‘Just be yourself, everybody else is already taken!’ This was one of the best statements I ever heard when I was younger, it’s still probably the single most invaluable, life changing advice I’ve ever heard, that still serves as true in my life today.
Just this week on 4 separate occasions I’ve come across someone talking about Impostor Syndrome (read on to take the test and see how you do on the scale?) and that’s no coincidence, I had been wracking my brains for inspiration for my next blog post that would be current, relevant and useful to my readers, when, chatting with a lovely lady last weekend about her career, she told me how she felt she had Impostor Syndrome while attending a big meeting for work in London days before.
She went on to explain to me how she felt the need to dampen her bubbly, extroverted personality at work so, others couldn’t tell when she was having a down day. Also, how She was trying so hard to get a future job promotion but there were so many people and obstacles in her way. This reminded me of how, when we step onto the path of our true destiny, the journey just flows like a leisurely boat ride down stream, but when we try so, so, hard and keep hitting challenges, maybe our uphill swim against the current and rejection, is actually Gods protection, and that we are not headed in the direction we are intended?
Yes I’m a firm believer in that we create our own destiny and create our own lives, based on decisions we make or don’t make, as the case maybe, yet, there seems to be something bigger than us guiding us in the right direction, and its only when we go against that feeling that we all call instinct or inner knowing, do obstacles and challenges come to show us we’ve veered off course.
None of us should have to hide our true nature, if we are extroverted and bubbly, we should let out light shine bright, if we are reserved and introverted equally, we should feel quietly confident in our giftedness. Embracing our authenticity and being true to ourselves, and real and transparent to others is natural. Hiding who we are, feeling Impostor Syndrome or trying to be someone we aren’t to fit in and please others is unnatural and it’s what causes us so much fear and anxiety in our lives.
When we are being ourselves whether someone likes us or not shouldn’t matter, but it hugely does.
It shouldn’t matter because there’s 7 .7 billion people on the planet and there’s definitely going to be people who love us when we are being real and genuine. But none of us can ever please all the people, all the time or be everything to everyone. If we feel we have to be fake to make it with certain individuals, there’s only so long we can keep this façade up until our masks slip or we become depressed by who we are not.
The really good news is that being YOU is easy and no one else can do YOU like you can.
The bad news is, if you don’t like you, then you’ll struggle to get other people to like you too.
But being you is good; you are a unique individual and you have qualities about you that, even if you don’t appreciate them someone else will, so don’t deny others the chance to see and get to know the real you.
We worry if we are open and honest with people and reveal our true selves insecurities and all, that people won’t like us or will judge us, but other peoples opinions about us are nothing to do with us, they are other people’s thoughts and beliefs and they are entitled to have them, but this doesn’t mean they are true.
Just who do you think YOU are?
What you believe about yourself is what counts. In fact, the only enemy you will ever have is inside your own head. Make friends with your inner self and you’ll find friends flocking to you in your outer reality. People are drawn to real people, that’s why reality shows and social media are so hugely popular, we all want to know how other people live in the real-world, day by day.
Unfortunately, a lot of these reality shows and reality celebrities aren’t real though, they are acting. They aren’t being true to themselves and when the designer clothes and make up comes off, they are left looking at an exposed version of themselves that they don’t really know.
Getting to know who you really are, what you really want from life and why, is vital to your health and wellbeing, without this knowledge you’ll be aiming at the wrong goals and spending your precious, limited time on this earth with the wrong people, worrying about insignificant stuff that doesn’t really matter in the larger scheme of things.
Any obstacles are like rocks thrown in our path way, not to trip us up or stop us but to make us aware that we are either moving in the wrong direction and need to change course, or there’s another way to approach this situation or person that we are not yet seeing.
You see, as a hypnotherapist, I’ve learnt that it’s never the presenting problems that clients come to see me for that’s the actual problem in their lives, it’s just causing them a problem to make them stop and become aware of the real issue.
Let me share with you a real example. A client came to see me one day to overcome her fear of flying, she originally came from overseas and had to fly home every Christmas to visit family, the problem was her phobia of flying was causing her so much distress. As it turned out her fear of flying was her subconscious’ s way of protecting her from another situation and nothing to do with the flight itself but the destination she was headed. The issue uncovered was with her relationship with her Mother, whom she resented and wanted to avoid, as there were unresolved childhood issues and her mother’s attitude was a very judgemental, unforgiving one. She was a cold, harsh woman that made every Christmas miserable for my client and her family who went to visit. Once the client had identified this after a couple of hypnotherapy sessions, her fear of flying disappeared, although, she no longer flew to her family country of origin to visit her Mum!
Is the obstacle or person that’s holding you back really the reason that’s stopping you? (hint, the clues in the ‘You’) Or even, if you don’t get that promotion was the job really right for you, right now?
You see the world really does revolve around you in your head but in the real world, the world revolves around the other people you are concerned are judging you in their head. I’ll leave that thought with you for a moment…
What if your boss got up this morning had a shave, put on his best suit and aftershave and slicked his hair back just to impress you?
What if that shop assistant was being rude because she was going through a messy divorce and had just found out she was being made redundant from her job too?
It may sound personal at the time but it’s not always personal when you feel people are judging or attacking you, we all have our own issues to deal with and our own insecurities.
The 2nd encounter I had with this Impostor Syndrome was when my publisher tweeted a link for an Impostor Syndrome Test a couple of days later, take this simple quiz to check out your score here http://impostortest.nickol.as/
And on the same day, my Health Science Academy Nutrition Course emailed me an invite to their webinar on, you guessed it, Impostor Syndrome!
Then a Mum I work with dropped Impostor Syndrome casually into conversation, I was dumfounded, being a hypnotherapist this was a subject I had encountered in the past with clients, but not so much, so randomly in one week.
I took the quiz and actually I was surprised at my results, I know I’m authentic and true in all that I do, and I know any success I have or have had is down to my sheer determination and hard work, but still as human and flawed as I am, I often suffer with self-doubt and letting others down who believe in me, even though this is not something I do often.
Although today I’m a self-reliant individual, who accepts my past and takes responsibility for all that happens to me and my choices in life, my insecurities stem from my childhood. Being abandoned as my young six year old self felt by my Mum and brought up by my Dad, who was and still is a perfectionist, I always had a ‘not quite good enough’ feeling shadowing me, coupled with high, unachievable expectations upon me, please if you are a parent and can relate to this in yourself read my book The Powerful Proactive Parent’s Guide to Present Parenting.
The truth is you are always good enough and when you truly try your best, that’s always good enough too. No one is perfect. Life is not perfect; circumstances are seldom perfect either, so aiming for perfection is unrealistic. Perfectionism is just a weed that thinks it’s a flower.
AT HOME IN YOUR OWN SKIN
When you feel comfortable in your own skin there’s an ease of presence you exude that makes others feel comfortable in your company too. You feel secure in yourself and as a result your environment, and the world seems like a lot friendlier place. In essence, you have more trust in yourself and others.
Knowing who you are, where you fit and with whom is vital to you overall health, wellbeing and self-esteem. Life flows, and when you are in sync with it, that’s when synchronicity shows up to propel you forward.
Like an epiphany you suddenly realise what being of service really means, and your contribution is heartfelt and real, then you are of service to the world and all those who share it with you. In any relationship whether work related or romantic, there’s a mutual benefit for each party, take comfort in that who you are, is of benefit to others. Know your worth and others will value you too, no need to impress anyone, anymore.
Love is really the core of it all, love yourself as you do others and watch your self-love dissolve any impostor syndrome.
You’re not desperate or needy when you are being authentically you, simply because you don’t need to be. People and circumstances are naturally drawn to you, so there’s no need to force, cajole, coerce, manipulate, convince or pretend. Of course, you will behave differently with different people that’s normal, you wouldn’t joke around with a client who’s having serious issues, the way you would your best friend. There’s nothing wrong with being professional in you approach when it comes to work, while remaining true to your values and integrity, as long as you are not trying to be someone you are not.
When you are being yourself you accept and approve of yourself, including your faults and mistakes, you understand that they are learning opportunities to make you a better version of yourself, no need to cover them up or deny them in order to prove you’re perfect to others. In fact, the only person you ever really need to prove anything to is YOU.
You are all that’s important in how you think about yourself. Your value as a person is not dependant on other people’s opinions, so let them go. Good or bad, other people’s beliefs are not important, only yours count. And this is not selfish whatsoever, when you concentrate only on what you think about yourself and not on other people’s opinions, you are in a better position to connect genuinely with another person.
YOUR ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN YOUR WORDS
When your interest lies in the other person, you’re free to listen, to understand and to help others. Then you are not worrying about making money, yourself and how you look, sound, act or feel, your focus is solely on others. Hopefully you already know you pretty well, but how much do you really know about the person you last spoke to?
By shifting your attention onto others and taking this approach into every area of your life not just work or intimate relationships, not only you’ll benefit but all those you engage with will too.
There’s no pressure to perform anymore, doubt and fear dissipate when you’re not trying to fit in, because when you are interested in the other person you will fit in. Place your energy outward, radiate out what you wish to receive. If you are anxious, angry or on edge you can’t expect others to feel at ease in your company, so imagine the flow of energy as a reflection and exchange of how you make others feel, in all your encounters. Yes, treat the rubbish bin collector as you would your manager in work, with the same interest, attention and respect.
WHO ARE YOU AGAIN?
Around every corner there’s always going to be someone who’s prettier than you, richer than you, younger or older, more talented, more qualified, more charismatic, more experienced and more confident. That doesn’t mean they are any better or any happier than you are though. Accept that these people do exist but don’t strive to be them, just be yourself, everybody else is already taken!
Your time is the Present, You are the Gift!