SLAYING IMPOSTER SYNDROME
How to reduce the volume on your inner critic - Tip #2
Hi There, lovely readers
How are you all? I hope you’ve managed to survive the recent shocking weather we experienced here in the UK. An icy blast direct from the North Pole that one, wasn’t it? I hope you are recovering now that the temperatures are beginning to rise. And with it, your spirits!
Last edition, I started my series on tips on not letting Imposter Syndrome wreck your life and stop you getting where you want to be. This newsletter, I’m bringing you tip #2.
And my tip #2 is to watch your inner chatter.
HOW DO I REDUCE MY NEGATIVE INNER CHATTER..?
I have to admit, that’s a very easy phrase to say and much less easy to do, in practice. And, as found in scientific studies, the human condition isn’t meant to be free of all negative chatter - it was inbuilt into our prehistoric brain to keep us safe in the time of dinosaurs, and unfortunately the formulation of the brain hasn’t kept apace with how our society has developed. We no longer have to contend with being dinner for some being larger than ourselves, but our brain doesn’t know that, and still operates to issue warnings and negative talk - all with the aim of keeping us safe.
And part of this “keeping us safe”means issuing us with wobbles and negative talk to stop us doing things. So this it’s why it’s so very hard to turn down the volume on Imposter Syndrome.
Hard yes, but not impossible to reduce it to a level where it stops you doing things. And, according to the scientific articles I’ve read, here is the definitive way on how to do that:
Be on the lookout for the negative thoughts that subtly infiltrate your thoughts to undermine your confidence. A lot of the time, you may not notice them, until you start to have a wobble or a crisis of confidence. But, if you try and be on your guard for them, you will start to notice when they attack you.
Notice them, but don’t try to dismiss them. Practice “sitting with them”, in other words just accept them as a rising thought, but don’t let them seep into your conciousness. Keep them at the forefront of your brain and according to recent studies, these thoughts such only last 90 seconds, then they disappear.
But rather than just let them disappear into lower levels of your consciousness, you need to flip that thought. For example, say you’re expected to give a big speech to a large audience at some point in the future, and all your thoughts are telling you you’re going to mess up or won’t be taken seriously. Rather than fight with the thought and argue that you will (which can only make the negative thought stronger) imagine a scene where you’ve given your talk and people are asking questions - there’s a load of hands being held up in the air with audience members wanting to ask you questions.
Do you see the (very) subtle difference? Rather than fully dispute the thought that you’ll mess up, you’ve “predicted” a far more positive outcome, and no matter how well or otherwise you delivered your talk, it’s been well received enough for people to be asking you questions. It’s taking you beyond the immediate problem to a point in the future with a more positive outcome.
Subtle eh? But it’s scientifically proven that it does work.
I’ve been trying this technique for a few weeks now, and I has to say it has calmed down some of the more aggressive negative thoughts I do have. But, to be realistic, we won’t ever reduce negative, undermining thoughts for good - all we can do is turn them down to a level where they don’t bother us as much. And that takes commitment and practice - over and over again - until you’ve made permanent new neural pathways.
I wish you well with this and, if you practice the technique, I’d love to know how you get on. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just reply to this email - it will find me :)
“FACEBOOKING” WITH OTHER WOMEN LIKE US…
I’ve been delivering these Imposter Syndrome reducing techniques on my regular Facebook Lives each week on Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm for the month of January and then I then repeat to you fab ladies in this newsletter.
However, if you’d like to hear the tip ahead of the newsletter, and you fancy being part of a growing, lively and private Facebook group ( a safe space with tons of inspiration and support with no judgement), it would be a pleasure to have you as part of the group. You can ask to be admitted here - see you in the group !
So, that’s wrap for this edition of the newsletter. Thank you as ever for staying with me, and I’ll be back in a fortnight’s time with Tip #3 in my Imposter Syndrome series. Till then, keep warm and safe and I’ll see you in February.