A couple of weeks ago, the company I work for,Flying Cat Marketing, organized an Imposter Syndrome workshop with Oliva, our mental health provider.
We all know what Imposter Syndrome is about and we’ve all had it (or will have it) at some point in our lives and careers because it’s actually very natural and common.
The interesting thing about this workshop for me was that I got to do it with my team, the people I work with hand-in-hand every single day.
They have my back and I have theirs, but... did I know that there were so many people struggling with it?
No, I didn’t.
I didn’t know that, but I also didn’t know that Imposter Syndrome could express itself in so many different ways!
More than what I learned about it, is what I learned about my own teammates.
Now I’ll be more careful with this person while giving constructive feedback. Now I’ll be more mindful with this person because they know they have a hard time asking for help
Teams are based on trust. Trust is based on vulnerability. We can only disclose our vulnerability confidently when we open up these spaces for dialogue and empathy
And I’m so very proud this has come to be a priority at FCM.
I encourage you to do the same with your team: find the time to discuss your inner battles, to share your feelings, to discuss the way you think.
I guarantee you’ll learn something new about them and about yourself that will make you stronger and better.
To motivate you even more, I’ve compiled a list of practical exercises to deal with Imposter Syndrome and negative thoughts that you can discuss and share with your team (below in the first comment)
These are NOT mine, I didn’t invent them.
These are just things I’ve learned from different sources in my personal quest for balance, and mental and emotional wellbeing.
And now are yours to practice and share.
I hope they’ll be supportive 💛
If you’re experiencing limiting beliefs (for example, “I’ve never get to launch my business”, or “I’m not creative enough to be this or that”, then pause, grab pen and paper and let’s reframe those limitations (that are only in your mind!).
1. What is the limiting behavior I’m showing?
2. What is the limiting belief that’s supporting that limiting behavior?
3. What is the source or the origin of that limiting belief?
4. How is this limiting belief serving me, for better or for worse? (There’s a reason why we hold on to limiting beliefs, even if they’re also hurting us)
5. What are the consequences of perpetuating this limiting belief?
6. Is this a limiting belief an absolute truth, or just a story I’m telling to myself?
7. What would _______ (fill in the gap with your deity, could be God, gods, the Universe, or even someone you deeply admire and look up to) say of this limiting belief I have?
8. Reframe and write your new truth, belief, or thought
Whenever you detect the trace of a harmful pattern (like saying mean things to yourself, feeling a knot on your throat, hyperventilating, etc):
Stop what you’re doing and change environments. If possible, go into nature or take a walk
We’d never speak to our best friends, or family members the same way we talk to ourselves. Be gentle, compassionate, and patient with your own mind. Make it a nice place to be in.
Learn how to reframe a bad or harmful situation, experience, behavior, or thought by applying the 5 whys. We tend to always reduce things that go wrong to feel like “I’m not good enough”, “this is not my thing”, or “I shouldn’t be so ambitious with my goals”.
The 5 whys exercise will help us identify the different and various roots of the bad situation or thought in order to change it for a better outcome in the future.
Let’s go with an example:
Situation: I missed a deadline at work
Sometimes it happens that someone tells us something that hurt us and we blindly believe it and accept it as absolute truth. Most of the time, that someone is ourselves.
When that happens, do a reality check. Let’s do it with an example:
Situation: an employee told me I’m a bad manager
Actual facts that support that assessment: once I missed a meeting with that employee and stood him up, once they told me they needed support and I couldn’t give it timely
Actual facts that support the opposite, that I’m a good manager: the way my other employees say they love my managing style, the way I got promoted twice, I push myself to be better each day, I take courses to improve the way I manage
Verdict: Do facts support what this employee is telling me? While I might have been at fault on my management duties to him sometimes, that does not make me a bad manager because the actions I take and the decisions I make every day are always supporting my journey to be a better manager each day
Make a list of all the things that you truly enjoy doing. It could be: dancing, singing that specific song, walking my dog, painting mandalas, playing the guitar, going for a run, etc.
Get that list handy and in plain sight in your workstation.
Whenever you’re feeling down, worthless, or like you’re starting to beat yourself up, pick one of your Mood shifters, take a 15 min break, and go boost your endorphins!
Make a list of all your major achievements in life. Recall those moments in which you felt powerful, invincible, full of life, purpose, and joy
Get that list handy and in plain sight in your workstation.
Whenever you’re feeling down, worthless, or like you’re starting to beat yourself up:
Stand in superhero pose: stand up, legs shoulders-wide, chest up, chin slightly up, hands to your lower back
Start recalling your major achievements one by one: say it aloud, close your eyes, go back to that moment and that day, and feel what you felt back then
Journaling is a way of putting our thoughts into a structure, brain-dumping our thoughts to make some headspace, and noting how we feel to identify cues and triggers in the future to stop our vicious circles.
Whenever you feel a strong emotion, feeling, or thought, whether is good or bad, go to your journal and write down: