A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about Impostor Syndrome, the “extreme edition” of negative self-talk. Officially, it’s defined as the “psychological phenomenon in which…despite external evidence of their competence, people remain convinced that they are frauds and don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved” – per Wikipedia.
The blog post got quite a response from readers – and I’m not at all surprised. Because we ADHDers subject ourselves to enough toxic levels of self-doubt to set off a Geiger counter.
Just to get you back up to speed, here are some signs that you might be suffering from this ADHD negative-self-talk-on-steroids:
- You feel like a fake.
- You feel like your success was just luck.
- You downplay your successes.
And here are two fabulously successful people reflecting on theirs…
“The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.” –Albert Einstein
“Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this. I’m a fraud.” – Kate Winslett [TWEET THIS]
This blog post is the “2.0” version of the original because here, we’re going to slay this insanity. So whether you are just a dabbler in occasional negative self-talk or a full-blown impostor syndromer, here are five simple steps for getting back to reality…if not self-lovin’…
Take Some #$%&! Credit
Identify where you deserve some credit for whatever success you’ve achieved. Hard work. Getting up every day and giving another go despite what happened yesterday or last week. Coming up with some decent ideas. Find these positives, give them more than a passing thought, and accept them into your heart.
Question the Voice
Recognize that the statements you’re making about yourself are coming from the same place as the ridiculous contention that we are “lazy, stupid or crazy.” And as we ADHDers now know, thanks in part to Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo’s fabulous book with this phrase in its title, we are none of those things. We’re just wired differently. With this in mind, look for the absurdities in your negative views.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
This is a biggie. Through all our foibles and mess-ups and embarrassments and resulting insecurities, we have always looked at the person next to us and thought, “Geez, why can’t I be like HER?!” But fact is, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing! And that seemingly flawless “her” is probably as much a bundle of nerves and self-doubts as you are. (Refer to above quote by Einstein…or any of a million other famous/successful people who we think have their sh*t totally together.)
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
There’s buttloads of research telling us that this really works. For instance, you can become happier just by smiling (has to be a big smile, but it’s proven to work). You can increase your self-confidence by posing like Wonder Woman. This is neuroplasticity at work, by the way. (More on that another day.)
Score Your Successes
We must pay more attention to our successes (as described in ADD Crusher™ Video II, Way 9). ADHD teens and adults tend to “filter out” successes in their thoughts and memories – leaving only their ‘failures’ to dwell on. But it’s not enough just to think about our successes: we have to record them by writing them down. Ideally in a journal, but even if just a stickie note. A written success is remembered. An unrecorded and forgotten success may as well never have occurred.
Stop dwelling on your foibles. Start scoring your successes!
Bottom line, our ability to push forward powerfully has much to do with how we judge our own past.
You are not a fraud. You’re a miracle and a rockstar. Trust me on this. I’m a miracle and a rockstar because I decided I am — notwithstanding my own tremendous self-doubt and ugly past. And you and I are cut from the very same tribal cloth.
Now, will you stand with me in the spotlight of fabulousness?
P.P.S. If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab