Thank you Bridie for introducing to us the imposing presence of the impostor syndrome. I was very much inspired by your unveiling of the insidious illness and I would like to introduce my own ideas of how people can have another source of resistance against self-negativity.
I call it a secret weapon, a weapon that has been cultivated for centuries at the hands of the very enemies who were/are loudest in proclaiming that someone is insipid, useless, unable or inferior. This weapon is a fathomless well of motivation and determination to prove all the nay-sayers wrong. This well has catastrophic powers, with the possible consequences of pushing people to take a sledge hammer to the glass ceiling, stampede down road blocks to equal rights, catapult over exceptions and to take a sharpie to the official rule book.
Now, what does this “well” (as I call it) have to do with the impostor, you may ask? Think of it as yin and yang. To every situation there is an equal and opposite force. In this case, where there is a voice telling you that you can’t, there is also a voice declaring that you can. When the impostor voice insists that you are not qualified, it feeds the well with reasons about why you are! (Besides that fact that you are a boss, of course). We are all different. For different people, perhaps this well isn’t gushing like Niagara Falls, but instead is the size of a raindrop. Or perhaps, that person takes their inspiration or motivation from a different source. My idea is just another illustration of where inspiration can spring and another way to visualize it. (Metaphors rock!) Also, I was raised specifically to think in terms of negative and positive energy. These terms have been called many things, from karma, to luck, to a whole plethora of other descriptions of parts of the human experience that affects not only our outlook but how we view and feel things ourselves.
Let me tell you a story in order to make clear how this is especially true for me.