There is thing called ‘imposter syndrome’ that seems to be flooding the social media chatter these days. Basically, it’s a trendy word for good old self-doubt.
It’s fueled by the social media pitfall of comparison. We scroll and surf the social media postings of everyone we follow and then compare ourselves to what we see. The self-doubting thoughts soon follow...
• She/he is already doing what I want to do and doing it better than I could
• How could I think I could be good at this – she/he does it perfectly
• I’m such a mess – I can never be as good as him/her
Looking at what others are doing.
Looking at how others are doing it.
Looking at ways you are not like others.
Seeing your true value.
Seeing your valuable experience.
Seeing yourself as other see you.
This can be easier to say than do, which is why we all need to take time to build confidence that silences self-doubt.
Building Confidence – An Exercise
For this exercise you will need:
• Paper – your favorite stationary would be even better
• Pens and/or pencils and/or markers – the more color the better
• Stickers with validating words and phrases (Only if you have them or can easily get them – we don’t want this to be the limiting factor for getting this done!)
• Planning calendar from last year (if you have one) – this might be a printed planner or it might be as simple as last year’s online calendar entries!
Take your supplies to a place where you can be creative as well as introspective. Maybe it’s wrapped up in a soft throw in your favorite comfy chair, outside on a sunny day, or snuggled up on the couch by a roaring fire. Wherever it is, go there on purpose. Settle in and gift yourself this time!
Start by taking some time to reflect on the last 12 months. This is where the planner or online calendar comes into play. Stroll through the last 12 months and remember what you did, where you went, what you accomplished and who you spent time with.
Social media platforms are good for this as well. Look back and see what you posted and shared. Wherever you store the photos you take is another great place to wander around and reflect.
As you take this journey, begin to write down words that capture what you are feeling, seeing or remembering. Don’t limit your words…just write them down. They don’t need to be complete sentences or even be listed in order. Have fun with them. Use different colors to represent the feelings a word or memory stirs up.
After you’ve journeyed back 12 months, pull out that stationary or a fresh piece of paper and write a letter….to YOURSELF.
This is a letter of congratulations to yourself. Using the words you jotted down, write a letter that acknowledges the good things you accomplished, the experiences you had, the things you overcame and the things you celebrated.
The goal is to have a letter that you could read to yourself on any given day and remember you are:
• Making progress
• Doing good
Don’t hold back on the colors and stickers! When you are done, this letter should make you smile just looking at it, even before you’ve read a single word.
Read the letter out loud to yourself. Read it slowly and take in each though. When done, place it where you can be reminded of it often and read it as often as you need to.
Read it when:
• You’re having a day when nothing seems to be going right
• Limiting thoughts are trying to consume you
• Negative lies are challenging your confidence
• You feel stuck