The Thing I Do Every Day to Fight Off Imposter Syndrome

ink-pen-to-journal-paper

Did you know that your brain produces tens of thousands of thoughts every day? And, guess what? Not all of them will help you accomplish your dreams. For every warm and fuzzy thought you have about what a genius you are; you can expect to have a gut-twisting one telling you the opposite is true.

By now, you've heard about imposter syndrome. You've likely even experienced it. So many people are surprised to learn that successful people — successful by any standard  — still have thoughts of self-doubt and feelings of anxiety about themselves, their value, and their ideas.

Here's a little secret — so have I. And I'm a mindset coach!

But, here's a fact. Thoughts of self-doubt or "imposter syndrome" are just that — thoughts.

My go-to technique for getting past them? Daily journaling.
Writing down your thoughts can help you become aware of what your brain is cooking up in the background while you go about your daily life. Don't believe me? Try this exercise. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down your thoughts – whatever comes into your head. Or, if you're having trouble, ask yourself why you are (or aren't) doing something you want to start (or stop.) Go ahead; I'll wait.

Are you surprised by what you wrote?

This exercise can be shocking to some people. Many of us are oblivious to the soundtrack playing in our heads. If you are freaked out about your thoughts and are tempted to rush in and do battle with yourself  – slow your roll. Trying to fight, ignore or banish our thoughts is like trying to catch a cloud. It's not a good use of energy. It's natural to have thoughts — lots of them.

Journaling can help you become more aware of what you are thinking. That's the first step.

Once you get good at recognizing your thoughts for what they are – optional and not necessarily accurate — you can choose to act on them or reject those that don't serve you.

Remember, our brains use our thoughts as a tool to keep us safe. Doing thought work such as journaling can sharpen your awareness of unhelpful thoughts. You will recognize them for what they are and let them go by you like a train passing instead of allowing them to immobilize you.

Of course, no matter how aware you are, you will still have thoughts like, "this will never work," and "nobody will want to buy my products/services." We never get rid of negative thoughts. But you won't dwell on them. Instead, your mind will be clear to move on to more productive thoughts such as, "this will be amazing" and "the right person will want to buy my products/services."

Journaling has helped me recognize self-doubt for what they are. My brain is grabbing the emergency cord because I'm trying something new and scary. Through journaling, I've discovered that self-doubt and fear will keep me from going after my dreams if I don't learn to manage them. Try journaling and using intentional thinking to reach your goals.

This article was originally published on Fairygodboss.com. You can read it and other pieces I've written for them here.

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