Chances are, if you are a high-performing woman, you have experienced Imposter Complex at some point in your life and career — maybe at lots of points in your life and career.
Remember, Imposter Complex is that enduring feeling that it’s just a matter of time before everyone finds out that you’re a fake.
And you are not alone. It strikes MOST of us. If you have high standards for yourself, a desire for excellence, and a value of integrity, I suspect that at one time or another you’ve felt its power over you. And it IS powerful even when it presents as innocuous.
IT CAN LOOK SOMETHING LIKE THIS…
You are told: You are so committed to your yoga practice. It’s awesome and inspiring.
You respond: Yeah, well my handstand is a train wreck.
You are told: This pasta is exquisite.
You respond: Naw, I put in too much salt.
You are told: You are my go-to when I have a style question.
You respond: What? I’m a sloppy mess.
You are told: You’re a really great writer.
You respond: Ach. My sentences are fragmented.
When we undercut, diminish, and dismiss what we are being offered as a gift of acknowledgment, that’s the handiwork of the Imposter.
Why do we do it? SO.MANY.REASONS. Here are the ones flaring off like fireworks all around me lately::
We want to be in integrity and make sure that everyone has the “full story” about us.
We are perfectionists not actually content with ANYTHING until it’s good enough (“for whom?” is the real question here).
We cannot perceive the real value of our contributions (especially if we're "naturally gifted" and haven't suffered for our art).
We have been raised to be humble above all else.
We are superstitious. That by accepting ownership over our excellence, we’re jinxing ourselves.
We do not want to commit the crime of outshining (fabulous term coined by Gay Hendricks).
I believe it is part of the work we are meant to do to unpack the whys behind our Imposter Complex so that we can move past them more quickly and easily when they arise so that we allow ourselves to step into our starring roles.
Which is why I created the Starring Role Academy, as a place to learn and experiment and trust and lean into the work that will allow you to call out the Imposter Complex’s BS, build your own foundation of unshakeable confidence, and decide that you are ready enough to name and claim your starring role.
Want to try it out…?
I have a simple baby step you can take right now, today, to feel what it feels like to stop diminishing, stop letting the Imposter Complex dictate your responses, and put one small baby toe towards stepping into your Starring Role.
The next time someone dares to see you and share with you what they see in you, in your contributions, in your abilities — instead of showing them where they’re wrong (they’re not) try saying this::
No more, no less.
Neither discount nor deny their gift of acknowledgment. Just as you wouldn’t find fault with a gift given to you from the heart, so too should you not find fault with the acknowledgment. Accept it with the grace that only “thank you” affords.
The Impostor Complex despises this because you are, in two words, owning (or, at least, for the time being, BORROWING) the truth. You are doing good. Full stop.
Train your brain to say those words and you’ll be sending sweet synaptic love notes to your subconscious with this immutable fact: that you ARE worthy of praise and acknowledgment.
Because you are.
Sure, it’s possible that your handstand, pasta, and sentence structures could use a little more attention. (Which is awesome news for you and your high standards… you get another turn up the upward spiral called life in pursuit of excellence).
But for this moment, this very moment, rest in the knowledge that you, your yoga practice, your pasta, your style, or your writing has moved, delighted, or even inspired someone. Saying Thank You locks and loads it.
And THAT is excellent.
When you try it this week, will you share it with me? If you’re feeling bold, post about it on Instagram and tag me @TanyaGeisler so that I can celebrate with you! If you’re feeling tender, send me a private message on IG and we’ll have our own, private celebration.
Either way, take half a moment to celebrate the noticing and the shift. It’s more powerful than you might think.
And if you like the way that feels? You’re going to LOVE the next iteration of the Starring Role Academy. Click here to get on the VIP list and be the first to know when enrollment opens again.