All my life there was a voice in my head that loved to tell me off. Not in an ‘I-hear-voices’ kind of a way, just thoughts taking shape as words, like an internal narrator of my life. Of course because the voice was me, it knew all my deepest fears & weaknesses. All the right buttons to push & which fears to play on, bringing imposter syndrome into my everyday world.
I spent endless hours beating myself up for what I should’ve said or shouldn’t have done. All those social and workplace gaffs that made me cringe.
Somehow, miraculously, no-one else seemed to notice them. But I did. I noticed them all. They’d replay over and over in glorious technicolour & dolby surround sound, (Dolby Atmos & 4k Digital hadn’t been invented back then).
A good friend and colleague of mine calls this sort of thing ‘Mind Monsters’. They’re worth checking out.
Mind Monsters. It’s a stunningly apt phrase and one I wish I’d thought up myself…
‘…well of course you didn’t think it up. You’re not creative enough…’ pipes up my own monster.
My monster always told me off in the third person, as if I was someone else. [As an aside, if internal bullying were a thing, which I suspect it is by the way, does that make me the bully or the victim? Who, exactly, was bullying who?]
Anyway, the upshot is, for much of my life I was disappointed with who I was, what I’d achieved. Somehow, I wasn’t the person I should’ve been. I could’ve been so much more or so I told myself. Often.
This sort of deep-seated unease is very common, it’s often called imposter syndrome. As we grow we pick up all sorts of clues and cues about our place in the world, what our life is supposed to become. Our destiny if you like.
It all adds up to an unspoken expectation of what you’re supposed to be. Who you’re supposed to grow up to become.
Whilst this expectation can be a great motivator, it can fall foul of the whole ‘grow up to become’ thing. You see, who you’re going to be always lies in the future. Your ‘destiny’ is always out there somewhere, if only you can reach it.
Which means that right now, (and let’s face it, it always is ‘now’ when you take stock), you’re always falling short. You can never actually be the person you’re going to be. So you’re always in a state of failure.
It trains you to measure what you’re not and to totally ignore what you already are.
And that’s the point of this article.
‘You’re not who you’re going to be… yet’
This simple little word allows you to accept and take credit for where you are now. Appreciate the things you’ve already achieved in getting here. At the same time, it gives you the space to grow, to do more, learn more, progress even further.
It’s a magic word that flips a fixed mindset, (I’m not/never good enough & I’m stuck with what I’ve got) into a growth mindset, (I’ve learned so much & I can learn even more).
Those perfect versions of who we’re supposed to be exist to give us impetus, drive us forwards. It’s the gap between where we are and where we’re ‘meant’ to be that powers the drive, the motivation to progress even more. If you choose.
‘Yet’ created one of those paradigm shifts that calmed my mind monster right down and let it morph into a companion, a coach, a mentor instead.
Now hopefully this little discussion’ll help you appreciate where you are in life and how far you’ve already come. And still encourage you to want to do more.
But if it doesn’t or if you need some help to calm down those monsters in your mind, do get in touch.
Change is often easier than you think.
This is where Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help. By addressing these underlying core issues, you can update your mind and move into meaningful growth.
Get in touch today and let’s discuss your next steps.