Updated: Apr 18
Explore the level of imposter syndrome within you, and then SHATTER it.
First thing's first... dance, sing, let loose, and feel the good vibes flowing in your body! Start the week off right with me. Let's jam to Good as Hell by iconic artist Lizzo.
Not everyday or moment feels this great. So hold on to the reminder that you have the power within you to change both your inner and outer worlds. It's time to reap more of the good stuff you seek. As the leader of your own life, remember this process all begins with the stories you tell yourself in addition to the small, yet powerful mantras flowing in your head and heart moment-by-moment.
Flipping the Script of Selfhood
"Am I good enough?" A mantra running through the minds of girls and women in so many forms. It also grows into an intricate, windy vine of worries and doubts within us as fear takes control.
Am I good enough for this job?
Am I good to enough to be a mom?
Am I good enough as a leader?
Isn't it ironic how each of these questions is often left lingering as we wait for the validation of external sources?
What if we cut to the chase and identified the root cause of this detrimental pondering?
Get comfortable and either meditate or journal...
What are you most afraid to 'not be good enough' for in your life? Where do you feel that fear in your body right now? Breathe bright white light in and out of that space. Identify who taught you this fear. (Hint: You did NOT teach yourself!) Now decide what do you want to do about the limiting belief... hold on to it, give it more power, or release it?
Stick with me if you chose to release it. The next part is simple, but not necessarily easy. With the commitment to release this underserving belief system, you must create at least one mantra that opposes its force to begin rewiring a new thought, behavior, and somatic pattern. Take a moment to write it down. As an example, instead of wondering, "Am I good enough," you may replace the question with a statement of purpose such as, "I am worthy and deserving of abundant love and prosperity."
This is a great start, but now it's time to do the really deep inner work that transforms your self-leadership and takes you up to the next level. You deserve even more and these invasive thoughts brought on by imposter syndrome are no match for your personal power. The problem is that the conditioning of this belief is still sitting in your body and is also stuck in your behaviors. There is good news though! You can develop a simple personal practice to teach yourself this new way of being... and who doesn't want to live as if they are worthy of greatness?
Begin saying your new mantra out loud. Slowly, with confidence, pacing it with full inhales and complete exhales. Image you are speaking through your heart rather than your mind. Feel the new mantra in your body. What are you noticing? If nothing, keep paying attention, eventually you will notice a message presented through your physical body that confirms the exchange - a releasing of heat and tension or perhaps a cool, tingly sensation and sense of calm. Be aware and take a moment to be mindful of this change. Remember how it feels. Anytime that the old belief system begins to present, stop and bring your awareness back to your memory of change. And finally, act 'as if' you truly are worthy of your greatest dreams. This is not a fake-it-till-you-make-it kind of game; rather, it is an opportunity for you to begin modeling to others in your life as well as yourself the richness of life when it's lived on your terms.
Now, let's bring this new sense of worthiness into community with other women.
Building Healthy Sisterhood
Recently, I interviewed my new friend Ilona Seddik about her take on The Code of Sisterhood. (Checkout the conversation called Bright Eyes, Come Out from the Dark.) We talked a lot about the power of storytelling, which is Ilona's superpower, to overcome the negative programming wired and coded within girls and women. Through her own experience of domestic abuse while she was still living in Russia, Ilona learned about the profound lack of legal protection for women due to the disrespect of women and downplaying of serious issues. These value systems determine the worth of women based on cultural rules and societal stories. Imagine, if this hasn't already been a reality for you, that you do not feel safe enough report life-threatening events in your own home due to the disrespect and lack of value placed on you because of your gender.
Unfortunately, it's not that difficult to imagine because as girls and women we experience this regularly in a variety of ways. If you disagree, pay closer attention and be more mindful to the contexts of your daily interactions. From one situation to the next, who acts as if they hold power and authority? How do you and other people respond? How does the dynamic played out on a storyline? What archetype does each character in the story play? What is the short-term and long-term impact of the imposition of one individual or group over another? Perhaps you are lucky enough to experience more intentional and deliberate interactions - this is rare and must be celebrated! But if you recognize that the pages and chapters of the book of your life are filled with horror stories and scenes of othering and control, seek help while you step-up to the challenge and do something big about it! Keep going and do not back down because you will find the right support system, I know it.
We know that culture eats strategy for a snack, so these same themes can be seen played out in an organization and even in community settings.
Rewriting the Rules of Leaderhood
The way women are and have been sexualized in the workplace adds to the already demeaning cultural conditioning and societal norms that keep girls and women hiding their true self, masking, presenting false personas, and questioning their worth. During a recent session of Womanhood in Leadership, a participant shared a disgusting experience that happened upon entering a conference at the onset of her leadership journey. As you might anticipate, she was one of few, and often times the only female in the room representing leaders in her industry. At this specific event, as she walked into the conference hall, men from one table began chuckling as their buddy asked, "Hey, did you bring your sister, too?"
In this moment, what can be done? (Unless we have trained for the moment, the mind and body shift into fight or flight.) If she responded telling them to stop because the behavior is inappropriate, she would have become the bitch. Giggling and flirting back was out of the question per her personal morals, values, and ethics not to mention her professional philosophy and code of conduct. So, she held her head high and moved on with a commitment to improving the narrative of leadership. Not only in that meeting, but also in the years to come as unpredictable and unbelievable moments of inappropriate, harassing, and unethical behavior was perpetuated by both men and women in the space around her. But in each of these moments, the fire burned stronger with a passion not only to transform the field of work she has chosen for life, but also to transform the lived experiences of leaders yet to come.
Perhaps her work has positively impacted your experience as much as mine as a female change agent in this world...
So, let's take inspiration from Lizzo as she invites us to boss up and change our lives! We can have it all, no sacrifice!
How do you want to experience life?
What do you need less or more of to achieve your dream life?
Which detrimental triggers must be dismantled and which enhancing triggers strengthened?
What is one single step to guide you forward?
I am honored to be part of your journey. Please stay in touch and share this Greenhouse blog among your own networks and sisterhoods.