“How are you?” It’s a simple question that we ask each other every day. And more often than not, the answer we give is a monotonous “fine.” But are we really fine? Are we really feeling okay?I know for myself, I haven’t felt “fine” since last week. I received a rejection email for an international Leadership Academy I had applied to, and it triggered self-doubt and sadness that I’ve been dealing with all week. Imposter Syndrome has been whooping my ass every day of the whole week but I have been trying to smile as widely as I can but It’s really hard to wear a smile and pretend everything is okay when your heart is tearing.
But then, something lifted me. I was on a call with my girlfriends and we started talking about imposter syndrome. And it turns out, I am not alone and that they too have been battling with this. They had episodes when they felt not good enough or as one said, “I felt like a fraud.”
Have you ever felt like a fraud, even when you’ve achieved success?
We don’t talk about this often but Imposter syndrome can do real damage to our mental health, causing anxiety, an inability to savour success, and even a belief that we can’t continue in our careers. What is imposter syndrome to you? To me, it feels like an ever-present dark cloud, constantly hovering over me, ready to pour down rain at any given time. It’s like a sense of sabotage, casting doubt on my abilities and achievements, regardless of the hard work I’ve put into attaining them.
So how do we keep going when we hit that brick wall? How do we regain some joy in our work and our accomplishments?
One technique that works for me is the SBNRR technique that I learned from a random movie: Stop, Breathe, Notice, Reassess, Respond. It’s a way to slow down and consider the situation and our own thoughts, feelings, and reactions more mindfully.
First, stop and allow yourself to pause. Take a deep breath and let your thoughts go without attaching to them. Then, notice your feelings, your body, your surroundings, and anything else you can observe. Reassess the situation and the reasons behind your imposter syndrome. Finally, respond intentionally, reacting in a more informed and composed way.
Another thing that might help is to talk to someone you trust. A friend, family, therapist, or even SAUTIplus Ssenga might be the person. The most important thing is to have a safe area where you can express yourself without fear of condemnation or criticism. Talking about your feelings might help you gain perspective, process your emotions, and feel less alone.
So, again I ask, how are you really feeling? Don’t say “fine.” Take a moment to check in with yourself and your emotions. Are you feeling happy? Sad? Anxious? Fulfilled? Stressed? It’s okay for you to feel the way you feel And It’s also okay to feel a range of emotions and to doubt yourself. We’re human, after all.
Friend, another thing to consider is practising actual self-care. This could be anything from laughing at memes, taking a warm bath, writing about it(As smart me did!) to going for a run to getting a good night’s sleep. Whatever it is that makes you feel good and confident of your abilities, make time for it. Take care of yourself and put yourself first.We often put others’ needs before our own, but it’s important to prioritise our own well-being too.
Lastly, it’s important for you to recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s okay to ask for help if you need it. There is no shame in seeking therapy or medication if that’s what you need to feel better. And remember, you are not alone. There are millions of us out there who are also struggling with imposter syndrome and our mental health. You are not weak or broken. You are human. And we’re all in this together.
Kale bye! It was lovely letting this out. Let me know if you enjoyed reading this and what else you’d want me to talk about in the comments or send quick email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Take great care of yourselves friends!
By Mwanaisha Musa