Using Manifestation to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
A few days ago, I experienced an unexpected anxiety attack when I was out doing errands. It sounds a lot like the dialogue below, except all of these thoughts were coming up in my head.
"I should really take off my cardigan, but I can't because I'm sweating. People are staring at me. Why are they staring at me? Is it my face? The fact that I'm suffering in this underestimated heat? Why are more people looking at me? Maybe I should just go to the bathroom and cry in a stall until I calm down a bit..."
I knew it would eventually pass. I've been through plenty to know that I'm not perfect, but damn are these mental attacks strong when I do experience them. I start questioning if I'm a hoax, like I don't deserve compliments, and like everything I've ever done in my life has been for nothing. When I got home, I searched up "feeling like a hoax" on Google and "imposter syndrome" showed up. I started reading about it and broke into tears.
"This is it! This is what I experience!" According to Harvard Business Review,
"Imposter Syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. 'Imposters' suffer from chronic self-doubt that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. They seem unable to internalize their accomplishments, however successful they are in their field."
All this time, I thought that I just go crazy sometimes. Now that I think about it, this easily coincides with all of the anxieties I deal with and have dealt with, particularly social anxiety, general anxiety, and PTSD. It all stems from my childhood and my teenage years, but that's in the past, and now I'm all about the Now and the Future.
Being it's 2018 and she's been meditating and manifesting, here are a few words of affirmation and practices to remember when you're ever feeling like an "Imposter" in different situations:
On Relationships: [MANTRA] "Good things take time."
I used to put a lot of pressure on first impressions, whether it's meeting new classmates, going to a job interview, or even first dates. I kept thinking "What if I'm not as great as they think I am? What if I'm not as great as I think I am or what if they can't see how great I am?" And then I get anxious and start thinking about how I can't sell myself, and how talking about my accomplishments will just show that I'm all talk, no work (even though everyone and their moms know I'm always doing The Most -- but strangers don't know that!).
All of the best relationships have been through a rollercoaster of events, whether that's measured in quality of events or quantity of years spent together. Setting high expectations on others is like thinking that a flower can bloom overnight. No matter how much you dream and anticipate seeing its beauty, you've first got to put in the work of watering the plant and taking care of it. When it comes to dealing with people, the same thing goes. You've got to have a lot of patience, you've got to care, and you've got to put in the work if it's something you genuinely want.
On Work: [PRACTICE] Keep Visual Receipts
For my 18th Birthday, my friends gave me a photo-journal album in the style of Humans of New York (HONY) where they all answered questions about me, like how we met, why they're friends with me, etc. I still remember flipping through it and bursting into tears, because I couldn't believe I deserved a gift like such.
One of my biggest problems is that I can't accept compliments or rewards unless I feel like I've deserved them, typically after putting in a lot of work. It's more than just not feeling good enough. Sometimes, my panic attacks can be as bad as going into fetal position and crying as I cover my eyes and rock back and forth, or even quitting social media for 10 months (yikes, that reality). I'm very susceptible to thinking "Woe is me," but I usually make jokes about it on the outside, because I hate bringing people down.
Your environment is a reflection of yourself. I'm still working on accepting compliments, but sometimes, I feel like I drive my friends crazy when I project my worries and doubts onto them. In my life, my friends also carry on the trait of self-doubt. Maybe not as severe as me, but I hate when they can't see their worth, beauty, and intelligence. Since we're all projecting onto one another, they probably reciprocate those feelings towards me as well.
I actually have an album on my phone of all the messages people have sent me on my work and in general, so that when I'm feeling down, they serve as forms of proof that I'm not nearly as undeserving as I think I am and that although having some doubt in myself is healthy, it's never encouraged in my internal and external system. Positive reinforcement is the way to go!
On the Self: [PRACTICE] Maintain a Healthy Environment
My ideal environment is filled with people who love themselves enough to practice self-love and compassion; people who are uplifting and positive. I do believe that people can change, but I've also grown to know my limits. I can't always be available to help someone with a reoccurring problem when they aren't willing to put in the work towards growth.
I'm gradually learning that I'm easily influenced by the people with whom I surround myself. When I'm around quiet and shy people, I'll most likely be brought down to that part of myself that comes naturally. When I'm around extroverts, I'm either encouraged to speak more or I don't talk at all (sometimes, you guys are too much). Finding my own voice in both situations is a learning process, but my point can easily be transferred over to who I follow on social media or what music I listen to.
On the internet in general, there are plenty of people who romanticize sadness and unhealthy cycles of anxiety and depression. Even if they're joking (as I mentioned earlier, "Woe is me"), I take what I've experienced very seriously. As someone who used to have that mindset and who has experienced its consequences, I came to realize that cutting out any form of negativity is vital to my well-being. I'm that person who encourages you to rid yourself of toxic people. If you've given your all, sometimes it's better to let go and let whoever you're dealing with to learn by themselves. Most of the time, the reason you hold on too tightly is because their issues are reflecting onto yourself, but I see that as an opportunity to grow.
When I'm sad, I avoid listening to sad music with sad lyrics. Usually, I just write until I feel more at peace. On Instagram, I watch videos of Rickey Thompson, because his overall no-negativity-no-bs-self-confident-knows-his-worth LOUD personality is a reflection of my ego on this inside. In this world that just wants to bring us down, you've got to learn how to be your own hype man or woman or HOWEVER you identity, because honey, it's tough out there, but so are you. Plus, the faster you can help yourself, the sooner you can help those around you.
On the Self: [MANTRA] "I attract what I am."
Earlier this year, I wrote down a manifestation that helped me both bring good people into my life, as well as compliment myself. It's a double whammy of positivity and accountability! This one is catered to myself, but you should write one down that suits your own desires.
Real talk, if everyone around you is super sweet, kind, and beautiful, why do you think they're around you? It's because you also embody those traits. I mean c'mon, we all wonder why all the really attractive people who are borderline models all hang out with people like them. Terrible example, but you get what I mean.
THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU ARE A REFLECTION OF YOURSELF. SO, I DARE YOU:
WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU WANT TO MANIFEST
SAY IT IN THE MIRROR. READ THEM TO YOURSELF EVERY MORNING AND NIGHT. MEDITATE ON THEM FOR 20 MINUTES.
"I ATTRACT WHAT I AM, THEREFORE _____ are in my life"
If you're still feeling down and hopeless, here's an affirmation from me to you.
I attract what I choose to become, therefore I am reading this article because I care about myself
AND I am getting better.