How do you introduce yourself to people?
We usually start with what we do, like our job title or where we went to school. We try to “qualify” ourselves to show our worth.
The problem is when we do this, even with all the qualifications and experience we have, we might still think “Am I enough?” One way this affects us is Imposter Syndrome.
It gives you nagging feelings of unworthiness, and whether there’s someone out there better or smarter than you are at doing what you do. (A lot of celebs suffer with this. For example, even after publishing eleven books and winning several prestigious awards, Maya Angelou used to say “I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out”.)
How do we unlearn this?
It starts with recognising that you are inherently valuable whether you hit the mark or not. Your sense of worth isn’t in your job title, but how you feel about who you are and how you make a difference. If we can learn to challenge the things we say to ourselves, for example, by turning negative words in to something with less of a sting – then we can start to appreciate what we’re bringing to the party.
Here’s something you can try:
This week, set the intention to Turn it Round. Every time you find you’re beating yourself up, or calling yourself a name, stop and see if you can reframe it. Instead of saying to yourself “I’m such an idiot”, you could say “I’m doing my best”. If you find you’re using words like ‘always’ and ‘never’, challenge yourself as to whether or not such absolute statements are true. For example, if you say ‘I’m always so clumsy!” you might say “Sometimes I drop things”. Catch yourself when you say things like “It’s only me”, or “It’s just my opinion” – you matter, and so does your point of view.
You could also ask yourself if it really benefits you to speak to yourself in an unhelpful way; when you realise you’re judging yourself harshly, ask a question like “does it serve me well to think like this?” And when you meet new people, go beyond your job title or where you went to school – introduce yourself in an unforgettable way. (Here’s an article that might help).
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020