It's a funny old thing…impostor syndrome, isn't it? Mix that with fear, fear of the unknown, fear of failure or just fear of actually growing.
I know for a fact that I'm not the only women who has come across these soul sucking terrors.
And, I'm sure that you may have even experienced their grasp upon you several times, in this last year. Because, just when you think that you have dealt with and expelled their BS and you are moving forward happily on your journey, they slip back in. They just lurk in the back of your mind, waiting for the opportunity to stop you chasing your dreams, going on that date or even wearing those bright red heels, that are still in the back of your cupboard, the ones that cost a fortune and you haven't worn yet.
Do you know what I'm talking about?
Let me tell you something, you are not alone. I've spent an age, yep, nearly all of my life so far, living with fear in a bag on my back, reminding me that staying hidden is that best option to keep me safe.
I hide from my dreams and passions because if I excepted them, it would mean putting myself out there, where I could get rejected, once again!
I hide from my truth, my power and my past because I believed that I would not be excepted as I am, that my faults were too many, for others to bear.
Anything that I did do well, throughout the course of my life, great jobs, becoming a mum or pursuing my passion of photography, I constantly felt like a impostor and I lived in fear of being found out and everyone laughing at me or heckling me, like some freak from the circus.
For an absolute age, I didn't even tell any one that I was a portrait photographer. Duh! how did I expect to make any money out of something that I said was my profession, my love, when I hadn't even told anyone. I certainly hadn't put my face to my business. No one knew me or what I was capable of.
What was I thinking?
Have you been in this position?
Has fear stopped you from showing the world who you are and what you can offer them?
And, let's get this straight this does not go away with age. In fact if you don't recognise it for what it is and learn methods to put the little bastards back in their bags, it may get harder with age to fight them.
I know how you feel, I've been in that exact same position, hiding and thinking that I'm staying safe. In reality, it's not a safe place, it's a dark place of lost dreams and hopes. A place where you are held a prisoner by yourself…now that's pretty messed up.
So, what happened to me?
When did I decide enough was enough?
Well, several years ago I had a few major health scares, one resulted in me having a full hysterectomy and that plunged me straight into the menopause. I was also dealing with some family dramas while trying to heal. Which took slightly over a year for me to start to feel even a tiny bit like a person again and for the pain to subside.
In fact having that operation turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me.
It firstly forced me to spend a lot of time with myself and reflect on me, my life and what I wanted my future to look like…it became obvious that I needed to make a change. Only I could take my life on the path that I wanted to follow.
So slowly, small step by step, day by day I found ways to build myself up, from following amazing women on social media, joining groups that were all about support, reading books bursting with ideas and insights on growth and courses that helped develop my ideas and passions.
Very slowly I stepped out of my comfort zone even when I still felt like an impostor and fear told me to sit, my crazy arse back down.
I did things that I never dreamt possible, I took part in activities that before I would have run from and I mixed with women who I once would have stayed away from because I felt inferior to them.
Yes, impostor syndrome and he's bff fear, still chase and catch me some days. I still have days when I allow my former self to reemerge and I have to say that this really pisses me off. I feel an anger at myself well up inside of me but it is then that I check myself. I remind myself of all the amazing things that I have already achieved. That I have already jumped out of my comfort zone and I didn't die, the world did not end and no one rejected me…in fact the opposite.
It's then that I say to fear and his buddy, “Thanks for coming and trying to keep me safe but you won't be needed today” And I dive right into whatever opportunity is waiting for me, whether it's putting myself forward for opportunities to make my business or me visible, writing about my childhood or just telling some one my prices.
Remember that you are not alone in fighting impostor syndrome or allowing fear to stop you chasing your rainbow.
And, you do not have to fight them on your own. Finding a great like-minded group of amazing women, was the best thing that I did, in my pursuit of change.
FabYOUlous…the hangout is all about being the most fab YOU, not you trying to copy some one else, that never works out well.
By being just you, you definitely are not being an impostor, you will attracted like-minded people to you and you certainly will feel so much more peace.
So hop over to facebook and say hi. Share your journey with us and know that you are in a space where we all just want to live our lives authentically.
Everyone that comes over receives my ‘Fearful to FabYOUlous' freebie which is great if you are starting to do lives for your business page or thinking of having business images taken, or just to look your best on camera!
“There's only one you and the world is waiting to see you shine”
Love Sophia x