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“Imposter Syndrome”  

Specific fears:  

  • Fear of being “found out” as an “impostor” 
  • Fear of failing 
  • Fear of judgment or criticism 
  • Fear of rejection 

People with dyslexia often make incredible leaps of understanding swiftly and accurately, and without “formal training.” Traditional training is linear and requires going through a series of steps. Dyslexic thinking offers the individual a 3-D visual or sensory way of looking at a problem from multiple angles and from a wealth of diverse perspectives and lenses. The dyslexics’ way of creative problem solving bypasses linear steps. Nondyslexics may doubt the validity of a dyslexic solution because the dyslexic thinks differently and thinks in a less effortful way. 

  • A dyslexic may not need the same amount of schooling a nondyslexic needs to arrive at a conclusion.

Example: A dyslexic with strong M-strengths (see section on M.I.N.D. Strengths) can look at a blueprint and not only easily see the building or object three-dimensionally, but is able to rotate it and test for flaws in the structure all without “formal training.” 

  • What do you do as a dyslexic if you know things that others only know through formal education? Unfortunately, the answer is often that dyslexics struggle with owning their abilities and may end up feeling like “imposters” even while they are performing well and creatively!

Remember, your dyslexic brothers and sisters make up 50% of the employees at NASA!

Help On The Quest

Trusting Yourself 

You might check out this exercise on a simple, relaxed day when you don’t have to interact with other people. It’s about practicing trusting yourself, your intuition, and being kind to yourself.  

  • This exercise may seem to be about noticing choices: which shirt to wear, which kind of tea to drink, which way to drive to the store, which voice to believe inside yourself. However, it’s really about getting to know the Chooser. Some times it’ll be your True Self making the choice, and sometimes it’ll be The Doubter. It’s not at all about doing it correctly or perfectly. It’s about waking up the blueprint of your True Self in a bite-sized way. 
  • So one day, every time you make a choice, no matter which one, play around with telling yourself, “Okay, that’s what I’m going to do now!”  
  • If you find yourself worrying, instead of trying not to worry or beating yourself up about worrying, what happens if you say, “Okay, I’m stressed out and I’m just going to worry about this for a while!” If you have a choice of salad or sandwich and you want the sandwich, try telling yourself, “The sandwich makes the most sense even though I don’t know why, and I am ordering the sandwich!” If there are two routes to drive to the store, pick one. If there’s a lot of traffic you might say to yourself, “Yep, I picked this one and there’s lots of traffic—and that’s okay” or “Something told me to go this way and I’m so glad I did because I missed that traffic snarl!” 
  • The point of this exploration is to get behind whatever you choose, which is actually shifting mental states: By taking the stress off what choice you make, you are shifting into being kind to yourself. The self that is kind is the True Self, and it feels better. As you begin to make choices that feel “right” from the get-go, those are coming directly from your True Self. 
  • There is a prize hidden here—the prize of your True Self—because interestingly, if you persist in this exercise you might find that as you let yourself off the hook of tension for your choices, that more and more often you begin to make and trust the choices which make sense for you. You will know this is true because you will have a feeling of “rightness” and the choice will bring you energy (even if it is active) rather than sap you. 
  • It’s important when you engage in anything that feels “right” that you stop, take a couple of seconds, and feel all the way into your heart and belly and shoulders and energy. Really try on what this “rightness” feels like—it is your essential self, after all! This is practicing the habit of your True Self rather than the Part that has had to feel like an “Impostor.”  

Your True Self 

You’ll notice in all these exercises I’m talking a lot about the True Self. When we are in our True Selves there is just a sense of rightness we feel right into our bones. Your True Self is amazing! You never lost it, but it will take some time to find it if it has gone into safekeeping, and for your security team to go back to the barracks and play cards until they are needed. 

Bring to mind a time when you made a decision that just felt “right.” It could be something big like where you decided to go on vacation, or a hobby you took up. It could be something smaller like deciding which path to hike in the forest. If nothing comes to mind right now, feel into how you might be longingto feel this rightness because it seems like a pretty good thing. That longing is enough to put you in the doorway of your own self.   

When we are in one of our Parts—what I also call the members of our Security Team—we tend to either be expending too much energy (working, figuring out,  overtalking a point, worrying) or we have gone offline (feeling frozen, depressed, low energy). Oops! We’ve fallen off the horse! If you learn to say, Oops! in as kind a way as you can muster, you’ve already started to shift back to your True Self, because it is the True Self that has the mindfulness and consciousness to catch yourself in a kind way. If you aren’t kind as you catch yourself, that toois a security team member. Oops! If you get back on the horse for two seconds, that is enough to start creating a new neural path and waking up your essential self! 

It’s like if you receive ten thousand dollars every month into your bank account. At first, when a lot of folks set out on their healing journeys, they find that they are spending about $9,500 on the security team every month to keep them safe. That only leaves them five hundred bucks to play around with. Not so fun. A reminder, when you hired your security team long ago, it was absolutely necessary, so you can be kind to yourself about having them. As kids and teens, the limiting beliefs and attitudes we adopted (“I have to doubt myself.” “I’d better be invisible.” “If I get angry no one will care.”) began because we had to try to make sense out of a hurtful world. They are the words and actions of the security team. But they are error messages that never got corrected, and instead have become an habitual way to look at the world. If you put on pink sunglasses, everything looks pink. It is our Security Team, or Parts, who espouse these messages and put distorting glasses on ourselves. It is a kind and necessary act is to thank them, give them all a medal, tell them, “I know you’re just worrying about me,” and ask them to Step Back! at least five feet.  

The great—and kind—Identifier of parts, the one who knows whether or not you are overtly or sneakily being one of your security team selves is—you guessed it—your True Self, the mindful observer. So you can begin to notice Vigilant Guy, I’ll Never Be Able To Do It Gal, Suppress the Rage Dude, Hopeless Chick. Oops! They’re just tryin’ to make you safe. Once you start to notice this, you can begin to have a choice to go with their program, or to step out a bit, trust yourself a little even for three seconds! Even notice a miracle! When you practice noticing, daring to feel good, and any acts of mindfulness, love and creativity, you are literally practicing who you truly are, which is an awesome Hero and Heroine on a badass journey. Kudos to you! 

Daily Miracle Practice  

I always love how this practice makes me feel, whether I’m doing it on an already-great day, or whether I’m down in the pits. It shifts something, brightening the dark, or making my light shine even more brightly.  

  • Declare, “Today, a miracle will happen!”   
  • If you believe it at least a tenth of a percent, that’s enough to get yourself looking around for the miracle. The one who is open to receiving a miracle is the True Self.   
  • So, let’s look at the definition of miracle for this exercise. Here’s the one I use: A miracle is anything beautiful, kind, astonishing, touching, cool, surprising. It’s the huge incredible smelling roses that my neighbors grow in their front yard—and yes, I stop and smell the roses. When I do, I make sure I look at the color and vibrancy, inhale the incredible scent, and that I feel gratefulness for having this rose garden to walk by. Then I also make sure I notice the shift into the physical and energetic experience that comes with the appreciation. It’s really important to include the sensory shifts in your body and energy, as those help anchor you in your True Self. So I’ll notice how it’s easier to breathe, that my shoulders have dropped, that my energy feels lighter and some gladness fills my heart.  
  • When we allow ourselves to be grateful, we shift out of our ever-comparing left brain (which can get really negative) and into our right brain and heart. Gratefulness and appreciation activate the neurons in the heart and brain, balance the brain, and help us start to produce feel-good chemicals instead of worry or anger or fear chemicals.   
  • So don’t only look for the big miracles. Winning the Lotto would be nice, of course. But which Lottos have you already won today: the joy of a healthy deep breath of forest air; seeing a hermit crab walk along the beach; the kind smile of a stranger; the joy of your pet at seeing you. The more you take in, the more you see, the more you take in, the better you feel.

Please note, the exercises you will find here are not meant to replace professional help. If you find that they are activating to you, please seek the guidance of a professional. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like a free consult to see how I might accompany you on your journey, please reach out and call me at 415/668-5130.

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