Do you ever feel exhausted or drained from having to defend your actions and choices from everyone else all the time? Or is it just me? Instead of feeling good and confident about my choices, I feel I have to be ready to defend my actions. I am always on edge and ready to explain and justify my thoughts, actions and decisions to anyone and everyone.
This is a battle when you experience imposter syndrome. When you’ve been questioned over the years about your decisions and choice, you doubt yourself and feel you have to justify your thinking and decisions. You go into interacting with others prepared to defend your reasoning. Shield is up and sword is ready. And each question always has you on edge.
You go into gatherings with people ready for battle. And come out of it mentally exhausted. I know, as this has been much of my way of thinking for years.
Even if people are truly curious and want to understand and not judge, my brain is working off of past experience and ready to defend. It even goes through the series of potential questions from others just so I’m ready to respond.
“Why did I make this decision?”, “Why didn’t I do option 1, option 2, option 3, or etc, instead?”, “What if this other situation comes up?”, “Did I think how it will affect others?”, “Did think how it will affect my future?”, and so on, and so on.
And all of this is damn exhausting. I shouldn’t have defend my choices and decisions. I’m an adult, I make good choices, I think things through. Do I make mistakes? Well, yeah! I’m human, I mess up, I make mistakes. But I try hard to think things through to minimize mistakes. But, mistakes happen, things pop up I didn’t think about or consider. And, I’m still here, moving forward and learning to make better decisions the next time.
The Imposter Takes Hold
Yet instead of being comfortable and confident of my own decisions, I’m on edge and already in defense mode. Ready for any and all responses to justify my own choices. And in turn, already begin to doubt the sound decision making of my choosing. Which only begins to spiral me through the imposter syndrome mindset of me not being worthy and not being good enough.
Thoughts begin to pop up “Oh well, why didn’t you think of that?”, “Guess your choices aren’t as good as you thought”, “Obviously, you aren’t making good decisions”, “Man, you suck!”, and down the rabbit hole I go.
New way of Thinking
To stop this toxic spiral, I’ve learned to reflect on my situation and reframe my way of thinking. I’ve made my choices because they were the best decision for me. And I tell myself that as well, “I’ve made the best decisions for me.” Sometimes I say this as well, “I’m made the best decisions for me, with what I knew and had at the time.” This helps to remind me as well that life is ever changing and growing and what I may learn later doesn’t negate the best decision I made at that time.
Because yes, I’ve also had thoughts later about my previous decisions and got down on myself and tore myself up for the decisions I made at the time. While looking back, thinking I did not make the best decisions I could have made, but not considering that I know more now. My imposter syndrome twisting my perspective of not recognizing my growth and seeing myself as a failure and unworthy person. But that’s why I’ve learned to stop my spiraling thoughts. I remind myself that I did the best I could at that time and I’m good with what I have learned and where I am going now.
I don’t even have to defend myself from me. I actually feel good knowing I did the best I with what I knew at that time. And I’m not mentally exhausted either.
Putting it into Action
The next step is saying it to others when they question my actions, decisions, and choices. I don’t want to shrink back to where I was, and I don’t want to fall down the hole of darkness where I question my own actions and decisions and worthiness as Imposter Syndrome will have me do. I don’t want to be mentally exhausted.
So, when I am questioned about my choices and decisions, I will say to others, “I made the best decision for me”. It’s not negative, and I’m not being angry nor defensive, but just being honest and accurate.
Plus, when I say it to myself, I feel a release of having to justify myself and I know when I say it to others, as difficult as it may be at first, I’ll feel calmer as well, since I’m only stating the truth and being honest on who I am.
Your Turn to take Control
Keep this in mind for you as well. When you are confronted with feeling and thoughts to defend your actions and decisions tell yourself, “I made the best decisions for me.” You can even say, “I made the best decision for me with what I knew and had at the time.”
Then, if and when you have others judge you and ask you why you made the decision you did for your life, say the same thing to them, “I made the best decision for me.” It will be stressful at first, but in the end, it will bring a sense of relief and calm. You won’t feel exhausted as you’ll know and feel you are doing good for yourself with your knowledge and resources. You are reframing the imposter thoughts, responding with a supportive and growth mind, and letting your true self shine through.
Do you want to reframe your thoughts and grow past the imposter feelings to create the life you desire and dream of? Contact me and let’s set up a conversation to see if we can work together.