Silencing the Imposter Voice

That imposter voice is within all of us. Yes, every single one of us has the ability for the inner imposter to kick in and many of us have experienced it at least once or twice, myself included.

I’ve worked with many amazingly talented people over the years and while they might look polished and completely confident on the exterior, that voice in their head is still questioning their ability. Questioning their knowledge, what they think they are doing, how will they do it, what if I fail, I’m not as good as people think I am….. I’ve seen people in very senior positions battle the imposter syndrome before making decisions, stepping on stage, going into a conversation, and then the analyser kicking in to overanalyse what was said and done.

Our mind is so powerful, and this voice has the ability to totally change our mindset, our ability, our delivery and the outcome. Not only does it have the ability to have that effect on us but the effect is contagious and can easily be caught by others which leads to them starting to question us as well creating an even bigger spiral in our own mind.

We can quickly find ourselves in an emotional hijack and for many, bouncing from ‘fight or flight’. One minute we are ready to run away or hide under the doona, and the next minute we are ready to stand up and fight. Sometimes this fight can become defensive and we can struggle to own the feelings turning on those around us looking for someone else to blame cause it’s surely not our fault.

Why is this happening?

We’ve touched on fears many times before and they are the culprit again for the imposter voice. The fear of failing or being judged or being wrong becomes so incredibly strong taking over every part of our mind and body. The need to feel successful, right and liked has been wired into our brains from the day we were born. With those fears and beliefs built in, heading into a situation where the outcome is potentially unknown and the reaction of others is totally out of our control, triggers that voice deep inside warning us that our fears and beliefs could be in jeopardy.

What can we do to overcome it? Here are my 3 steps to silencing the imposter voice:

  • Own the Voice- That voice in our head is our own. It’s our voice. Accept this and don’t try to deflect blame to someone else or a past circumstance that has led to this self-doubt or self-worth. It was our mind and is still our mind that has created this voice based on our own self-regulation. It’s time to own this and face it.
  • Understand the ‘Y’ - Face those emotions, don’t try to fight them, instead understand why we are feeling them. Where did they come from? Why are they here? Is there an underlying belief driving them? We can get caught up trying to create this perfect mold of who we all should be but in truth it is owning who we are and knowing how to work with what makes us tick rather than against it.
  • Take Control It’s time to step up. Stop deflecting and blaming the voice in your head. It is you! This is it. You are here for a reason and you made the decisions along the way to get to here. You chose to be here. Take control of your actions and now choose how it will all play out. What is it that you are most afraid of? What is the worst thing that can possibly happen? What will it take in order for you silence that voice, own up, stand up and control the only thing you have control of you; ‘YOU!’

As I write this article, I continue to process my own words and advice as my first book hits bookstores at the end of this month. As I said in the beginning, no one is immune to the possibility of imposter syndrome. My own voice at times creeps in amongst the excitement as I share my passion and my mind with the world.

Silencing the imposter voice today doesn’t mean it won’t pop it’s head up another day. It means we have the skills and ability to own it and take control on any other day that it tries to make an appearance. It’s our own voice, our own mind, our own choice. Every moment, every day, we have this choice.

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