So here’s the scoop: Imposter syndrome can be debilitating. We all suffer from it, some of us daily. Feeling like a fraud can paralyze you into indecision, causing you to never take a step forward.
But here's the thing, even if you don't always feel it... you are talented. You are enough. You are valuable. You have gifts that need to be shared with the world so that you can serve others and help make this world a better place. I know that sounds cheesy. But it's absolutely true about all of us!
Most of the time, meditating on those positive thoughts push me past the ugly, naysaying self talk. But what do you do when positivity doesn't keep the inner critic at bay? Don’t get me wrong, I’m typically a very bubbly, positive person. But even the jolliest folks of the world experience negative self talk.
Fair warning: It's about to get a little woo-woo in here.
I don't know if it's 2020, the pandemic, or just what comes with age, but I've been feeling the need for something more in my spiritual life. I've always felt intuitive. I was that weird kid who had three imaginary friends. (I think it freaked my mom out a bit, so she put me in kindergarten a year early.) I usually know when things are about to happen and I’ve recognized that spiritual knowing runs on my mom’s side of the family. I've researched many different religions and paths to spiritual enlightenment though I'm still left craving connection.
Late last year, I fortuitously met a beautiful soul inside an accelerator group. Her name is Robin Finney, known as The Wandering Aunt. Robin is an oracle, intuitive, and authenticity guide. In that group, Robin’s goal was to create her own course that teaches others how to tap into the heart of Oracle. I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know all the goodness she has to teach. As soon as she opened up her course, I signed up.
When I say I'm oh so very glad I did... Smackity jackity y'all! I found my people! In a matter of four short weeks, I feel like I was able to connect on a spiritual level with other like-minded individuals in this class, something I’ve been craving. Robin created a safe space for us to learn and better understand how Oracle works as well as how to integrate it within our lives. This knowledge struck me and a light bulb went off. I realized that Oracle could help corral those moments where I tend to get shiny object syndrome. Little did I know that oracle cards would help me cope with imposter syndrome as well.
Recognize the Signs of Imposter Syndrome
When you're in business for yourself, it’s easy to feel spread thin, like butter scraped over too much bread. (thank you JRR Tolkien and Bilbo Baggins.)
After doing some reflecting, I've come to realize that when I feel spread thin, that's when imposter syndrome seems to surprise me with a sneak attack. Last night was no different.
As I lay in bed last night, next to my sleeping husband, the worry and insurmountable stress started to grow within me. Imposter syndrome was worming its way into my thoughts to confuse me and cause inaction. So, I decided to do a spontaneous Oracle reading.
Combatting the Feelings of Fraudulence with Oracle Cards
Now if you're unfamiliar with oracle cards, there's really no right or wrong way. You just go with what feels right in the moment. It's about trusting your intuition, following your heart, and listening to your gut.
Feeling confused about where my focus should be in my business, a frequent worry of mine, I felt compelled to look to Oracle to guide me. I grabbed my cell phone and opened the app, Wisdom of the Oracle by Colette Baron-Reid. I was drawn to do a 5 card spread, whereas typically I would only pull one card for a reading. I closed my eyes and focused on my question, choosing cards that just felt “right”.
Here are the results from my reading:
Card #1 - My Current Situation
Number 31 “Why”
The essential meat of this message is to understand the motives driving the intention behind your actions. The power of knowing the why is the key to fulfillment.
But the message from this card that moved me the most was this, and I quote, ”Knowing the motives behind your career and creative ventures is the ticket to your greatest success. It's time to ask yourself some probing questions. Are you driven by a desire to serve? Does your prosperity impact the greater good? When you envision your most prosperous life, are you guided by a sense of purpose or by a need to make money, acquire things, save for the future… or all of these? Be clear about why you want to do the things you do. If the motives are true, accept them. If they are not, change them so you can step into your extraordinary life.”
This message in particular struck me. I find far too often than I care to admit that it's easy for me to spiral into a tailwind of confusion regarding where my focus should be in my business. I just want to serve and be of service to as many souls as possible, using the gifts I’ve been blessed with. This card basically told me to hone in on why I created this business in the first place. I realize now, thanks to this card, that the why behind the actions I want to take are a beacon of hope, a Northstar to every decision that I need to make for my business.
Card #2 - My Current Expectations
Number 41 “Soul Mates” - Protection Message
The message with this card speaks of a relationship that brings me to my knees and my soulmate comes with a powerful gift. This person is called to help me learn and I will be changed for the better.
My take-away from this card is positive. My husband is my loudest cheerleader, my biggest supporter, and greatest fan. He believes in me and in my gifts even when I cast doubt on how truly gifted I really am. This man helps me to love myself even when I feel unworthy. I could really gush on him for hours. Point is: I have a fantastic support system with him. He believes in me and he’s not easy to convince, being a natural skeptic. And if he believes in me, so should I.
Card #3 - My hidden Influences
Number 46 “Regeneration”
The core of this card is fairly obvious: rebirth, new opportunities… which I’m ALL about!
This card got me pumped! It speaks of what I may have perceived as failure or loss, missed opportunities, are being replaced by something far better and more powerful. “The rebirth is assured. Step into your new life. Destiny is being fulfilled in wondrous ways.”
For those that aren’t familiar with me, I recently said goodbye to my last corporate client. For once and for all! I haven’t felt fulfilled serving Fortune 100/500 clients and felt a strong pull to shift my focus and niche. So I took that very scary leap of faith and I trust the universe to catch me or provide the wind I need to soar. This card basically told me, “I gotchu, Boo!”
“Now is one of those times when out of seeming loss and failure comes remarkable abundance. Do not dwell on the past, because you really are experiencing a rebirth.”
Card #4 - Advice I Need
Number 8 “Community”
This one is pretty obvious: belonging, being seen and understood by others, like-minded connections, knowing your place in the world.
This card reminds me to focus on being of service… which is my purpose… and ask what can I contribute? My favorite message of this card: “Figure out a need and look to fill it. Something meaningful will manifest. Even if what manifests is small, it is a sign that the doors of opportunity will swing open wider.” This is a powerful reminder to walk in my purpose… and serve.
Update: March 26, 2021
It’s exciting to come back and re-read this blog post that’s now almost 2 months old and to see how far I’ve come. Imposter syndrome is no longer a thing for me. And the “Community” card is especially profound to re-read. Since this was originally published on my blog, I uncovered a great need my clients had but didn’t know how to put it into words. I’ve since expanded my offerings based on a solution that helps both our businesses move forward — and this extension of services has helped me move the needle within not only my business, but it’s provided confidence and massive growth for my clients! Because I’ve take the tech of course creation off their plates, my heart-centered clients don’t feel paralyzed and are able to get their course out of their head and into the hands of their students with ease and zero stress!
Card #5 - Possible Outcomes
Number 32 “Here and Now”
Ah the importance of living in the moment and living one day at a time… a valuable lesson. But this card had so much more goodness waiting for me.
“Claim your prosperity now… You are prosperous at this moment. What you think now becomes your reality. Stay present.”
I’ll just leave that there for you simmer on.
Needless to say, I felt the fear, worry, and stress melt away… I felt the path I’m on is the right path and where my focus is true. What a relief! And, even more importantly, after that reading, I felt confident in the direction I should take… at least the next step in my business. To walk in my purpose (to serve) and to let that be my guiding light. If there’s a way for me to serve, I’m happy to do it, but I have to show up. That melted away every ounce of imposter syndrome.
And so… with that bit of reassurance, I was able to FINALLY sleep soundly and have a ridonkulously productive day the following day. FWIW, I saved that card pull within the app so I could go back to it and remind myself that I'm on the right path... and how to course correct in case I wander off.
So tell me… are you aware of when and how imposter syndrome sneaks into your thoughts? What methods do you use to keep it at bay? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment below and share how you smash the imposter syndrome monster.