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You're Not Fooling Anyone

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The Leap To Lead
You're Not Fooling Anyone

Consider for a moment the context busy mums are working from today. From the societal pressure of trying to do it all, to the changing circumstances of our life as we become the sandwich (stuck between supporting ageing parents and our young family) is it any wonder that many of us struggle to feel valued? Struggle to feel worthy? 

The struggle is real, pretty much every day, for many women. Doubting that we are good enough. Doubting that we should even try. Doubting that we are getting it right. Wondering why we constantly feel undervalued. Wondering why we constantly feel taken for granted. Flip flopping between I’m ok to why do I even bother!

Feeling inadequate in life is the reality for so many of us. Even if we might be doing OK in one aspect of life, we belittle ourselves when it’s not in every aspect of life. How we view our life and what we are achieving affects our thoughts, how we treat those we love, how we treat ourselves. 

Often our journey takes different twists and turns, as a result our path looks different to the men in our lives. Let’s face it, their path is often very linear! Because we take time out of our career, because we often have to reinvent ourselves, we experience different paths and then comes a stage when we notice our life plateaus. We beat ourselves up because of this, only reigniting the spiral. 

What I’m describing here is imposter syndrome, and unfortunately it is super common and almost a normal phase of life for so many of us midlife women. We just don’t talk about it. We ignore it. Or even worse, we think we’re doing something wrong and get angry at ourselves.

Here’s 3 signs that imposter syndrome is sneaking into your life: 

1. You find yourself feeling stuck. Maybe you've stagnated, your return to work hasn’t been all you thought it should be. Maybe going for that promotion feels overwhelming. Maybe you are trying to have it all and you’re feeling burnt out.  

2. You feel a strain on your relationships. With the new roles of mid life, from shifting responsibilities and that sandwich effect. With the pressure you feel trying to do it all. It puts extra pressure on the connections you do have. 

3. You feel unhappy with your physical self. Maybe you’ve over indulged lately and your jeans are a little tighter. Maybe you choose netflix over heading out for a walk today. Maybe you struggle to find a routine that accommodates exercise. Maybe you just don’t like the way you’re ageing and what that says about you.

If any of these signs resonate for you, then you’re not fooling anyone, least of all yourself. Start now by recognising imposter syndrome for what it is, a mental state that you can change. Life doesn’t have to be this way, you can acknowledge how you’re feeling and start to reframe the stories for yourself. Try this, instead of “I’ll exercise next week when I have more time”, tell yourself “I’m going out for 10 minutes right now, that’s all I need to start.” Importantly, talk about how you’re feeling with your friends and family, you’re not alone and by sharing where you’re at your friends and family can support you. 

Imposter syndrome is very common and a normal phase of life, especially for women. Know that it’s ok, it’s just part of your journey and start today to shift the stories you’re telling yourself. You’ve got this!


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