Who is Fredericka, I hear you saying.
Fredericka isn’t a close friend, a confidante and nor is she an enemy of mine. Of course, she isn’t an enemy Robyn! Otherwise, why would you be having coffee with her?
Fredericka is the name that I have given that little voice in my head. That impostor – that presence that behaves as if they care for your well-being, but “say” things that can be unresourceful to hear.
Ok. Now I imagine you are being a little suspicious of my overall well-being. Voices in my head, AND you have given those voices a name – an identity!
Yep. Fredericka is the impostor syndrome that I suffer from. In fact, it is estimated that over 70% of us suffer from it – and it can be quite debilitating.
Debilitating if you aren’t aware of it at least.
impostor syndrome – a definition
In a nutshell, it is the doubt that creeps in around your abilities and your accomplishments.
You feel like a fraud and worry that people are going to catch out your achievements, as simply being fate, or luck.
Wikipedia describes it as follows:
“..internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be.”
And, my oh my, it is an internal experience!
so, why coffee with fredericka?
…because, although I had told her to take a hike, she pops in from time to time.
I think just to catch up with my progress.
And it is progress for sure.
I know though, that she means no harm. I think that she pops in to try and keep me safe, to try and assert herself into my journey, so that journey is not too overwhelming for me – so that I am not disappointed.
However, she does (at times) also keep me from fully believing that all I have done, is because of my strong belief in myself; the skills that I have learnt and that my accomplishments are only “lucky”.
So, I sat and “had” coffee with her. I purposefully sat and wrote out a list of all of my resources, my skills, my accomplishments and then identified how it was me who had actioned these things. Me, who had decided on a career change. Me, who had decided to go online so that I could accomplish my lofty goals.
Whohee! And did we have a discussion on those goals!
I will tell you about that, but before I do, a while ago, I wrote a blog on how I told Fredericka to take a hike.
Catch up with this blog to get an in-depth insight into my mind in this regard – if you dare 🙂
my goals and what fredericka said
She flat out told me that I was mad!
25 more Camino’s – on those hips! Never!
Yes, I told her, but this is why I have done what I have done. This is why I always had to give myself time. Time to do as many, and as slowly as I need to.
And don’t call me mad! I retorted. Dreams are mad! That’s what they are supposed to be!
You might doubt my ability, but I have put plans in place to help me, and I don’t doubt that I am able to do this!
Ha! She replied. What about your first client? That was pure luck!
What?! I yelled. That was based fully on how I help others to see through voices like you, so you best watch yourself going forward! The whole lot of you!
In response, I asked Fredericka, how do you account for the other clients?
Fredericka was quiet.
You see this is critical when you invite your impostor syndrome for coffee, there must be a dialogue.
Listen to that voice and counteract it! As you listen, and as you respond there are lessons for you to learn.
Lessons that empower you. Lessons that remind you of how far you have come. Lessons that keep you moving forward.
We finished our coffee as allies
I know this might sound counterintuitive.
The way I see it though, and it’s based on that old adage of keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer.
That little voice of Fredericka has not stopped me in my path yet, but at least I know this little voice and I also know how to counteract it!
So if there are lessons to be learnt from Fredericka going forward, I will listen, counteract and move on regardless.
That’s super powerful.
And we are all super powerful.
fear and impostor syndrome are friends
Primarily it is our fear of being caught out as a fraud.
You can imagine high achievers constantly feeling that someone is going to see through the facade.
“It’s because of all of the people that have helped me, that’s why I have made it this far”
We forget, however, all the work and all the time that has gone into developing ourselves. How we were supported but it was us who did the work!
We forget this and the fear grows.
But fear not!
Fear can be addressed head-on like this:
F – Find
E – Evaluate
A – Action
R – Response
Finding what it is exactly that is creating your fear. Often it is False Evidence Appearing Real. Another cool acronym, well-known in the coaching realm.
Evaluating your fear as to whether it is that false evidence, or whether it is warranted. We are programmed to respond to fear, to keep us safe and often what we are fearful of is unlikely going to kill us. Our caveman ancestors obviously had a different version of fear.
Action is always the antidote to fear. Accepting it and moving forward moves us into a space of confidence. Always.
The response we get from that action puts paid to that little voice of doubt; that voice questioning your ability and it reminds us that in fact, we are the creators of our own achievements.
listen, learn and counteract
In closing my dear powerful ones, listening to that voice is quite alright. As long as you are not falling into the trap of disbelieving your inner power.
Learn what you need to. Understand that there are lessons in our uncomfortable times because this is when we grow in self-development.
Always, always counteract that voice. Pointing out your wins, your achievements. If you forget these achievements make out a list to keep as a reminder.
They are YOURS and YOURS alone.