I am going to be a bit vulnerable on here today. Jordan and I are both go-getters, ready for any challenge, almost always willing to say yes to something new, and constantly filling our cups to the brim. With that, comes my persistent battle with imposter syndrome. The fight against 'you will never be a good wife, farmer, friend, sister, aunt...' the list goes on forever. With the week we had on the farm I felt those feelings creeping in once again. Trying to pull me off course. Trying to tell me that I am not a good farmer, not a good caretaker, and will never be. But is that really true...
TIME OUT. Now this is not about me.... I am sharing my experiences so that maybe it can encourage and help you in your own journey. But before we jump in to how to combat imposter syndrome, let's define it. According to the dictionary Imposter Syndrome is "the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills." My personal definition is "I have no idea what I am doing, I am a phony and soon the world will know it." Can you relate? If so this post is for you.
First I want you to know that you are not alone. A lot of people struggle with imposter syndrome, some more than others. This isn't the 'fake it till you make it' scenario, this is true self doubt and negative thinking. So how do we combat those lies when they start to creep in? Let me give you a few tips that have found helpful in my own life.
Get Off Social Media!
Seriously y'all this works. The amount of time you spend scrolling, looking at the perfectly curated moments of other peoples lives can be so harmful. We compare our homes, friendships, marriages, farms, and kids to the few seconds we see on their stories or reels. I was (and still am at times) SO guilty of this, until I remembered what success on our farm truly meant.
Start small by setting limits for yourself. Maybe it's setting a limit of 1 hour/week or maybe you need to completely remove the app from your phone. If you don't know what a good limit is, ask your spouse or a close friend to help you set those boundaries. I think we forget that social media is a way to connect, not a way to live. Which leads me into my second tip.
Do Something You Enjoy
This is one of my favorite ways to combat imposter syndrome. Fight those negative thoughts with something that brings joy. Doing this helps shift our mindset away from all the negativity. For me, I love finding new music and being creative. I can't tell you exactly what to do since everyone finds enjoyment in different ways, but I can provide a few ideas:
Go outside and take a walk
Grab a coffee with your best friend
Dance to your favorite song
Play with your dog or cat or cow 😉
Cook your favorite meal
Head to the gym or workout at home
Read a book
Watch your favorite movie
Talk to a friend
Sometimes the imposter syndrome is only defeated by a friend who is willing to speaking truth into the situation. This can be a spouse, parent, mentor, friend, or sibling. It's the person that will see you when you are struggling and know exactly how to encourage you. I am so thankful for the amazing people God has brought into my life. If you are really struggling, call your friend. Let them speak truth over you. If you don't know who to call, start with Jesus. He is always there.
Reflect On How Far You Have Come In Your Journey
I could write a whole blog on this one... oh wait... I already did. But seriously I think we forget to look back on how far we can come. Progress is progress. For this one, I like to journal in a timeline format. Start by drawing a straight line across the page. The beginning of the line can be 1 year ago or 30 years ago. Start adding in big milestone, like high school graduation, first job, moving to a new state etc. Then fill in the timeline with good memories, hard times, and everything in between. Nothing is too small to be left out. Just add it in. When you finish... take it all in. Look how far you have come. Reflect on how much you have grow and remind yourself that you are actually pretty amazing!
Celebrate your successes
Don't discount this one y'all. Imposter syndrome will make you feel like you don't have anything to celebrate. Which is exactly why I put this after reflecting on your journey. This is when you can take the time to celebrate what you have already accomplished. Combating those negative thoughts and reminding yourself that you actually have done much more than you may think. So celebrate! Now, I don't necessarily mean you need to throw a party with every win. You certainly can if you are into that, but there are so many ways to celebrate your success that don't require lots of planning or partying. Here are a few of my favorite ways:
Share the success with a friend
Take a day of rest
Buy a new vinyl record or something I really enjoy
Take a nap
This list may sound simple but I know first hand that it can be hard to do. If you find yourself really struggling with imposter syndrome, don't be afraid to ask for help. We are not meant to walk through this crazy journey alone. By no means are these tips a cure, and I am not a mental health professional. I am just sharing what works for me when I feel those thoughts creep in and try to steal my joy and motivation. Maybe you don't struggle with imposter syndrome, but maybe someone around you does. Maybe you will be the friend who is called and you can use these tips to encourage them and help them in their journey. Either way, I pray that you found these tips helpful.
How can I pray for you?