I remember listening online to Emma Watson speaking at the UN Headquarters about feminism and feeling moved by the following words -
If not me, who? If not now, when?
Emma was speaking directly to involving and encouraging men to stand up for female rights… But this statement of power hit me in a different way.
It made me feel completely like an imposter, so totally inadequate. Like I wasn’t doing enough for the world.
Those words made me think things like
“Who am I to do great things?”
“Why aren’t I already pushing myself to be better?”
“Someone else will be able to have a bigger impact than I can…”
And these statements aren’t new to me. Something I’ve always known but only recently realised the full impact of is my severe case of Imposter Syndrome. I often believe that I’m not deserving of the success I’ve achieved. And by doing this, I’ve held myself back in so many ways.
Take, for instance, when my face was printed on the cover of Australian Natural Health Magazine.
This was a goal of mine, for the past 3 years, to be such a prominent name in the wellness world that I would be on the cover of a magazine! When I set this goal, my self doubt knew all to well the level of unworthiness and LAUGHED IN MY FACE.
So the magazine came out, much to my shock and surprise, with a familiar face on the cover. And I minimised the experience for myself. I would joke to friends that it was a printing error. I would cut myself down with self deprecating humour so as not to SHINE too brightly because that felt wrong.
Then, I start getting some more high profile speaking gigs. Another goal… tick.
Let me explain, I LOVE standing in front of a crowd a sharing my message. Public speaking energises me and I can say this today - I’m freaking great at it!
But when friends, family, followers and the like would mention my quick increase in exposure, yet again, I would down play the excitement and happiness I felt over this success. Pointing out my flaws, saying “I’m not that good at it, I just speak, no talent required!” which is heavily untrue, public speaking is terrifying to most and it is definitely a skill to be mastered. But again my inner imposter complex reminded me - "it’s safer to play small” and I backed down from the light.
I’ve done this my ENTIRE LIFE.
:: I apologise for existing.
:: I use humour to deflect the light when I’m shining.
:: I point out every flaw I can possibly find in myself.
:: I over prepare and jump with hesitation.
Only when spending the weekend with women I heavily admire, successful women in my industry who are making a difference, did this come to light in it’s entirety.
I spent the weekend wondering why on earth I was being blessed to be in the presence of such inspiring women? I cried about it. I was bloody confused!
They pointed out - Imposter Complex. They directed me to the website of Tanya Geisler and I have completely devoured all I can of her message.
I’m not healed. I’m leaning into the discomfort of this transition in my confidence. It’s hard. It’s scary. It’s exciting. Because now, when looking at the words Emma Watson spoke, I can feel the heat rising. Because there is something there to shine and if not this part of me, who? If not now… Maybe never.
I’m not doing never. There is too much goodness to keep sharing in this world.
So this is where I am. And maybe you are too?
Lets stop. Lets have permission to do the good, be the light and not send out apologies to invisible inner critics.
Thank you for being a part of my journey. If you see me dulling myself down, kick my butt into shine mode, please.