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.
“*OOOOOO* Vlogcast 8, my intention with these vlogcasts is to share my human experience experiencing being human across the span of 365 vlogcasts, commitment, keeping myself accountable and telling my complete story and there are some blogcasts, vlogcasts that might come off a bit heavy sometimes I might be all over the place. I organically flow with what comes up. And today what’s coming up is really, I wanted to share, to share and build upon the former vlogcast when I pretty much am pouring my heart out about how hiring my second Life coach underscored what was the missing piece in my experience. Um, like why I felt lost if you will and was feeling like 5 steps forward 12 steps back whichever phrase like what I don’t know one step forward 3 steps back so that’s how I felt for, for many years and when I hired this and when I mean honestly when it started when I went through iPEC.
Let’s rewind to iPEC it stands for Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and I joined about the tail end of, I think, the last quarter of 2018 and I graduated from iPEC, honestly, it’s been, actually, a year. Uh, 10 months of coaching and it was very, very eye-opening…there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t being held accountable for the progress I, the healing really wasn’t even just progress was just healing, healing that I said I wanted that I’ve invested this money, energy into, “How can I break through this tug-of-war between my mind and my heart and my intuition? How can I, how can I connect them?”
And I did find some healing before coaching. I tried to build my confidence, my self confidence and doing more Art, um, really going into, uh, social justice movements or any kind of movements…this is one of the things I’ve gotten into: Porn Kills Love. I found avenues to build a community with people.
I would learn new languages, I would travel to other countries, prat– try to practice the language. I exercised. I got back into music. I tried these things and on the outside… it seemed like I was becoming of age but really I wasn’t emotionally healing as much as I had hoped. And when I got into iPEC, they really shed light on how I was setting myself back and I wasn’t setting myself up for that emotional and spiritual breakthroughs: healing. Al– some of the behaviors were like rationalizing.
I didn’t know how much lack of accountability with myself was happening, just with myself and with my family and friends. No one was really keeping me accountable to break that, um, habit of behavior of rationalizing. And I speak of it only from my perspective and my point of view. It wasn’t working for me anymore, it wasn’t serving me anymore. Rationalizing, you know I could spin a web of things…of me rationalizing now and because of who I’ve chosen to surround myself with and the accountability partners I found, they call me out on my crap. They call me out on my story when I’m rationalizing, when I’m talking myself away from doing something I said and I initially wanted to do.
So, that accountability piece…I didn’t understand just how much I was getting in my own way until I really put it to the test. So, if I said I wanted to become fluent in French and what steps would I need to take to get there: cool! I have the actual steps to take as far as materials I might need, um, language teachers that can help me but I for some reason, even though I’m not fluent, as something that holds me back and that’s, that.
Oh, you know, I need this to be in place and not to be in Play Store I need some I need to be in the country to learn, you know, all these little things that build up as a story and I rationalize myself out of studying even if it’s 5 minutes a day. So, that’s something that we didn’t really talk about in my household because the accountability looked like someone yelling at me and telling me what to do constantly being prompted, constantly being told what to do and that’s one of the things…
I actually talked to one of my kindred spirits today about about how come when we finish school and again only can speak for myself and maybe a portion and percentage of Americans, North Americans, we go through school, we complete school, maybe do some more school and then as far as externally we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, like inside it feels like this ginormous tug of war, like this I would love to be doing more of this or I would love to be playing more music but I know that I need to make money and I need to do this and I have to make sure that I’m falling into this category as an adult and making sure that …. so is…. suffocation almost from having the emotional space to be accountable to the emotional healing we want?
How and this is something I kind of want to talk about to put things more into perspective is, I thought I was setting myself for, myself up for success emotionally by doing things and changing things outside of myself what helped me and I did mention this in a former vlogcast is, I was conditioned to believe that’s that voice that’s telling me I’m too weak, I’m not smart enough, I’m not strong enough, how dare you, who do you think you are? That Imposter syndrome that convincing me just play it safe, you’re good where you are,
I was taught to silence that voice. I was taught, um, just, just push through and then when I went through this coaching program, iPEC, as well as the second Life coach I hired really completely shattering that belief, it’s just a belief. In fact, when’s the last time you actually listened to the voice and loved it more, not less. I mean, a revolutionary concept, I’m like.. *pbbbbtt* yeah, *laughs* oh… you’re serious, yes and I stand by that, too. That’s what I do for my clients and and it’s taught me to be more patient and compassionate towards myself, too.
–That the voice is not the enemy… it’s the disconnect between me and the voice that’s really the thing that’s the wedge between us, the straw that broke the camel’s back. That’s where most of my tension and anxiety and frustration and even the sad moments which aren’t as strong as they used to be and really not that much present. Which is phenomenal.
I used to be one of those people that would lay in bed before I open my eyes but I’m awake, I just couldn’t. I used to be that person or I should say that’s the feeling that I used to get everyday. I was making plenty of money, didn’t like my job, didn’t want to be around the people at work, didn’t want to go to work, didn’t want to be at work, didn’t care about exercising, I didn’t care about eating, I didn’t care about anything.
So, reminding myself that that bully actually has provided me grit when it challenges me it sounds like it’s telling me I’m not good enough but really it’s scared to see me fail, it’s scared to see me get hurt it’s scared to see me cry, it’s scared to see me put myself out there. It’s tells me, you know, what will people think, um, people will think you’re just doing things for attention, people will think, um, you’re desperate. People will think you’re skill-less, you know, you don’t have any skill, what do you you think you’re doing?
No one cares about what you have to say, you’re not making lots of money anyway, why are you doing this? Do you really know what you’re doing? So, I still have that self-doubt and I have moments where I go,
“Maybe I’m not cut out for this.”
I pause. I look to that voice and I go,
“You have a compelling story. What you’re saying makes a lot of sense. I get it. If I go and I make this vlogcast and tell my story, put all my personal business out and air my dirty laundry. You’re right someone might be uncomfortable with that, someone might judge me and I appreciate your concern but I’m gonna take it from here.”
Instead of kicking it and screaming at it, silencing it and telling it to get out of my house. I now remind myself my new teaching which is that voice, that me deserves more love, not less. More love, not less. Six months doesn’t seem like a long time. It felt like longer. Catching myself mid activity, mid-sentence doing something that runs completely against the grain of what I signed up for…nevermind the financial investment but like, of course, I had a lot of skin in the game.
What do i want?
What am I doing I said I want and when I don’t feel how I want to feel am I abandoning my goals, am I abandoning my ambition, am I blowing off my dreams, am I procrastinating because I’m trying to have everything perfect first. Self-sabotage again and this all is happening in here. It’s almost like… *sigh* Life coaching is all about finding holes in logic, holes in that story you build in your head…holes in the feelings that come up that may be really tricky. The feelings come up and you know this is how I’m feeling. Perhaps. Let’s dig deeper.
What will happen if you procrastinate, if you rationalize, if you abandon what you set out to do because of the fear? A fear becomes more in charge and more powerful with every time that we stubbornly refuse to change. I had a really good story and I felt like trash. I share my story not because I want you to change. I share my story not because I think there’s anything wrong with you.
I share my story to simply shed light on the fact that we have such capability to step into our fullest, most true version of ourselves and at the slightest, slightest pin prick of resistance from the world.
*Uuuuuppp!* Nope, mm , mmmmm, mmm, mm. Nope! Don’t want it. I change my mind.
When we say we want something usually we just think of the stuff that goes well and the things that are sparkly and new and it just, is so positive. I don’t know. Perhaps I’m generalizing on to all of you in which case, that’s me, doing that. I know for me I’ve noticed patterns where I say I want something, like I want to play the Ukulele. What I, when I say that, what I think of and that makes me smile. What brings a smile to my face is like busting it out, wherever, with whomever in public, private, whatever and just strumming just *wooohooOO* easy
I didn’t ask for the work. *laughs* I didn’t ask to have to go on for hours a day to go on Google to find the chords, to write them down and memorize it. I didn’t think about any of that when I said I want to play Ukulele. I just thought about the end result. So again, it kind of ties into another Vlogcast of chasing the feeling. So I thought to myself,
“I want to, I would have my own business.”
What I thought about was the end product, like making 6 to 7 figures a year, um, working with people and and getting goose bumps on my skin for the connectiveness I feel in purpose on this planet that’s what I thought of when I said I want my own business and also working for myself.
Wow! There’s a lot of stuff, a part of my business, that I didn’t even think about that’s, it’s stress! But it’s like a different kind of stress.
When you say you want to do something and you are all in and you embrace the good, the bad, the ugly, the hard, medium, the simple parts of it and when things go really well and when things kind of are halfway there and when things don’t go well at all it’s all of it compared to the other jobs I have: part-time as an instructor, part-time as a substitute teacher, part-time as a suicide first aid instructor and then having my own business.
I would say that the amount of stress I endure and work through when it comes to building my business is astronomically, volume-wise, way more than the amount of stress I get from these other three activities that I do as a source of income. It’s actually more painful to endure the volume over here, the less stress, than business. I do these things, kind of as a means to an end, to compliment my experiences here in my business.
I also have these jobs because I feel like I have more to learn as far as my temperament, my attitude– I want to be held accountable and having these different outlooks keeps me accountable to my own attitude. Cuz there’s a lot of things that go sideways with these three things and it stresses me out. When it comes to my business, I can build that, I can build around when I genuinely want to rest but these, I don’t really have that Liberty to rest when I please. So there’s disadvantages and advantages to both but the thing that I’m trying, I’m trying to illustrate here is that accountability piece to doing things we say we want the reason why I feel the reason why and I believe, universally, the reason why people give up on things they say they want is because they don’t realize that it’s the whole: all of it, you experience all of the feeling, the emotions, the fear of missing out, the denial, what else could I be doing with my time, money, blah blah blah. In denial, you doubt why you even started getting into this, you question: should I be? Should I really be sitting on my you-know-what and coloring all day long? Should I really be creating this Vlogcast? Do I know what I’m talking about?
Keeping oneself accountable for the things we say we want, can be something easy to avoid when we rationalize our way out of it and that’s one of those habits that I have found was really setting myself up for emotional failure.
Not following through. Not putting things in my calendar or telling people what I’m doing when I tell people what I’m doing, that’s what my way of staying emotionally accountable to something I said I wanted to do.
How might a current experience… serve you if you gave that voice in your head more love not less and proceeded to do what you said you wanted to do anyway?
I visited some of your blogs, the people that have liked and engaged these vlogcasts.
You are some phenomenal human beings. I have not visited everyone’s. Something about what I say, how I say it, is resonating with you and I hope that in your journey, no matter how small you think something is that you want to do…it’s planted in you for a reason. If you feel called to it with this question and call to action. The call to action really is the cherry on top of all vlogcasts. It’s not just a blog post. I’m not just here to just blah blah blah hear myself talk. I’m here because I want to share a tool that serves me, well *laughs* many tools asking empowering questions: find that answer within to keep you accountable for the next, for the next 358 days I’m happy to be that accountability partner for you if there’s something you say you want to do, put it in the comments and I’ll bother you *laughs* I will bother you, personally bother you to see to it that you’re doing what you’re, what you said you wanted to do.
Hey, join me in this 365 day challenge, it doesn’t have to be a vlogcast but what’s something *laughs* I’m asking you another question, I’ll ask anyway..
What’s something you do you say you want to do that you haven’t done that you could see yourself completing in the next 358 days. Yes, I have a lead on you. What’s something you say you want to do that you haven’t done yet that you see yourself completing in the next 358 days?
Put in the comments and let’s see how many other people are in the same boat you are that say they want to do something they haven’t. They’re procrastinating, maybe fear of missing out, like, oh I could be doing better with my time, maybe it’s a rat race, who knows? If you want to learn an instrument again, if you want to read that book that’s been staring at you on that shelf, if you want to go do community service, if you want to find another source of income, if you want to heal from a traumatic event and look into ways to heal that you’ve never looked into before, put it in the comments, see what happens, see maybe you’ll find an accountability partner in the comments below.
Thank you so much for watching and commenting, engaging and being present in your life. Uh, please have and make it the kind of morning, afternoon and evening that you want.”
Vlogcast seven, for the longest time and I feel it’s evident in my vlogcasts previous to this: vlog cast 1 through Vlogcast 6, I have a very heavy tone, I have, I’m very monotone and just recollecting those events I can safely recollect those events because I am actively working through all of that and unpacking all the time and leaning into every single every single trigger I get because I’ve learned how to rewire my brain.
I knew and I was aware that that was a possibility but back then when I was so enmeshed in that heaviness, so shrouded in it, it’s like, it’s like when I don’t know how many of you swim or have been in the ocean but you can you can go really deep and back then I felt like I was really, really deep to the point where it, I almost couldn’t tell which way was up if it weren’t for me just you know letting my body float but it, I just, I couldn’t hold my breath and get up there so I felt like it wasn’t a possibility to be happy.
I was so bogged down I felt like the universe was on my shoulders like I need to help take care of this person, I need to help my family, I need to make sure my grades are well – good- I need to, I need to make sure that I’m taking care of myself and doing things I enjoy, eat foods that make me happy, like it was very checklist e and text bookie and I didn’t know what I was doing and when I over the past couple years when I when I was resisting that I was on that teeter-totter point of resisting that concept that I could be happy and in spite of feeling this way but I can still love and be loved and, and you know just talking about that I want to cry.
Even if I had my Kim 3.0 that’s how I refer to myself now, Kim 3.0, I still have 1.0 and 2.0 inside me anytime. I see 1.0 and 2.0 and even sometimes have mine triggered I remember that at that time I didn’t feel like it was possible to be happy, I didn’t feel like I was worth it to be happy, I didn’t feel like I could smile and have a good time even when I felt like, in the dumps deep in the bowels of the ocean.
I didn’t, it didn’t feel like a possibility and over time, I started to recognize the kinds of energy I was attracting and I said I kept asking myself you know, how come I’m always feeling down, how come the conversations I have are really heavy all the time, is it me, is it, is it me and it wasn’t like, “Oh, it’s my fault. It’s my fault. It wasn’t anger anymore I felt…melancholy, like ah, it’s my fault and I shifted that to realize it clicked for me when I started getting into coaching and raising my awareness to just because I feel a way doesn’t mean I am a way.
That’s when I started to realize oh my goodness this whole time I’ve been setting myself up for minimal, I don’t want to say success but I’m going to say success I was not setting myself up for emotional success and success to me was healing. It’s so, *laughs out loud* I had been so convinced that because I was checking all these boxes off that I was doing pretty well but really I didn’t have the tools to keep myself accountable for the emotional healing that I said I wanted so when I joined, um, when I hired my second Life coach I want to say about September of 2019, I’m already losing track of the years here.
2019 I signed on for a 6 month contract to receive the coaching of a life time. *deeply exhaled and pronounced haaah* every single week it was either I felt depressed or anxious or both. Depressed, anxious or both and it would get to this climax of a breaking point. I was putting a lot of effort we met two times a week and I’m talking about several hours. I couldn’t hide. There’s a difference between couldn’t and wouldn’t. I could have flaked. I could have said yeah I don’t feel well. I had money I had invested so much money out of pocket more than I’ve ever invested in myself ever in my life.
I invested this energy, this money, this energy into something that I believed would help me stay accountable to the emotional healing I wanted. I got I think maybe two or three times I vocalized to the coach I really I feel like I need to quit. I need to leave. I need to drop out. I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to do this anymore and she said, “Look, this kind of breakthrough you wanting… takes effort, conscious effort and you’re doing it firing on all gears right now and to be quite frankly, to be quite frank with you this is the worst time and quitting is the last thing that should be on your mind.” And you know I, I have wept when she said that she could have bought into my story like,
“Oh, yeah it’s really hard isn’t it. No, just it’s okay if you need to leave.”
I can’t like my eyes are getting moist just thinking about that moment it felt like just yesterday I was in a job again back to a part-time job that I hated it and I felt like my self-esteem was in the poop again I was still at home, um, feeling really a degraded sense of self-worth and I was going into debt for this program that I felt like I was this tiny little Krill in this ocean of a vast ocean of other whales: my peers.
I mean I didn’t at the time I didn’t compare myself but now that I see it you know we had our respective projects and journeys and all of that was unraveling in Facebook and for me I feel like,
“Who do you think you are right now? You really think you’re capable of doing this? You’ve never been good in school… you’ve never gotten the grades that were expected of you and look at you you’re not even using your degree?”
So, I felt really completely, completely lost again and I used to think it was this Pie in the Sky *ooooooo* idea of rewiring the brain to, to hack it into focusing on half-glass, glass half-full all the time. I was one of those people that was like *pbbbtt* you know good moments will end eventually so I never enjoyed anything. It wasn’t until probably the last year or so that I started to actually enjoy things again. It was a journey. Lots of crying, lots of relationships, healing, you know in their respective ways. I just… I was one of those that would get so triggered if someone suggested to do something to lift my spirits when someone tried to cheer me up I was very resentful, bitter and aggressive, combative, defensive and it, don’t get me wrong here, I don’t have regrets I do, well, I have no no I don’t have regrets. I am I’m not happy that people got hurt through my healing. I’m not saying that I condone the behavior I had: lashing out, pushing people away, cutting people off, flaking, not responding to people bullying my family, bullying myself. I don’t condone that but to those of you if you know you watch it now or later to those of you that are patient with me and allow me to go through my healing process I appreciate you. It’s been so hard for me to own my healing process. I know I’m not perfect at all and I know there’s no such thing as perfect and for anyone watching: I want you to know that there are really, there are really no right or wrong answers and healing looks different for every single person. I feel you. You’re scared to take that step. You’re scared to improve the situation in your life but I’m telling you even every action has a consequence be it positive or negative and it’s up to you to take that leap of faith and trust that there are no victims, no one is a victim in this world at all.
You’re stronger than you believe and in that process people will get hurt. Pain will happen and it’s inevitable I’m telling you that now. I’ve fought tooth-and-nail to resist the temptation to walk away from relationships, many over the past 10 years. It’s been a battle of my self-worth against people’s love for me and it’s been so touching what saying just thank you for those of you that have trouble accepting a compliment.
Even like today a guy slowed down while he was bicycling and said, “Have a great day.” He kept staring at me and then he said, “You are beautiful.” And you know in the past I would have said you know which finger [in the video I pretend to put up my middle finger], and been very aggressive but I said… I stopped my bike and I turned I said, “You too.”
We’re, we’re so resistant to this concept that we deserve more, that we are actually are bullying our self and that’s something that, um, one of the fellow bloggers put on my last broadcast is that we bully ourselves and we don’t even realize we’re doing it. And I learned in my coaching when you determine that you are your biggest bully you know what you do? You stop, you sit with your bully and you listen to what it’s saying to you? Embrace those pieces of you that interfere: an inner demon, whichever words you want to call it.
I am going to take an intuitive guess that that voice, that bully is one you are taught to silence: how well is that working out for you?
I help my clients, I help my Kindred Spirits get breakthroughs. People that have been through therapy and counseling and talked, talked and talked to people and falls on deaf ears, it’s not easy especially when you have expectations for people to want to hear you, to see you having expectation hurts so much and that’s how I lived for the past 10 years almost 10 years of my life, I had these expectations for people to see me in expectation to be heard, an expectation that people will care. You know what happens when you have expectations, you’re setting yourself up to get disappointed.
That was probably the hardest lesson for me to embrace. So, it is a part of a pretty brief Vlogcast in, um, it took a lot of conscious effort, it took a lot of being responsible for my feelings cause saying sorry for hurting someone, saying sorry for hurting someone’s feelings, it’s squishing what you’ve done. It’s completely undermining any effort you’re putting in for yourself.
I have a suggestion this time not a question. Well, I guess it is kind of a question: how do you feel about being 110% honest with someone that triggers and pushes every button you have and tell them full force how you feel when you two have had that conversation? Write it down. Maybe you don’t even have to send it to them. Own your feelings and don’t apologize. How do you feel about doing something like that? Try it. It’s, it’s most powerful healing when you do a face-to-face as much as you can. It’s so powerful and I was blown away by the kind of feedback I got from my parents particularly my parents from my brother.
It’s probably, probably, is probably the most challenging conversations I’ve ever had in my life is with my parents and my brother because I don’t feel, um, back then I didn’t feel like I had any right to speak my mind and now that I have I’ve loved my family all the more. It’s so fascinating how much of that, how much of that baggage was mine and not theirs and I was taking it out on them.
So, I’m here pouring my heart out to you, you know, don’t wait to be friends with your bully. Bullying your bully is not gonna work, it’s just not gonna work.
If any of you have any questions or you want some feedback and support, um, my website is grounds for clarity. groundsforclarity.comWe do offer extensive coaching Services, one-on-one [or] in a group where, you know, we work with *laughs* you and this, it’s going to take a lot of effort, conscious effort and accountability.
And, please consider my suggestion. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, doesn’t matter how you grew up, your culture: this is for you. For you: not for the relationship, not for the other person — it’s for you. Put yourself first, try, I dare you.”
The suggestion I refer to in the aforementioned paragraph is the being 110% honest about your feelings toward someone, and NOT apologizing, no matter the external outcome. You are on a journey to own your feelings because it is a matter of life, or death. Truly. If we aren’t growing, then we are dying.
Rooting you on every step of the way,
Thought Founder of Grounds For Clarity, LLC