How do you silence the imposter monster?
By Lori Hammond
Coach and Professional Hypnotist. Giving you simple tools to stop overwhelm and harness joyful forward momentum.
"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default."
- JK Rowling
Have you heard the term "lizard brain"?
It refers to the part of the brain that's responsible for the "fight, flight, or freeze" response.
When I first heard the term "lizard brain" I was a little offended.
I pictured a lizard hijacking my thought process and I couldn't bring myself to believe that a little lizard could be the boss of me.
I thought, "Maybe that happens to other people but MY fears are legitimate!"
When I quit my job to become a full time hypnotist, I wrestled with thoughts like...
"So-and-so is already really good at this! There's not room for me in this market."
"What if I forget a step when I'm helping a client?"
"I just need one more training, then I'll be ready to start."
"What if people think I'm a fraud? What if I actually am a fraud?!"
I didn't realize that those thoughts were actually the lizard trying to keep me safe.
You see, the part of the brain that prompts scary what-if scenarios exists to keep us in our comfort zone and it will do anything it can to keep you there.
The lizard who was whispering (and sometimes shouting) those things in my ear is what I call The Impostor Monster.
How to Silence the Impostor Monster:
Before I share the simple solution, you should know what does NOT work.
- Using logic and reasoning don't work because the Impostor Monster doesn't understand logic and reasoning.
- It never works to wait for the fear to pass or wait till you feel ready.
In fact, every time you listen to The Impostor Monster and wait to take action, you reinforce the fear habit.
And yes, it is a habit. Even though it feels really real.
So what DOES work?
If you've been reading my cheat sheets for awhile, you've heard me talk about changing the 3 B's.
Sometimes people doubt that such a simple tool can generate change...
...until they try it.
If you're willing to prove to yourself how easy it can be to silence the Impostor Monster, I'd like you to decide when you'll use the following exercise in the next week.
Think of a time when you fear failure the most and imagine yourself using the 3 B's Protocol you're about to learn.
You can even set an alarm on your phone to remember.
The 3 B's
Body: Shift your body language/posture. This works because the lizard lives in a specific posture. There's a good chance your shoulders are tense and rounded forward.
Try this right now: Imagine a string is pulling you up from the top of your head and aligning your bones. Let the rest of your body hang loose and limp and relaxed. Allow your shoulders to let go and drift down. Puff out your chest a bit.
Notice that you're already feeling better.
Breath: The Impostor Monster lives in shallow chest breathing. When you shift your breathing as follows, it literally turns off the fear chemicals in your body.
Try this now: Inhale while you count to 7. Exhale while you count to 11. Each count is shorter than a second. Take three 7-11 breaths while you're in the posture above.
Notice how much better you feel.
Belief: Ok, here's the big one!
Only it's not actually big.
Beliefs are simply thoughts that we repeat over and over to ourselves.
Two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
The easiest way to silence the Impostor Monster is to fill your head with the things you WANT to feel.
Belief is the third "B" because it's much easier to change your self talk AFTER you change your Body Language and Breathing.
Example: The Impostor Monster says, "You'll never be as good at this as so-and-so. You might as well give up."
After shifting your body language and breathing, ask yourself this magic question.
"How do I WANT to feel."
Then start self-talking the answer...
"I can get better and better at this. I believe in myself. I've learned to excel in other areas so that proves I can excel here too."
The next time you catch yourself second guessing your ability to move toward your goal, shift your 3 B's.
Body Language: String pulling you up from the top of your head and shoulders relaxed.
Breath: Take three 7-11 breaths
Beliefs: This is just self talk. Say empowering things to yourself based on your answer to the magic question, "How do I want to feel?"
If you played along and tried it just now, then you already have a good idea of how well it works.
It just gets better with practice!
Have an amazing week !
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