Every Sunday, Arti Kashyap-Aynsley drops by to discuss all the many things we may be facing, feeling or going through with our daily life transformations. Share your questions and / or requests for topics with Arti anonymously at email@example.com
This past week it didn’t seem to matter who I was chatting to whether it be clients, colleagues or friends, there seemed to be a recurring theme of this idea of “Imposter Syndrome” that kept emerging.
Imposter syndrome (also known as imposter phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the imposter experience) is defined as a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
The first thing to say – is that if you feel this and / or this phrase resonates with you, IT IS OKAY AND COMPLETELY NORMAL! Imposter syndrome is so common to feel anywhere from time to time to every day (guilty!) and the phrasing is only earning more popularity stripes through its hashtag which has over twenty-two thousand posts linked to it just on Instagram alone.
But why do we feel it? And why as a result, are we constantly questioning ourselves because of it?
The truth is that while there are various categories of imposter syndrome, we can link ourselves to, (the perfectionist, the superwoman / man, the natural genius, the soloist and the expert) to further diagnose and pick ourselves a part the underlying reasons will be different for everyone, with one main constant question around our confidence and / or lack thereof.
Now confidence is a tricky one to unpick because it is so dependent on where we have come from, our experiences, our limiting beliefs, and the list continues and to think I could solve the worlds confidence challenges in circa 500 words would make me an utter genius – which well I may at times pretend to be but sadly it won’t be this time 😊
What I will say however, is that while imposter syndrome may continue to be something we battle on a day to day, there is a way to support ourselves in starting to believe that we are capable and worthy of the job titles, statuses, relationships, you name it in our lives. And that is through the very taboo practice of “mantras”.
Now I know I am an Indian woman about to talk to you about mantras and the power of them over your subconscious mind, which comes across very stereotypical. But while I did grow up in an Indian household, I never really bought into the idea of reciting a million different mantras my mom told me would invoke utter happiness in my life, it was too “hocus pocus” for me to believe and / or understand, not to mention the idea of reciting these out loud in public places made me fear my place on the popularity ladder.
But in between being a teenager and a full-blown adult, I have learnt that actually mantras (especially when they really resonate with you) are somewhat magical. In fact, even neuroscientists, equipped with advanced brain-imaging tools, are beginning to quantify and confirm some of the health benefits around their use and ability to help free your mind of background chatter and calm your nervous system – both key things that feed into our imposter syndrome beliefs and actions.
So how might you ask you build and carry out a practice around mantras? Well it is actually very simple.
The first step is to define your mantra – what is it you want it to say? What do you want to help yourself believe? And / or what do you want to remind yourself of? If you struggle for inspiration, our friend google will have loads of ideas for you. But even if you find something via the inter-web I would put it into your own words and make it something that really resonates and means something to you. The most important thing about building such a practice is about using your words.
Once you have defined what your mantra is, write it down anywhere and everywhere (the inside of a notebook, on your phone in a notes app, on a post it note, you name it!), so it becomes a part of your life. And then find a time at least once a day where you can remind yourself of it face to face in front of a mirror. It’s important to engrain the mantras words into your psyche so that it becomes a part of you and something you can easily return to when you need it most.
The one mantra I use for myself I started out by saying it almost 10-15 times a day over and over again, and now I know it enough, that it is there constantly in the back of my mind, only needing a reminder once a day or once every couple of days.
Now, as I leave you with the idea of creating a mantra to aid in any imposter syndrome woes you may face, I will say that I know mantras won’t fix it all, but what they will do is help you begin to change your thought pattern so that you are able to believe that you are incredibly deserving of all the fortune in your life and have earned your right to be where you are at this exact very moment.
Also have a topic you want me to address in the weekly column and / or are looking to explore the idea of coaching or relationship or looking for a coach? I would love to help and see how I can support you. Please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and remember, all emails are treated as confidential.