We all know it. We all experience it. It can create an internal narrative that makes us second-guess what we are doing; what we are capable of doing; what we have the tools, the skills, the craft, TO do.
It is that voice that says “yes, but…” That voice that wonders if you’ll be found out; wonders if you were meant to do what you are doing at all; wonders if you are wasting time; wonders if you will ever book another show, get another callback; wonders if it’s all a fraud and the joke’s on you.
We ALL know these voices. These voices, these narratives that whisper “fraud”; that create apology; that make excuses about what we are capable of.
Research proves this is a real thing, and you aren’t losing your damn mind. Research also indicates that Imposter Syndrome is in response to specific circumstances or situations: fear of faiure; self-sabotage; perfectionism; OH LOOK! All those Type As in a business where so much is not in your control - and VOILA! Imposter Syndrome.
It can take you down, and debilitate you. It can cause stress, anxiety, and in some cases, depression.
People who “succeed” have imposter syndrome; they are thinking they will be found out at any moment. People who are pursuing have imposter syndrome - wondering if the reason they haven't booked a show in a while, in forever, is because they have been found out and the joke’s on them.
What does imposter syndrome do? It makes us doubt; it chokes our courage; it stifles our desire to explore; it frightens our creative spark to hide in the dark; it shuts us down.
So, now what? What do we do about it?
First and foremost, recognize it’s there. Acknowledging it shines a light on it. It can’t hide and whisper anymore - it has to face you head on. Bring it, because you can handle it. When it says “yes, but…” you say, “yes, AND!”
Write. Journal. Use sticky notes. Leave those things EVERYWHERE - in your planner, on your music stand, on your music, on your mirror, on your fridge. Wherever you need a reminder, put it there.
What is success to YOU? Not what you think it should be; not what you think someone else thinks it should be; What is it to YOU?
Write it down. Say it out loud.
I am a big believer in manifesting loudly through journaling and through claiming it out loud. The voice is a magical and powerful tool (YOU KNOW THIS YOU HAVE ONE!) and it can be used for SELF too!
Here’s a secret: success can change. It doesn’t have to be the same fixed state. As you develop, discover, grow, so does your definition of success.
What are your skills? What are you building upon?
What are your personality traits that are positive and create good in your world?
How does your reinvention of self, intersect with the skills you have/the skills you are building on? How does that affect your craft?
What are your negotiables? What are you willing to change, to develop, to DO?
What are your non-negotiables? Where is your line? Where are your boundaries? These boundaries need to be acknowledged and held accountable - including with YOURSELF.
Think about it. Write it down.
Start to create the connections of HOW these intersect; HOW the reinvention can pursue the success and adjust accordingly.
Let a quiet voice emerge and whisper “Oh look! You ARE succeeding and look what you are DOING?”
Don’t poo-poo what you are doing; what you are exploring. CLAIM IT!
Action is “YES!!! AND!!!!”
Take it. You don’t have to scream the battle cry, you can just pick up your head, and look the imposter syndrome in the eye as you shine the light on it and expose it for what it is, and whisper “I am here. Get used to it.”
Starting today, as you look over your planner for the week, and outline your activities, and possibilities, stay present. I dare you to change your mindset when you feel those voices from the shadows question your success, your possibility, your skill, your craft. I dare you to say “I see you, and I am here.”
Every. single. time.
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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