I don’t know about you, but all of these influencers on social media with their products and courses on how to look younger, be thinner, work smarter, be better … they trigger some pretty heavy negative self-talk. All I hear in my head is, “Look at them! You are falling behind. Falling short! FAILING!” Overcoming the imposter syndrome that follows feels impossible.
The truth is, I do feel like I could do better. Every day in fact. I am not your typical business owner. I feel like most of them have degrees. They have a certain personality, no mental health issues. Thy are all born with endless energy and an inside calm that allows them to focus and make good decisions.
I know that isn’t necessarily true, it’s just my anxiety brain. That doesn’t stop the negative self-talk though. I have anxiety, depression, chronic pain and I can be my own worst enemy. I used to think I was all Type B and that it was a bad thing. Turns out I have all of the high-stress traits of Type A without any of the organization benefits. So I’m creative and flexible, but have a hard time feeling fulfilled in anything.
All of this leads to some pretty serious impostor syndrome and depressive episodes brought on by stress and self-neglect. So, what do I do about it?
When I feel overwhelmed by all of those external messages and imposter syndrome, I know I have to stop scrolling. I remind myself that I don’t live online.
Here are some real-life strategies I’ve used to help me refocus and overcome imposter syndrome:
- Brain dumps
A practice where I literally “dump” all of my tasks, thoughts and feelings onto a sheet of paper. It helps me decide what’s important, what’s worth my time and energy and what I can let go of. I have a few downloads that might help with this. They’re at the bottom of this post.
Usually yoga, but it could be a short workout, belly dance, a walk, some housework, time with my chickens, tending to some houseplants, a game with the family … anything to refocus.
I don’t enjoy meditation much, but sometimes I just need my brain to reset. I have an app and typically use guided meditations, although I have tried out chanting and frequency meditation and it also worked well to reboot my thoughts.
Put down the phone. No social media, no podcasts, no television or video games. Anything analog. Reading, writing, drawing, driving. This can include any of the other activities mentioned above. Just getting out of that virtual space and back into my own physical self.
None of this will get rid of my anxiety disorder or solve my organizational issues. But, it seems to help me overcome imposter syndrome long enough to reboot and see all of the things I’m doing right. It’s also more fun than stressing out over how many clients I have, whether I’ll have enough work next month or if I’m going to have to close up shop next year. Because, I have enough, I’ll get more and I’ll be around a long time.
Tell me what you do to refocus your brain and manage your internal storytelling.