Do you ever feel like an imposter in your parenting journey? Like one day someone will catch you out as a fraud? Like your kids will need therapy to recover from the dark secrets in your life?
In this episode you’ll discover how to overcome imposter syndrome in parenting.
[3:43] What is imposter syndrome in parenting?
A quick google of imposter syndrome will result in articles all relating to imposter syndrome within our careers or professions. But what about imposter syndrome in parenting? Imposter syndrome is just as real in parenting as it is in the professional world and it can leave us feeling frozen, low, alone and end up robbing us of the joy in parenting.
If you have ever thought ‘I’m not really who you think I am’ you have dealt with imposter syndrome. Or when someone gives you a compliment you think and perhaps even say thanks, but…, that’s imposter syndrome. Believing that if someone knew the whole picture or saw you behind closed doors they would take the compliment they just gave you back.
[8:29] Make it go away!!
Denying the feelings, as much as we may want to, won’t make them go away. Feelings can only go away when they have been felt. Feeling like an imposter can leave us feeling uncomfortable in our own skin. Or on the flip side it can over inflate our egos to compensate the feelings of lack. We end up going around the feelings instead of getting to the core of it.
[9:59] You’re not alone!
I have a little secret… EVERYONE feels this way! While you may think that person is perfect in some way she has most likely looked at you and thought that you were perfect in a way she isn’t. Everyone has an Achilles heel, especially in parenting. So what may seem easy to you could be incredibly difficult for them.
Thought to ponder for the day: If everyone feels like an imposter maybe no one is? Maybe if everyone feels as though they aren’t measuring up we all are actually measuring up.
[12:55] Live in integrity
Are you trying to be something you’re not? If I say I do something that I don’t actually do I’m not in integrity. When I’m not in integrity I will feel like an imposter. This isn’t to say you need to air all your dirty laundry or share every detail about your life. It also doesn’t mean that you cannot show up as your best self, the person you want to be. It simply means to not come out with big bold statements that you cannot stand behind. If you live in your truth and in your integrity then you won’t be and therefore won’t feel like an imposter.
[16:07] There’s more than one way to do it
If you are trying to fit into a mold that just doesn’t fit you or your family you can feel like an imposter. Ask yourself what are you faking to be. What mold are you trying to fit into? There’s not one right mold. If there’s not a right mold why try to fit into one that doesn’t fit you? That mother is doing it one way and you are doing it another way, both ways can be beautiful and therefore can be celebrated.
[18:29] It’s not ALL about you!
I get it, your child acts out in public, you feel the eyes on you, you hear the voices of judgement in your head. But, what you need to realize is that is where the voice actually is, your head. Yes, maybe the parents that see are judging you, but not for long. They have other things to think about and worry about. We are all self-centered creatures and in this aspect that is quite liberating. No one is thinking about you or judging you, they are worried about themselves.
Even if they are in fact judging you and you know that for sure, it still has nothing to do with you. They judge you because they feel judged or they sit in judgement of themselves.
[20:13] Own your greatness! 💪
When someone gives you a compliment are you giving yourself permission to own your greatness? Majority of the circumstances of parenthood are out of your control. You cannot take credit or place blame for your child’s tantrum just like you can’t take credit or place blame for the weather. You CAN take credit for the things that are in your control. The things you are working on. You yelled less yesterday, own that, celebrate it! After reading a parenting book and are now connecting with your kids on a deeper level, celebrate that! You listened to this podcast and are kicking imposter syndrome to the curb so you can be more present in your life – own that effort!
[23:16] Mistakes are okay
Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are part of every game that we play in this larger game of life. A mistake is just that, a mistake. It does not mean you’re not a real parent or a peaceful parent or a conscious parent or any other type of parent or person you are trying to be. When you realize that mistakes are just part of the game you’ll start feeling less like an imposter.
[25:33] Put it down! 📱
Get off social media from time to time. Seeing everyone’s edited picture perfect images on instagram and comparing them to the mess you currently see in your home is not doing you any favors. Everyone is not as happy as they seem. There is no reason to compare your backstage to everyone else’s front stage.
[26:17] Be weird!
If you want to stop feeling like an imposter you need to stop trying to fit in. Instead learn to belong. To belong to yourself, to accept yourself as you are.
“True belonging is not passive. It’s not the belonging that comes with just joining a group. It’s not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it’s safer. It’s a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who we are. – Brené Brown”
Since when did fitting in become the thing we aspire to? Should we abandon the things that are true to us because we might not fit in? Who cares if you don’t fit into a group or society that requires you to change who you are in order to fit in? That’s not real belonging.
In any given moment you can choose to accept who you are. Then you will find the people and places where you can belong. In those places you won’t need to fit in.
[31:06] Your Super Power 🦸♀️
You probably don’t even realize you have a super power. When you think of your super power you think everyone does it. The reality is, they don’t. Or if they do it may not come to them as naturally as it does to you. There are a million things we do as parents, at least one of those things is your zone of genius. Focus on the things you do great or easily.
[32:31] Fake it ‘til you make it
If there are things you want to change, working on those things and changing them does not make you an imposter. To become happier you force yourself to smile more often. You want to speak kindly, so you force yourself to speak kindly more often. This isn’t about being fake or inauthentic, it’s about rewiring your brain.
[34:17] You’re a different you
People change all the time. You are not the same person you were 5 years ago, 5 weeks ago, or even 5 minutes ago. We are constantly changing. You can be different things throughout this lifetime.
[35:35] Be an eternal student
There are so many ways to be a parent. Remember that our downfalls are our best learning opportunities.
[36:44] Extinguish Imposter Syndrome! 🧯
One of the best ways to extinguish your imposter syndrome is to speak your vulnerabilities out loud. Am I the only one? What’s your experience with this? When we normalize the feeling of uncertainty in parenting and speak it to a friend, partner, parent, journal, FB group (like the free & awesome FB community Love Parenting with Avital) we can extinguish those feelings of being an imposter.
[37:48] Life is short
Not to get all morbid but at some point our bodies will expire and we will be done with this life. How much time of this life do you want to spend being apologetic for who you are or how you are living your life? All of your “but I….” qualifiers are a waste of precious time and energy. You could instead spend that time building a sense of joy, love and connection with your family. Build in its place a sense of “I’m rocking this.” I am who I am, perfectly imperfect.
If you want to see the ways I have imposter syndrome in parenting including my “fails” and successes, check out my blog post here.
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The blog post I mentioned where I was at my worst and smashed the Lego