you are having those brilliant days free from imposter syndrome, write lists! Have one place full of ideas of things you could try in the future, a place where you have ideas of cool collaborations, or podcast suggestions, or books to check out. Then on those days when you have the brain-fog, and no ideas are coming to you, refer to that list, and choose one to start. Even if it just listening to that podcast your friend suggested to you.
Another good thing to do is to find someone to talk to about it. Whether it is responding to comments online, commenting on videos about it, writing a blog or talking to someone in the real world: talking to someone is a good way of getting it off your chest.
Lastly, self-care is 100% the most important thing. If you are having one of those days and nothing else has worked and working one item off that list you’ve made isn’t bringing you back to your zone, step back and have a day off. Do something that you know will make you happy. Is it a hot bath and a good book? Is it binge-watching your favourite tv series? Whatever it is, do it guilt-free. Recharge your batteries, and come back fresh. Remind yourself that you are definately worth nice feelings of happiness. One day off will not set you back: but sitting at your desk for days, feeling unworthy definitely will.
I hope this has helped. Please check out this video I made on the subjec too:
Remember, you totally deserve your seat at the table, so claim it with confidence!