This is part of my ongoing LinkedIn Series: Ten Tips for Ten Days, you can read more and watch the one-minute video at the bottom of this post.
Silence the Naysayers: Impostor Inspector
Impostor Inspector is that condescending whisper from the shadows that you are a fraud whose “real” level of talent will soon be revealed. She insinuates that your accomplishments are the result of flukes and luck, rather than skill.
Impostor Inspector projects your current skill level with potential future projects and responsibilities to try to show you that you will never measure up to the responsibility that your true talent could bring. What she fails to include in this negative messaging is the growth, change, and maturity that will come as you progress through your creative journey.
You don't have to be able to measure up today to what you will be able to accomplish in twenty years, or ten years, or five years, or even one year from now. That would be like teaching a kid to ride a bike with training wheels, and then declaring that they will never win the Tour De France when they're twenty-five because they could not compete with their current skill level. Duh, they couldn't compete on that level now, but give them a few years and the growth and development those years will bring, and the story will be different.
Imposter's entire tactic is intimidation. She thrives on your fear and insecurities. She wins when you listen to her overblown predictions and walk away from your work. Don't do it!
Stop listening to the lies.
Like Comparison, Colonel Criticism, and Ringleader Regret, Impostor Inspector's 💩only works if you listen to it. If you don't quit, the Naysayers will never win. Their goal is to keep that super powerful creative expression trapped inside of you, rather than shining out into the world.
Just because something feels like it could be true, or has an element of truth, doesn't mean that it is true. Impostor will often infuse just enough truth or "reason" into an intimidation waterfall that it feels hard to ignore. Ignore it anyway.
Listen to Legitimacy.
Impostor Inspector is kind of like Mushu in this scene, he appears huge and intimidating until you see him in the light.
Confronting the Inspector at every turn is Legitimacy. He stands unwavering in his conviction of your true creative value and skill, knowing who you are now and who you are becoming in the future.
Legitimacy shines a spotlight of Truth into the shadowy corners where Impostor Inspector lurks, revealing her weakness and tiny abilities.
Legitimacy speaks to your true identity, calling out the best in who you are now and pointing you toward the truth about who you will become in the future. Like our other heroes, Legitimacy gives you grace to have a process. He recognizes that you are learning and growing and empowers you to walk a pathway to success.
Banishing these naysayers from your thought life will give you the freedom to operate in creative confidence and generosity.
Shutting out the influence of the Naysayers will make room for you to walk in Creative Confidence and Generosity. When you are living trapped in a mind war with Colonel Criticism, Ringleader Regret, and Impostor Inspector, you do not have time or bandwidth to be generous or to move in creative confidence. Once you start to take control of your mind and thoughts again, you will be surprised at what emerges and how much you have to give to your creative community.
The world is waiting for your unique creative expression to shine! We need exactly who you are to bring exactly what you carry to the table. I can't wait to see what you bring!
You can read more about The Naysayers & their Nemeses in our book, Bright Ideas: Light Up Your Creativity, or in additional blog posts here.
Do you want to learn to be more creative?
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I'm doing a series on LinkedIn this week called #TenTipsTenDays where you spend ten days giving a tip each day that relates to your field. I'm focusing, of course, on creativity. This is a super fun way to get the word out about what we do here at the Bright Ideas Collective and share a little creative wisdom with my LinkedIn crew.
If you want to be creative, or learn how to work through creative blocks, we have resources for you! You can buy the Bright Ideas Book, with practical actions to take ownership of your creative journey. Now, you can join the Bright Ideas Collective online community where we share and support each other in our journey to being more creative!