17 Spiritual Principles To Help You Overcome Impostor Syndrome

By Sah D’Simone

June 23, 2018 — 9:20 AM

I met my spiritual teacher in Nepal on my 27th birthday. In the midst of a 30-day meditation retreat, I was one of five attendees granted the honor of meeting this lama. As I sat in his waiting chamber, my excitement was buried under overwhelming sensations of fear and self-doubt. All I could think about was how he would see me as a fraud. How I wasn’t worthy of his attention. How he would sense my brokenness and send me off.

I met with him three more times in the coming month, and thoughts of unworthiness met me during each one. But in the end, everything ended up being just fine—better than fine, actually.

I wish I could say this moment of unworthiness was an isolated incident, spurred by the overwhelming experience of meeting a spiritual leader. But through so many big opportunities in my life, my feelings of awe and gratitude have been buried by a massive, steaming pile of self-criticism. Instead of enjoying the ride, my mind instantly lists all the evidence it can muster to show I'm not good enough. And if it can't find any evidence, it makes it up!

Does this sound familiar? If you’ve been making a habit of embracing new experiences head-on, chances are you are intimately familiar with impostor syndrome. So how can we take this energy and try to use it for good? Here are 17 spiritual principles I've been using to sashay away the impostor syndrome when it comes to visit:

  1. Out the impostor with your journal: Impostor syndrome often shows up as feelings of unworthiness, doubt, or a general feeling of unease. A great way of getting clear on these feelings is to write out the negative self-talk as it comes to you and see how ridiculous it actually is.
  2. Acknowledge your various parts: When we get swept away in anxiety, it’s hard to remember that there’s only a part of us that is experiencing these emotions. By conducting self-inquiry, you’ll be able to tease away the part of you that feels fake or nervous and identify that there are other parts of you that are excited and feeling capable. Our anxiety is never our only experience.
  3. Know you are not alone: Impostor syndrome is a universal experience among mega-bosses. We all experience it, so welcome to the club!
  4. Collect evidence to the contrary: Everyone has accomplished something amazing. Make a list of your accomplishments to reference so you can remind yourself that your impostor story is fabricated.
  5. Understand how you are actually perceived: Write out a list of things you appreciate about yourself. If you’re having a hard time writing this list, call a friend and say, "I’m having impostor syndrome. Can you tell me the things you appreciate about me?"
  6. Reframe doubt as positivity: Instead of "I don’t know anything," you can say, "I know enough" and "I am enough." Your thoughts shape your reality, after all.
  7. Your feelings are real but not true: Although your impostor syndrome may feel like a true depiction of reality, it is not. Remember that sometimes our feelings lead us to more abundance and trust, but sometimes they lead us backward.
  8. Practice daily meditation and breathwork: When we meditate, we create space between our inherent qualities and the lies that we tell ourselves. And practicing breathwork, belly breathing in particular, can be helpful in creating space and slowing down racing thoughts.
  9. Don't underestimate your bravery: When you move forward, even when you are scared, it gives everyone else permission to move forward too. All it takes is one step
  10. Take a tough-love approach: I've been known to tell myself things like, "Sorry, honey, you’re going to die someday anyway, so we might as well do the work. What’s the worst that could happen?"
  11. You’re always changing: The fact that things are always changing is not optional; it is totally out of our control. It’s the direction that you're heading that you can control.
  12. Don’t wait for permission: Don’t let credentials hold you back. Success is more than just a diploma.
  13. Smile: Who knows—it could make a huge difference.
  14. Look outside of yourself: Helping others is often the best way to get out of a negative thought spiral. Help someone genuinely, and you’ll feel your inner critic quiet down.
  15. Record positive interactions: Studies show that the brain is more likely to remember negative interactions than positive ones. So keep a file of all the good things people have said about you. I'll take screenshots of all the nice messages and comments that have touched my heart over the years.
  16. Know that comparison is death: Stop comparing and competing. These narratives will keep you trapped in impostor syndrome.
  17. Kill the ego: When we cling to ideas about who we are, we restrict ourselves to labels and behavior patterns. Let yourself be free.

Here's some more advice on how to drop your ego and live from a place of spirit.

#FORGIVENESS#JOURNALING#MANIFESTING

Sah D’Simone

Sah D’Simone is a meditation teacher, author, transformational speaker and coach. Born in Brazil, Sah came to the U.S. at the age of 16, working for over a decade in the fashion...

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Your Astrological Guide To Navigating Cancer Season

 

By The AstroTwinsAstrologers & Best-Selling Authors

Photo: @amandaw

June 22, 2018 — 8:55 AM

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Every 30 days or so, the Sun visits a new zodiac sign. During this "season" everyone feels the energy of this prevailing astrological sign. Cancer season is a homespun solar spell that will emphasize domestic bliss and family affairs until July 22.

Heartfelt Cancer is the zodiac’s first water sign, plunging us into our most primal and important feelings and heightening our sensitivity. Cancer season can be a comforting time but also a highly emotional one. As quick-witted, chatty Gemini season draws to a close, Cancer season turns our attention away from the buzz of the local scene and reminds us that home is indeed where the heart is.

Ruled by the tide-pulling moon, which is always going through a "phase," Cancer is symbolized by the Crab. During Cancer season, you might rediscover your love for your creature comforts, sprucing up your home to make it more welcoming for guests (dinner party, anyone?) and cozier for you and anyone else you might share your space with.

Cancer season also falls on the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21, 2018 (as it does every year), as the Sun passes over the Tropic of Cancer in its imaginary path around the Earth. (We say "imaginary" because duh, the Earth goes around the Sun—but that’s how it appears from our vantage point.) Fun fact: The word solstice derives from sol (sun) + systere (standing still) because, for about three days, the Sun seems to stop in the sky. It’s reached its northernmost point and is now switching to a southbound journey. Interestingly, the Sun rules the masculine, while Cancer governs the feminine. To have the masculine force stop in its tracks for this season to start is indeed a powerful thing!

The solstice has been celebrated around the world with rituals involving both water (Cancer is a water sign) and fire (the blazing Sun). From lighting bonfires to bathing in streams and oceans to celebrating nature and summer’s bounty to come, there is no shortage of timeless ceremonies you can try to welcome Cancer season and midsummer.

Here are a few tips for sailing through Cancer season without getting pulled into the riptides of the emotion ocean:

1. Remember that moods are subject to change without notice.

During Cancer season, our moods might swing more wildly than usual, and we all will, at some point, get a case of "all the feels." So what are you gonna do about it? We recommend NOT lashing out at the people closest to you! If Cancer season makes for a worldwide monthlong case of planetary PMS, just know that, like everything, your intense emotions—or someone else’s—shall pass. Best to keep a safe distance whenever possible and not to get hooked into the drama of it all.

2. Make your home and family the focus this month.

We all come from somewhere—and during Cancer season, we’re reminded of that fact. The Cancer-ruled fourth house sits at the very bottom of the zodiac wheel, representing our foundations. This is the time to connect with our roots, whether you do a DNA search from 23andMe, heal a generations-old cycle of pain through family therapy, or honor your ancestry by reviving a family ritual or recipe.

Since Cancer rules the home, use this season to enjoy yours more, whether you create a little reading nook, a meditation station, or spruce up a guest bedroom. (Need some help making your den feel more like a haven? Our home decorating horoscopes have tips for every sign.)

3. Flex your epicurean muscles.

Step away from the microwave; abandon the cart in your GrubHub app. Cancer season is a time to nourish ourselves, and we should all start connecting to the food we put in our bodies. No, this is not a PSA for juicing and cleansing—during Cancer season, our palates may veer more toward Parisian decadence (red wine, butter and garlic sauce, truffled everything) than plant-based dietary restrictions.

The caveat? Self-soothing Cancer can awaken an urge to emotionally eat, since food is one of our culture’s most widely accepted forms of comfort. During Cancer season, slow down and indulge mindfully—taking part in preparing a meal at least partly from scratch instead of bingeing on ready-made meals while you zone out at your desk. Up your Crab cache by inviting friends over for a dinner party.

4. Honor the women in your world.

Make way for the astrological Alpha female! Cancer rules the zodiac’s fourth house of home, family, and women—so this is a month when girls indeed run the world. Let us hereby declare Cancer season a time to celebrate and appreciate the maternal figures and inspiring women in our lives.

We all have feminine energy within us, regardless of which gender you identify with. What we could all do is take a stand for gender equality, in ways great and small—which makes us feminist by default! If you’re a woman, fight for fair pay. Speak up, voice your opinions, don’t end sentences with a question mark. If you’re not a woman or female-identified, take a stand whenever you see an injustice.

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5. Go global with your girl power.

Did you know that one in three girls in developing countries are married before age 18? Not only are they left uneducated and economically disempowered, complications during pregnancy are the leading cause of death for 15- to 19-year-old females globally. Help girls and women gain access to education, health care, and economic empowerment. Women make up the majority of the world’s poorest citizens. Yet, educating girls—which is forbidden in many parts of the world—has proved to be one of THE keys to ending poverty and forwarding world peace.

A small microloan from an organization like Kiva—which you could totally donate to if inspired—can help a woman start a business in a developing nation. May we also recommend adding to your Cancer season watch list the excellent Viceland show WOMAN, hosted by Gloria Steinem, which reveals the issues women worldwide are facing. You can also follow Global Citizen to learn more about what you can do to help.

6. Make a date with your muse.

All human beings are creative. It’s our birthright, and it’s in our DNA. Our ability to tap into that force depends on how willing we are to put our inner control freaks in the corner and allow the muse to track us down. We have to be quiet in order to RECEIVE the download of creative energy, and that’s hard for many people. We’re afraid that if we don’t keep a tight grip on our emotions, someone will come in and take advantage of us or worse, hurt us irreparably.

Caveat: Self-protectiveness is a Cancerian trait, but we all need to connect to that vulnerable underbelly of the sensitive Crab during Cancer season. Cancer is one of the zodiac’s most feminine, receptive signs, so during this solar cycle, we ought to loosen up, soften, widen our embraces and roll out the energetic Welcome Mat. To connect with the creative force within ourselves, we must quiet our "monkey minds" enough to let divine inspiration flow through. And guess what? That requires courage and most definitely not weakness or submissiveness.

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Sah D'Simone