Have you ever felt like Mirabel in the movie “Encanto”? All the parents out there will know what movie I am talking about, and even some who are not parents, but Disney lovers. The premise of the movie is all about a family who has all these magical powers, except for one-Mirabel. There are so many amazing messages in this movie, and I am going to focus on one of the many that hit home for me in my journey. The movie begins with Mirabel singing to the local children about her family and all of their powers and duties to the family and their community. The children keep asking Mirabel about her powers, which she avoids because she does not possess any of these “gifts”. Throughout the movie, she often feels like a burden and that she does not fit in, but she also recognizes that she has an important part in the family. She intuitively knows she has a bigger purpose, is not sure what exactly that purpose is, and she also longs to be “special” like the rest, continuously doubting her intuition and innate abilities.
Have you ever felt this way? As if you are moving through life in a space where you are doubting you belong. You look at others around you and their gifts that come so ‘naturally’ to them and begin to believe “I’m not as ___ as they are”. You get stuck in the comparison game of never truly believing like you belong, like you are an outsider looking in. You are just waiting for others to notice that you truly don’t belong in the same room. A term that is more widely used for this feeling is “Imposter Syndrome”. Now, I know 75% of women and about 24% of men out there know this feeling…statistics tell me so.
There were so many times I have experienced this “imposter” feeling. When I was in my first AP class in High School. When I was president of the S.A.F.E. club in High School. When I made it to States for swimming. When I got into my first choice University. When I got my first job as a Therapist. When I began my Master’s program. When I had my first, second, and third child (yep…each time I felt it!). Each time I advanced in my field until I reached Executive Director. When I started my business. When I joined a boutique gym and attended the 5am classes with all these powerhouse people. The list could go on and on, and I know I am not alone in this experience.
The point in this article is not to focus on the struggle, but to focus on our arrival-our awakening to the moment we actually realize we have arrived and we belong.
During one of my spin classes, I had this moment of realization that I am part of this powerhouse 5am crew that are dedicated to themselves and their dreams. I am part of those 15-20% of go getters that thrive when I wake up before the rest of the world. Then I heard some amazing voices from my most Loving part of myself-my Authentic Self-“I am determined. I am strong. I am committed. I am worth it.” Tears of joy filled my eyes as I thought “I am meant to be here. I am not just trying…I am doing. I am not just striving, I am thriving”.
I remember another point of imposter syndrome where I was looking around at all of my friends in awe-a CEO of a healthcare company, an Executive Director of a domestic violence agency, a Regional Director of a veteran’s agency, and an Entrepreneur, just to name a few. For some time, I was looking at them wondering “what in the world am I doing in this group of amazing women?”. It wasn’t until I truly looked clearly in the mirror (along with guidance from some amazing mentors that helped me see myself clearly), that I realized I am one of those powerhouse women…the I belong here.
As mentioned above, there were many mentors and therapists that helped me along this path to seeing myself clearly. Through my journey, I have taken note of 5 powerful steps release the “imposter” beliefs and feelings.
5 Powerful Steps to Release Your Imposter Syndrome include:
1. Begin seeing yourself as others see you. The people who were part of my loving inner circle were always able to see myself more clearly than I could when I was early on in my self discovery journey. I turned to mentors and others I looked up to, trusted and loved to receive feedback around my strengths. I made a mental note, or even wrote them down. I needed that constant reminder of who I truly am, not what my inner critic was telling me about all the ways I didn’t measure up.
2. Embrace your gifts. Explore the gifts you bring into this world. Know your strengths and gifts and internalize them. Know that when you are in alignment with your gifts and living your most authentic life, you are unshakeable. Your worth is not in what you produce, or how hard you work, or how exhausted you are at the end of the day. Your worth is in your Spirit-in your Gifts that you were born with. Find out what your gifts are and anchor them into your worth.
3. Courage to stand in the room. Many times, we hold back from entering the room in fear of not belonging, which could show up as fear of failure or judgment. When we hold back, we end up feeling stuck and stagnant. We might hear laughter and excitement on the other side of that door, but we truly are just on the outside looking in. All it takes is the courage to open the door and step inside. Courage is a feeling and an action. When we look at the energetic frequency of courage, we see that it is the tipping point from the lower frequencies (fear, guilt and shame to name a few) and into the higher frequencies (willingness, love, and joy). When we look at the action of courage, we see a shift past our comfort zones and into endless possibilities of growth and expansion.
4. Acknowledge your accomplishments. Take an inventory of all your accomplishments in life, from “small” to “large”. These are in quotations because I believe all accomplishments are big. Sometimes we the “small” ones-like saying no when we mean no, and saying yes when we mean yes-take the largest amount of courage. Do this now. Make your list. See how amazing you truly are.
5. Shine bright. No more dimming your light for others. There is a saying that “if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”. Know your values and speak your truth. There are too many times we dim our light in order to ‘fit in’ where we actually don’t belong. If you want to move into your personal power with confidence, we must allow ourself to stand and speak in our truth. This is the way we shine bright and know what ‘room’ we are meant to be in.
Back to Encanto and Mirabel. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, here is your warning **spoiler alert**. At the end of the movie, Mirabel ends up saving her family. She always had a gift. It looked different than her other family members. It’s supposed to. We all have our unique gifts to bring into this world. It is never going to look the same as another’s. Another thing Mirabel realized is that she was always meant to be part of this powerful and magical family. She had always belonged, and had a very important role. If you are in the space where you do struggle with the feelings and beliefs that you don’t belong because you are not ____ enough (smart, effective, attractive, intelligent, etc…I am sure you can fill in the blank), know that you wouldn’t be there if you were not meant to be there. You are there because you are a powerhouse. You are there because of your gifts. You are there because you have an important role and purpose.
If you are looking around and realizing you are ready to embrace your power and know you belong in that next room, join the Next Level Life Purpose for Female Trailblazers private FB group today.