Imposter syndrome. I am not a medically trained expert, and I always come at blog posts from experience. Throughout my life, I know there have been so many doubts about my skill in writing, growing my business, my mental health advocacy work, and at times everything that I do daily. I feel like “what is the point” of every thread that is the life that I have created as they intertwine with one another. More than once I have felt like a “fraud” in this mental health advocacy work that I do, and it leaks into my writing. You can throw into that the doubts that The Bipolar Writer GhostwritingServices, my business, will become an actual reality in 2021. Then I breathe and realize that the imposter syndrome is not real, and when I live in the now, the imposter syndrome a manifestation of my ego.
The ego can be so tricky at times, and when you feel like life is going right, it is right there with the doubts. There is no right or wrong here, and that is comforting. Yes, the imposter syndrome is a real thing, but it is what you make it, and for me, it had held me back in 2020, when the whole world went wrong with a pandemic. If I use it as an excuse, it just furthers the ego’s control. The release of identities over months in 2020 has angered the ego. As I continue to live in the now and decide to work on the inner I, the external stuff goes away, which can anger my ego.
What can you do? Plenty! First detachment from identities, in my life it was writer, businessman, depressed guy, anxious guy, stressed-out dude, and mental health advocate, to name a few. That does not mean that these are not a part of your life, but The Bipolar Writer and James Edgar Skye are part of me, but it can’t define me. When it does, that puts pressure to succeed, and success is not defined by identities. As my life coach always tells me to approach situations, there are no problems, with just the facts. It helps. Identities come with so much weight, let them go, and you will see a change.
You can put a metaphorical mirror up in situations and see what is causing you to feel fraudulent that you find in other people. It usually means that they are doing something your ego recognizes, and this is a way to break the silence when it comes to how you feel within the imposter syndrome. It also allows us to look at the positives in our life and focus less on the negative, though not comfortable, I know, it really does change the perspective. The imposter syndrome truly is your perspective on your life.
Live this life willing to fail because everyone fails at something, and it never means that it is the end. Learn from the failures and know that it can mean the difference when you approach it with just the facts in a healthy way. I had failures and let them control me and keep me from doing what I love, and where did that get me? Nowhere. When things feel like an imposter feels, I stop and focus on the feelings. I let go of the feeling that failure is a bad thing or a good thing. Many famous people have failed, and yet you know their names without me saying it.
I am sure you can research imposter syndrome further and find what works. What I learned in life coaching is creating my own physics. That is a whole other story, and I would not want to steal from my life coach, but it makes sense. You are your own person, just as much as I am my own person. Find what makes you happy. It is writing and mental health advocacy for me. Then just do it without pressure or even fake it until you make it because people can feel when your not totally in, and above all, do not do what I did, and half-ass what you want.
When I wanted to create a podcast, I used every excuse I could to NOT do it. I bought all the gear, and I knew what I wanted, but I felt like an imposter. Who is James to take his mental health advocacy to the airwaves? I would tell myself I hate my voice, which is not my favorite feature, as an excuse. It is my voice, and that will not stop me. Always be positive because living in a negative world never gets you anywhere.
With that said, stay strong in the fight. Live life and always know the ego wants you to fail.
“Vlog 5, in the last Vlog Vlog 4, I had spoke about my personal experience as a human experiencing being human, um, when I realized there are five things I could be doing in any given situation, you know story aside, personal experiences aside, personal beliefs aside, personal convictions aside, 5 options: I could stay in the situation hope for it to change, I could change something about the situation, I could I could leave the situation I could accept the situation or I could change how I perceive the situation and for the longest time one of the one of the most challenging situations, always, for me are relationships with any person, it doesn’t necessarily, it’s not even restricted to romantic, a romantic kind of a relationship, um, it’s been a journey with my, um, I’m going to speak of my relationship with my parents, for example.
I didn’t know until I knew… that I can actually still care what my parents think, particularly with my mom. My relationship with her has improved ever since I started doing this, which is understanding that, even though I care what she thinks of me, even though I would love to have that external validation from her for everything I do in my business, in my life, in my job, in my in my social life as well as personal life, getting that external validation would feel amazing, don’t get me wrong but really, when I stopped trying to get it, I still cared what she thought about me. I still care to this moment, to this very moment I care what she thinks about what I do. I’ve learned from myself when it comes to my situation in question which is in my, in my relationship with my mom, I realized the one– what I wanted to do was to maintain the relationship and spend time with her still.
So leaving the situation is not what, what resonates with me. Um, sitting there and just hoping things to improve definitely was not the option for me either so that’s two down so three more. Um, I could accept the way the situation was mmm I wasn’t really happy with that either. Basically tension and arguing and debating and all of that trying to point fingers and this and that didn’t resonate with me either so there were two options left… I think change the situation which I tried many, many, many times…doesn’t change the relationship dynamic for me anyway.
So the last thing left was to change how I perceived the situation. It was a huge game-changer for me. I’m like, I enjoy my time with her. Yes we still have our differences but I change the way I I look at the relationship, I change the way I perceive.. you know I am even aware, I’ve become aware of the perceptions I have and I go, “Wow… that’s interesting that I thought that, that I felt this way and I got triggered here and just understanding that it’s not her it’s not me it’s just this is how this is what’s happening so kind of looking above the situation and I found that when I replicate that with everything, I can break my own rulebooks every single moment of every single day.
I always tell the Kindred Spirits in my life, Kindred Souls that I don’t expect anything from you. I don’t expect you to accommodate me. I don’t expect you to stop what you’re doing. I don’t expect you to scratch my back just because I was there–you don’t owe me anything there’s no binding to me, there’s no expectation that I have, the only expectation I’ve ever had on anyone, and that’s something that I determined for myself, is for people to do what they want to do. Anyway, I digress.
The main thing I wanted to share about my experience over the past… I mean through my twenties pretty much. For those of you that are just hopping on this Vlog train of my personal experience as being a human, my human experience, experiencing being human, feeling the feels. Um, I’m 30 years old. All through my twenties is really when I came to the self-realization and self awareness of just how strong my ego was in my life and essentially what that means is victimizing myself, I’m getting angry at people, I’m blaming the world, I’m feeling very strongly about how my beliefs, and my truths and really foisting that upon other people to achieve my agenda and it was a lot of, “I, me, I, me,” um, and then rationalizing.
I was explaining in a couple podcasts blogcast, vlogcasts ago, that, um, I was addicted to negativity. I’m recovering from being an addict, addict of negativity, actually and then level 4, I’m I’m referencing this tool that I use for my coaching business — it’s called the Energy Leadership Index Assessment— and basically levels 1 through 4: victim, anger, rationalizing and, um, compassion. So, there’s a lot of burnout that I was experiencing and a lot of that came from I care what people think, I don’t want to offend anyone, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, I don’t want to make someone feel uncomfortable, I don’t want… it was all about minimizing myself and when I didn’t get the validation and permission from outside of myself to be who I was trying really hard to be, even then I didn’t know what I was, I knew what I wasn’t. I knew what I was because I knew what I wasn’t and even though I wanted to, to improve my experience as a person, the more I, I actually found the more I stood and tried to fill space and take up space and go, “Enough is not enough for me anymore.”
I don’t want to play it small anymore, I don’t want to… I don’t want to be angry anymore, I don’t want to foist my feelings, and opinions and truth and beliefs on other people and I don’t want to keep criticizing others, I don’t want to keep casting judgement on others, I don’t want to keep jumping to conclusions of how people are, just to boost my ego and I did that in my relationship with my mom!
And it only recently came to my realization, came to my awareness that I was doing that, I was doing that but then you know, leaning into that like why is her validation so important to me because I care, I care what she thinks about me and I mean for me I’ve come to the conclusion that of course I care what people think about me but I’m not going to let, I’m not going to shrink and minimize myself and and just keep catering to everyone and everything to make sure everyone’s safe, everyone’s comfortable, everyone’s got what they need and then now I can take my step.
Like, that’s just not how I want to exist…of course it’s a situational thing I’m not saying that just, WHOA, just keep stepping and not paying any mind but the thing is and what I shared in a previous Vlogcast is that just because you do something, say something, act a certain way and someone gets hurt, someone feels left out and I’m specifically talking about those of you, just like me — Kim 1.0 or even Kim 2.0 I consider myself Kim 3.0 right now, um, you keep copping out, I copped out all the time I’ll be like, “Oh you know, I can, you know I did this to someone oh I … something so I can’t I’m not supposed to, people said I’m not smart enough. the little voice in your head, the little voice in my head, I don’t know about you, I can’t speak for you, but for myself a little voice in my head kept telling me, “You are not enough to improve your experience, you are not smart enough, you have no business doing this, who do you think you are? You are hurting other people this, that, this, that.”
Pain is inevitable, hurting someone’s feelings is inevitable. We are not psychic, we can try to be empathetic, we can try to pick up, we can try to pick up and be sensitive to these things but I have been there for almost all of my entire life putting everyone before myself and when I look at it in a different way and I changed my relationship with my love, “Am I really loving or am I doing this to make myself feel better? It’s really a sense of accomplishment, that sense of purpose, that feeling you get from doing something, is what we chase. It’s the feeling, it’s not the actual deed. It’s the feeling.
So, what if, this is something that I, I gradually started shifting my mindset with and attitude when I realized that I was just sabotaging myself, pushing people away, lashing out and when I was fooling myself and brainwashing myself into believing and I was improving a situation when really I was just on this hamster wheel of self-destruction. Getting in my own way, shrinking, staying small, playing it safe, let me tell you, a lot of stuff came up when I was building my business, a lot of stuff that I thought I had progressed past, really, I was just hiding.
I had this conversation with a big brother from another mother last night about hiding in success. The moment we think we finally work some, through something, something else will come up that’s potentially even more challenging than the last feat. Having control of a situation is an illusion. Figuring yourself out is an illusion. We’re not even this, I’m not even the same person I was 15 seconds ago. It’s, it’s, I’m not, I just am. I just am.
I mean I have my moments where I catch myself and I go, “Wow, what brought me to do that? Is it some insecurity? Was it me seeking validation outside of myself? Is it making me feel good? Am I doing this to make myself feel good? So, really paying attention to, raising my awareness to how I’m showing up and that’s usually the energy I attract. I came to that realization probably just before I started working for Amazon and that was about a year-and-a-half ago. I was so angry and no matter what I did at Amazon: threw a fit, shut down, lashed out at people, push people away, was really, really, really rude…it didn’t matter. The only person really suffering the most was myself.
Goes back to the theme of the last question in the last vlogcast of, you know, you’re fooling yourself, we fool ourselves into thinking that things will improve eventually. It’s not going to improve if you don’t change what your approaches or your method. You’re just going to, it’s just gonna stay, um, until we can relinquish ownership of feelings, relinquish ownership of memories, relinquish ownership of everything, that’s when we start to take things less personal, we start to and I, honestly, when catch myself, um, you know the ‘I, me’ debacle when I catch myself doing that, I truly pause and I go okay look my human side, it’s ego, it’s not even me it’s just ego. That’s it, just ego. There’s nothing wrong with that either and really loving unto that, that aspect of a human experience, taking things personal. Um, it helps to gain clarity about what is it that I that I feel uncomfortable with?
What is it that I’m doing? Self-sabotaging. What is between me and enjoying someone’s company, what is in between me and doing something new? What is in between me and not making another vlogcast? Is it about me? Who is it about? Is it about the ego? My ego? Is it about boosting a reputation? Is it about getting views? Is it about, is it about, is it about… it’s all self-reflection. It’s all asking empowering questions. it’s all being receptive to different perspectives being open to different points of view, being cognizant that we don’t own… anything. maybe that sounds a little woosaww. But it took almost a decade of coming to realize my self-sabotage, to check myself and, and like I leveled with myself. I leveled with myself and I’m like, Kim …Kim. Do you really, really want to stay feeling this way? I’m like, of course not but I don’t know what else to do! If you don’t know and you catch yourself doing one of these four things: victimizing yourself. So, if you’re resisting these four things resisting [admitting to]: avoiding, ignoring, suppressing, denying…you’re self-sabotaging and you’re also brain washing yourself into being married to your ego. So you’re really not self-aware– you’re stuck..
Victimizing yourself: so being at the cause of everything, no responsibility, deflecting responsibility, blaming other people for how you feel, blaming other people for your how you are, experiencing being angry all the time, how you are feeling righteously right all the time and just getting stuff done, like really imposing your will on other people in in a retaliatory, combative, self-defensive way.
Rationalizing, if you catch yourself rationalizing all the time you pretty much are going to be the world’s doormat. That’s how that works and then when you’re level 4, you put everyone else before yourself. I think, I mean honestly staying in those four levels of ego, really still, really, really strong ego, it’s toxic — for self and potentially for other people.
So, the energy you put off is the energy, you get back, um, in any given moment and it’s a matter of do you want to choose the kind of energy you attract or just float around and be confused and stuff. For me I was tired and then I thought, “There’s got to be something more than pushing product all day long, taking orders from other people all day long and being around a bunch of people that hate their job, hate their lives and are just working themselves to death. So, I decided to take a calculated risk and and go where I felt I needed to be and that was meandering into [the] personal development realm and it was, it was and still is the most awakening, healing…experience and getting to re-experience what I went through for 10 years and even more and looking at that in a detached way and going in hindsight, “Wow, I was doing that or the ego was so strong and just looking at it from that point of view it makes complete sense why I felt and acted and behaved and was so lost for so long because I had convinced, I, I felt convinced that everything was okay… it was not okay, not for me.
Question: what area of your life have you settled into and bothers you a lot? I’m talking like you know how people say they have a pebble in their shoe? I’m talking about a couple pebbles in your shoe. So is there an area in your life, What area in your life are you settling right now… and it doesn’t feel good? The amount of, I mean what are the disadvantages and advantages to continuing. That Insanity? Just, just a question? What do you feel are the advantages and disadvantages to that one area in your life that doesn’t feel good to continue in that pattern? Just a question.
I want to plug a book. I don’t get royalties from this by the way. It’s a fellow colleague of mine, uh, her name is Shelby Forsythia. She has a podcast, um, let me mirror this so you can see it. Okay, so she has this book Permission to Grieve and she also has a free podcast called ‘Coming back: conversations on life after loss.’ And I’ll put the link below [here]. It, It, so the little tidbit on the front says, “Creating Grace, space and room to breathe in the aftermath of loss.” And loss can be anything not necessarily losing a loved one but loss of any kind. Graduating the reason why I share this book is because I think some of us need permission, a lot of us need permission outside of ourselves, to be the fullest and most true expression of who we are.
We care a lot about what other people think and trying to get permission and validation and affirmation, reassurance from outside ourselves can be a hindrance because we’re so consumed with what other people think and we’re scared and that is okay, completely normal. I guess what I want to do right now is to give you permission to grieve if you’re ready to grieve the loss of who you used to be. It’s only there as a way to say you want to improve the situation in your life. If you feel like there’s nothing to be improved, then I am, I’m happy for you, you are good. This, this vlogcast has nothing to do with you. This is for people that genuinely feel not good about continuing this cycle in a certain part of their life.
So, I’m giving you permission for those of you that are ready for that and if it’s you know that the advantages far outweigh the advantages of staying in that situation then what are you going to do, who do you know, who can you talk to that can that can get you out of that insanity? Um, My name is Kim Johnson, I’m a Mental Health Skills Lifestyle coach at Grounds For Clarity, LLC. You can find me at grounds for clarity.com
Thank you for tuning in wherever you are have… make, make your morning, your afternoon your evening the way you want it to be.”
Have you ever had a conversation with many friends and felt like half your comments get ignored? I have. Have your friends ever supported stuff their friends did, but never supported you? Even if you asked them to. I have. Have you ever shared your ideas and dreams only to have others give you a blank stare? Or tell you why your ideas will fail? I have. Have you ever found that person who gets you only to drift apart in a couple years? I have. Several times. Have you ever felt ignored and alone in a noisy, crowded world? I have.
Most of the time, when people treat me the way I’ve described, I leave. I usually haven’t known them for long. I move on without much upset. My family often treated me this way and I learned to move on at an early age. Learning to move on is important. But building relationships with others requires sticking around. That’s where I struggle. How do you approach your close friends with these issues? I’ve begun speaking up more. I voice my concerns and share my feelings. I attempt to explain to prevent confusion. I tell them why I’m angry. Sometimes they continue believing I’m angry for another reason.
I thought I was clear. Either they weren’t listening, or I wasn’t clear. I’ve apologized more often. Even when I feel I shouldn’t. I do it to show I’m willing to compromise. I’ve asked for apologies too. Friends have often apologized for the wrong thing, still not understanding why I’m angry. I accept it and move on because I’m tired of arguing. Mark Mathews said, “Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”
Apologies are hard because people are prideful and full of ego. I’m trying to ignore my ego. With apologies comes forgiveness. I need to work on that. Forgiving people when I feel they ignore or abandon me. When I feel anger or resentment towards someone, the feelings are valid. But that’s when I know I should forgive and apologize. I don’t mean one should feel guilty for being angry. Never feel guilty for feeling. But I am trying to apologize when I take things to personal. I try to apologize when I let my ego get in the way of my relationships with others.
I used to think I wasn’t egotistical. The way most people describe the word, I’m not. But every time I feel alone or think no one cares about me, that’s my ego. I’m so important and no one is paying attention to me. My thoughts are deceivers. My ego uses my thoughts against me. Don’t believe everything you think. Easier said than done. I’ve walked away from people who hurt me. Instead of fixing the problem, I ran from it. Sometimes you must remove yourself from a situation. Sometimes you have to work things out. I’m alone because I pushed myself into loneliness. I’m letting go of my ego. I’m not running anymore.