The imposters in my head….

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    Do you struggle with imposters in your head?
                       … They’ve been a struggle of mine for a while now.

    It’s something we often don’t talk about it our culture.
    We touch on it, and maybe skim over the outer parameters…
                      … but do we actually truly discuss it?

    I have recently learnt that I’m not the only one who struggles with these imposters…
    Maybe it’s pride that stops us discussing it? I don’t really know, but I suspect so…
               …. All I know is that I have always felt like it’s ME….
                         …. I’m the imposter.
                                 …. I am the pretender – the one who doesn’t really belong…
                                     …. isn’t actually any good….
                                         …. a terrible wife, mother, friend etc… etc…
    … Never the best…
    … Always the last…
    … Always on the outer…

    I know that in my spirit that it is not so.
    On my strong days I know that I am not these things!

    But they are what the imposters tell me. And those imposters are so hard not to listen to at times!

    So in the interests of keeping it real here, I have decided to address these imposters once and for all

    … I have actually been meaning to write this post for a few days weeks. Yesterday my beautiful friend Emma came open on her blog about her struggle with the voices in her head. I love her post & how she writes it. I always love her writing. So eloquent and well put!!
    It was a conversation I had with Emma one night which made me want to write this post in the first place. It was one of those beautiful conversations with a true friend, during which you just have some complete revelations and your world gets shaken… for the better!
    I actually did make a start at writing it, but never got around to finishing it. Probably because it challenged me… made me an uncomfortable…
    If you are a regular visitor here, you know how I tend to react to such challenges – I shut the door on them and go on with other things… Easier things….
    But this is a new year – 2011 is about coming clean however much it challenges me… this is my year of growth – So here goes…

    So, my name is Kat, and I struggle with insecurity… There, I said it….
    …It’s out there…

    As much as I try to ignore my “imposters”… they are regular visitors to my head, and have been for as long as I can remember. Somewhere around primary school they made themeselves comfortable and have been reluctant to leave ever since…
    I have a “you’ll never be good enough” imposter (the main bad boy),
    a “forget about being good at that – you might as well give up now” imposter,
    a “you couldn’t be artistic if you tried” imposter,
    a “they don’t really care about you” imposter
    and finally a “you are alone” imposter…
    … you get the idea.

    It’s really the first one that I struggle with daily. He’s been there so long I’m almost comfortable having him there. Well not comfortable – but it’s what I know… He’s the one that really makes me feel like I’m in one big popularity contest…
    and I’m a loser in it.
    …The pity friend.

    So it was news to me to find out that one of the woman that I hold in the highest of esteem struggled with similar “mean shouty voices”…

    … WHAT I thought… YOU!!??
            ……….How could you THINK that!!! – You are so AWESOME!!!
    … I’d LOVE to be a 1% of the cool you are!!!!!

    Then one by one I started hearing of others who also experienced similar imposters.

    It was a REVELATION!!!
    I was not the only one who felt like I was losing in the popularity contest – and all the other things…

    and you know what I did… I got cross!!! I got cross with myself and if I’m honest I got a bit cross with our society. Why don’t we talk about this stuff?! Why do we suffer in silence?!
    Again … I suspect it’s the pride thing. The way things are done. So much easier to gloss over the imperfections and answer “I’m fine”. After all – nobody wants to hear the truth and be depressed by your burden do they?
    But what if it’ll help ease their burden?
          … Release them of their imposters… ?

    So I’ve decided to come clean. Put my hand up and say “I have imposters”…
    Maybe it’ll help someone else have that same revelation…

    Over time I have learnt to acknowledge some of the triggers & warning signs of an oncoming imposter attack. I have some steps I take to put on my armour ready for their mental assault or avoid it all together…

    * I make the decision to shut them out…
    sounds simple but sometimes that’s all it takes. A quick simple decision

    *  I take away their amunition…
    … the piles of clutter on my dishwasher that have been staring at me for months, the unmade beds, undone dishes, bills to be pay, unswept floors etc.. etc… basically the jobs that I’m putting off and that are weighing on my mind, making me feel like a failure and paving the way for an attack of the imposters. If I take these things away – the imposters don’t have anything have less to shoot me down with.

    * I remove myself from situations or relationships that encourage these doubts and fears
    this is not always practical. But if it IS possible (and not in an unhealthy way of avoidance) – if the situation or relationship is not necessary and is unhealthy for me, then I quietly remove myself from it and let it fizzle.

    * I seek out a friend
    Someone I can trust, who will give me a hug and encourage me back on the right path

    * I meditate
    I run to my creator and seek refuge in his comfortable arms. His Spirit never fails to uplift me if I truly seek it out with an open heart.

    Do you have imposters?

    What tools do you use to fend them off?

    Just a girl keeping it real…

    ** Edited to add…
    I feel like I need to clarify that I am not depressed!…. I love my life completely & for the most part I am extremely happy!!….
    The reason that I wrote this post is that despite all this being happy & seemingly confident, I still have a daily battle (of varying degrees) of imposters in my head.
    …..For the longest time I thought it was just ME that suffered with them.

    I am also a perfectionist. I like to appear faultless (don’t we all). So I don’t usually advertise this daily battle
    – because to me, in the past, it felt like a “weakness”.

    All it took was 1 friend, keeping it real for me, that taught me that despite what appearances say – there are many MANY people experiencing these imposters – these annoying insecurities, that get in the way of us reaching our true potential. Finally I knew – that it was not just me. They are the bad side of normal.
    This kind friend gave me a revelation. And it helped me a lot!
    – It released the strength of some of my imposters…

    So that’s what inspired me to write this post.
    Just the simple realisation that I was not the only one keeping quiet about this silent struggle and the appreciation at my friend for allowing me to see the “real” in order to teach me this!

    The purpose behind this post?!
    …. Hopefully it might give you a revelation if you need it to… so that you can be released to be exactly who God has called you to be… The awesome person that you are!!
    That is all….

    3 COMMENTS

    1. Dear imposters in Kat’s head,
      You are big fat liars. Let me tell you some truths:
      Kathryn is more than good enough. Enviably so! She is a fantastic wife, beautiful mummy, and a girl couldn’t ask for a better friend. Genuine, honest and loyal to a T!
      Also, stupid imposters, duh! Haven’t you seen what she creates?! For a girl who hasn’t been sewing long, she is A.MAY.ZING!
      Also, imposters, there are so many people in her world that care about her. I am one of them. Got that?!
      And you know what? Our God says He’ll never leave her or forsake her! She’s never alone.
      So, imposters. You can leave. One by one. Out the door please.
      That’s it, off you go.
      Let Kat be the amazing Kat she was created to be, without inhibiting her any longer! Good riddance!

      Kat: Love you keeping it real. So much so that I was about to hop into bed when I read your post on my phone, and had to get up, turn the computer on and log in, just so I could say so! (And you know what that means, coming from this little nanna!!)
      xxx

    2. Oh Em you darling girl…I couldn’t of put it any better myself!!!!!!!!!!

      Kat it took strength to write this post and I applaud you for taking action. Yep I put my hand up as I did with Em’s post…I have imposters and as you say it is comforting to know that others who you regard highly are dealing with the same issues….but it’s time to say good riddance to those voices and nurture the more caring, kind and positive ones.
      You are amazing Kat!!!
      xx

    3. My dear Kat, know of course that you are not alone in your imposters! Actually, Impostor Syndrome is real AND did you know the vast majority of sufferers are women. Mostly high-achieving perfectionists. Sound familiar?

      How to cope with the whispers…well you have got a great approach. You ARE good enough, you ARE creative, you ARE perfect just being you.

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