How can we be our own cheerleader when we don’t believe in our self? Many feel they aren’t who they say they are or didn’t accomplish what they say they accomplished. When doubting your abilities or feeling like a fraud it’s known as the imposter syndrome, originally called the Capgras syndrome. It is a psychological condition where the doubting disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments.
Though the experts say it’s a syndrome not well understood, it is possible a variety of underlying conditions such as Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, stroke, and abuse or some other type of dementia contribute to the pathology. But in this situation it’s not about someone you know replaced by an imposter, but you as the imposter.
Whether this syndrome is deep-seated from some underlying condition, it’s real. Many years ago I was lecturing for Weight Watchers of Greater Miami when my sister Debbie was in town visiting. She tagged along for the lecture. I asked her to be silent because I needed to pretend she’s not there. The idea of my sister listening made me very uncomfortable. She was my sister—who thinks of me as her baby sister, not someone giving lectures on how to eat healthy and release weight.
There’s something about giving a talk when a family member is sitting right there. I half expected her to get up and scream, “Hey that’s not true, you’re an imposter!” when I talked about weight loss and how I achieved mine. But of course she didn’t. In fact, she was so excited about my talk that to this day over three decades later she still speaks of that lecture and how impressed she was.
The imposter syndrome is a made up syndrome you impose upon yourself. Sometimes when I look at all the books I wrote I get this fear that it wasn’t really me who wrote them. My internal chatter says, who do you think you are? You can’t write. I really didn’t have the talent to write these books and somehow faked my way through it.
Many of my writer friends suffer from the same syndrome—this fear of being found out as a fraud. In fact, it’s one of the primary reason people stand in their own way. How can you cheer for you if you internally question your own validity?
If you don’t get a handle on this fear of being discovered as a fraud, it can have devastating effects on our ambitions and our ability to tap into our Seed within. It can lead us to agonize over our mistakes and blunders in life. This fear of not being good enough will squash all our ambitions.
Much of my work as a clinician is helping patients to find their inner strength, so they can bolster their outer dreams. If they do not remove this block, there’s no chance to be our personal cheerleader. Instead, we’ll develop a pattern of doubts with our skills, talents, accomplishments, relationships, and so much more.
If I could count how many times I hear someone say they’d like to write a book but they’re afraid the number would be endless. I was afraid too. In fact, my first book was in the works right out of my doctoral program but never came to fruition until nearly twelve years later. It paralyzed me with fear. I questioned, who am I to write these books? Who would want to read them? And what if they flopped?
But then many profoundly wise persons reminded me that all writers have these fears. Many of the greats questioned their works even after they soared high. In fact, I was recently listening to Joanna Penn’s Podcast, The Creative Penn, featuring Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art: Break Though the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (and many other books) which I’ve read and reread more times than I care to admit—and here he was saying he doubted himself.
Steven Pressfield with imposter syndrome! Just this book, The War of Art, alone to date, has over nine thousand and thirteen almost five star reviews. The entire book is about breaking through your blocks with your inner battles, and he has doubts. This was eye opening and actually a relief to learn I’m not alone—and nor are you. And Joanna too has spoke of this too and she’s big—huge in the writing world.
So how do you become your own cheerleader in your quest to release your obsession with money so that you can heal from the inside out? Well, to start, you feel the fear and do it, anyway. Pressfield writes, in the War of Art: “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.” Stop resisting and move forward.
Trust that you have to start somewhere, anywhere, just start. If you stay stuck in the life you live, but wish to tap into the unlived life, you must push past your resistance. If money is what’s keeping you up at night, then trust your start button. Believe you can be your best cheerleader. To start the money flow, plug in earning followed by saving. Believe in the seed within you, that it will prosper and grow. See this Seed as you need to.
My Seed is God within me, above me, around me, beside me at all times. I turn over my doubts, and trust it will happen. I started with my autosuggestions that propelled my mindset. It worked. I believed and turned it over and life took on purpose that was on point with my belief system. Like Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, I had it all along—and so do you.
Click your red slippers in your mind, repeat three times your planted want and let the universe, God, or whatever your belief system is to take it to that next level. But keep in mind your want is NOT magical thinking, you must believe first, then take action.
Do you feel like an imposter? Do you believe you can accomplish your wants? What’s missing or what’s making this want happen for you?
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Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.