We usually can tell when people are confident – they project this air of “I’ve got this.” Their belief/trust in themselves, especially if it’s not braggy or showy, helps you believe in them too. To continue on the theme we’ve been covering, about 7 out of 10 people, are dealing with Imposter Syndrome, an underlying lack of confidence, due to a lack of SELF-trust. It doesn't have to be that way.
First of all, don’t think it’s just you. Many people, including those in leadership positions, have fears that are stressing them out from the inside; just notice how many relate to you:
Today we’ll cover the science behind this and give you some important antidotes to put into your life.
Most people don’t realize that our thoughts trigger our body’s chemical reactions, which retrigger our thoughts – it’s a cycle: Neuroscientist Tara Swart explains:
So you can see why these feelings of inadequacy can be self-perpetuating... You are actually drinking in a chemical soup that amplifies feelings of fear, shame and lack of trust in yourself. There has to be a better way! It starts with:
Be aware of the tendency to default into self-doubt. This is a mental reflex, that we have developed and solidified over time. Something new or challenging arises – the tendency is towards self-doubt instead of open curiosity. Just imagine how you feel during a bout of self-doubt versus the expansiveness of experiencing the spark of curiosity.
The good news is that neuroplasticity informs us that we can change our brain by the thoughts we repeatedly practice. So instead of practicing thoughts like, “Sure this looks good, but one day the other shoe will drop and people will see the real me” or “Plenty of people are more qualified, so why even try?” interrupt that old pattern. Recognize that this is not the essential you, it’s a way of thinking you had taken on automatically.
And now you can better see it for what it is.
Ask yourself - do I want my brain to repeatedly be shaped by the “I’m not good enough” thoughts, or will I give it another message to practice - like “There’s no harm in trying,” or “I’ve worked really hard to get to this place.”
I recently saw the Taylor Swifts documentary and in it, she had an AHA moment regarding all the haters, even the ones inside her head. She realized that she had done all the work, in fact, she’d worked her butt off, she wrote the songs and performed them, and they were based on her life. There is freedom in owning the story you want your brain to practice, and intentionally changing your narrative to one that supports your best life.
Most everyone is plagued by feelings of self-doubt. The question is what do you DO when that happens? Do you stop in your tracks and take a leisurely bath in the brain chemicals that keep you feeling bad, or do you chart a new course?
Consider taking action, even when you are entertaining the critic’s mind. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you’re there, AND I’m moving forward, anyway.” When you go into action, your brain chemicals are less in freak-out mode (when the amygdala makes you go into fight, flight or freeze), you develop greater trust in yourself, more confidence, and a self-belief that grows stronger with every step.
Instead of just saying, “OK, I’m in action, I guess that feels better,” really take in that good feeling that YOU generated. And if you can, jot it down to refer to later. You will be amazed at how it feels to know you are much greater than your passing fears, and in that realization, you can become more of who you really are.
Q - What is one action you can take (or have taken) when you feel "not enough?" Jot down your comments below:
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