In the first of our two-part series on how to overcome imposter syndrome, Lindsay Hite, founder and photographer for Show Your Spark located in Braintree, MA, shared from her meditation room how she actively works against the fear and anxiety of imposter syndrome.
We continue to share her thoughts from a pep talk she gave in November 2021 to Show Your Spark, our private Facebook group, designed to help lift up anyone who identifies as a woman, so she can feel empowered in her own skin.
Grab a hot cup of tea, snuggle under a blanket, and take a deep breath. Give yourself the opportunity to think and reflect on these three additional tips and further insight into Lindsay’s own personal journey to learning how to BE in the present moment.
Tip # 4: Remain in the Present
Some philosophers and spiritual leaders believe that all discomfort we experience is caused by resisting the present moment. When you think about it, most anxiety comes when we move out of the present and either live in the future or replay the past. My anxiety is the highest when I am thinking thoughts like, “Did I do the wrong thing? What are they going to think of me? Am I going to fail? Am I going to mess this up?”
When I choose to come back to the present moment, to breathe, and return to the safety of now, I find peace and calm.
Here’s another quote from Eckhart Tolle that has helped me with thinking through the root of my anxious thoughts.
“Have you ever experienced, done, thought, or felt anything outside the now? Do you ever think you ever will? Is it possible for anything to happen or be outside The Now? Nothing has ever happened in the past, or the future. It has happened now!”
It’s a trippy thought, isn’t it! But it’s true! Things happen in the present moment.
When you think of the past, that is actually a memory trace stored in the mind of a former now. When you remember the past, you reactivate and then retrace and you do so now. The future is imagined and thus a projection of the mind. When the future comes, it comes as the now. When you think about the future, you do it now. The past and future obviously have no reality of their own, just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun. So our past and future are only pale reflections of the light, power, and reality of the present. Their reality is borrowed from the now.
Practical Tip: Practice Meditation
I find meditation to be a useful tool that grounds me in the present. When I sit in this room, when I meditate, often my mind drifts to the past or the future, especially when I am setting my intention. I try to bring it back to the breath and imagine the sky filled with clouds and those clouds drifting away.
Allowing my mind to clear while I ground myself in the present can be challenging when I find I have a to-do list that will not leave me alone. This leads to my next tip.
Tip # 5: Create a realistic to-do list.
Something that helps me manage my anxious thoughts is to make an honest and realistic to-do list. I have been known to put more things on my list than there are hours in the day. So, these days, I try to put realistic timeframes on each of the items on my list.
As an entrepreneur, the lists are never-ending! With a desire to do things just right, I can often allow small tasks to consume more time than necessary.
Practical Tip: Create Time Buckets
One thing that has been helpful for me, when scheduling my days, is to create “time buckets” for each task, limiting the amount of time I devote to the item. This way, tasks will only stretch out to take the amount of time I give them, not beyond.
I have been learning that as much as I desire things to look and be perfect, done is better than perfect, and perfect doesn’t actually exist. Now, I strive for progress over perfection. By releasing the thoughts that perfection is a necessity, or even attainable at all, I give myself permission to rest and be, which in turn decreases my anxiety.
Tip # 6: Cultivate a Gratitude List
One of my favorite tools to battle anxiety and stress is a gratitude list. If I’m ever feeling frustrated with people, things, or situations, or fear that I don’t have enough, I turn to my gratitude and manifesting journal. In this journal, I write out my gratitude lists and the things I want to manifest in my life. After I write them out, I set my mind on those thoughts.
These activities help bring me back to the present moment, align myself with positive energy, and release any fears of the future or regrets of the past.
Practical Tip: Make lists of five.
Not sure where to start? Try making lists of five.
- Five accomplishments you are proud of.
- Five things you love about yourself.
- Five things you love about your body.
- Five things you love about the life you’ve created so far.
- Five things you’re proud of.
Once completed, read your list over and over all day. Write down any beliefs that shift for you, or any “aha” moments that come up.
I find that this practice always has a way of shifting my energy. I’m curious if it does the same for you!
Since I’m sharing these thoughts from my meditation space, I thought I would share the following thought prompt that was asked of me by my personal coach. It feels relevant to this conversation, so I want to share it, and my own response, with you. I encourage you to take some time to reflect on this question yourself and see what comes up for you.
What would be a time that you felt a connection to the clarity and peace in your body?
Sitting on my surfboard
Last summer at sunset in Gloucester,
Waiting for the next wave,
Not anxious or eager,
Just at peace in that moment.
Surrounded by strong and supportive,
Independent and encouraging women
Feet dangling in the water,
Upright on my board,
Watching the sunset,
Knowing that all is well,
Connected to the life forces of the earth,
Water and sun and at peace |
In my mind
Reassured by spirit
All is well.
You are exactly
Where you need to be.
You are supported.
You are healthy, accepted.
You are abundant.
You are alive and
You are free.
I reluctantly paddled back
to shore as the sun went down.
Glancing over my shoulder
At its beautiful rays
Dipping down behind the houses
Peacefully departing with the promise
Of a new day just around the corner.
I slept well that night
As my body, mind, and spirit
You can overcome Imposter Syndrome. You are not alone!
If you struggle with Imposter Syndrome, remember you are NOT alone. Anxiety and fear are often part of the human condition, but they don’t have to be our status quo.
I hope these thoughts and practical tips on how to overcome imposter syndrome, written from my heart, are helpful for you.
If you haven’t yet joined our private Show Your Spark Facebook Group, we invite you to continue the conversation in that space with us.
Remember, you are powerful, courageous, and one of a kind. You are enough, just as you are in this moment. Breathe that in, and then go out and Show Your Spark!