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Sanctus Lupus Offline
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Feel like an impostor? - August 18th 2017, 10:39 AM

Got another slight issue.

So I've been working on myself for the past few months, like a lot. Went through a lot of problems, as is evident from the stuff I posted here, but it's gotten better. Got plenty of good advice a few weeks back, now I'm feeling far better. I cut my hair, started working on confidence, I'm working out like there's no tomorrow and I'm noticing clear results already. However, I haven't managed to beat this very strange feeling. It's a debilitating feeling. A series of thoughts. I don't feel comfortable in my own skin. It feels like I'm playing at something I'm not. Lifting weights? Confidence? Game? That's not me. That's never been me.

See, I've always been the weakest, the shortest, the least confident. That's not me anymore either. I'm average height, I'm growing stronger with every workout, my confidence isn't as terrible as it used to be, and I've learned to accept myself as decent in terms of looks. It just doesn't feel right. I feel disconnected from the world around me, but more so from myself. Like I don't really belong. I feel as if I am not meant to lift, to be confident and strong. It doesn't make me depressed or anything, and I feel very comfortable this way, but there's that voice in the back of my head, telling me that I'm someone else. I cannot imagine myself as a strong, confident man. I hope it's a temporary issue.

I understand that this is a problem of maturity. I've yet to fully mature, and I haven't discovered who it is I truly am. I still feel this is quite unnatural. Heard it's called "Impostor Syndrome" or something of the likes. So how do I feel more comfortable in my new self? Is it normal to feel off after a huge personal change?

Edit: I've accepted that I am those things, that I am better than I think I am, that it's just self-deprecation putting me down constantly. I still don't fully believe it though. I say I do, and I keep telling myself I look decent, I am decent and I will become stronger in a few months, both physically and mentally, it's just difficult to truly believe it. Does it get better if I persist?
   
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Re: Feel like an impostor? - August 18th 2017, 01:39 PM

First of all, I am happy things have begun to improve and you are taking the steps to get better physically. It's great that you are already seeing changes in the past few months, definitely keep it up. Remember: it's not a sprint. It's a lifetime commitment. That sounds scary when you're eighteen and you know you can live for another seventy or eighty years, but it can be done.

Second of all: I know exactly what you mean. No matter how much you try to better yourself mentally and physically, there's that nagging self-depreciative voice in the back of your head criticizing you at every step. No matter how much your friends tell you to stop being so hard on yourself, you can't help but be so.

Perhaps you can write out the self-depreciative thoughts on a paper or in a Word document, print it out if you typed it, and then tear it up. Another alternative is that you have a conversation with those thoughts. It may sound crazy, but it may actually help build your confidence. So when those thoughts begin criticize you, stand up for yourself and tell it to shut up. Because you are working to make a change in your life, even if you feel it's all an act.

I hope this helped somewhat. If you need to reach out again, don't hesitate!
   
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Re: Feel like an impostor? - August 18th 2017, 04:42 PM

I already try to converse with myself. I admit that I am not perfect, not nearly so. I have flaws. During these episodes, however, I also admit to myself that I do have good qualities.

I think you're right. It seems to work. Like I said, the thoughts aren't really too bad. Doesn't make me feel worse about myself. Just keeps me from maintaining self-improvement.
   
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Re: Feel like an impostor? - August 18th 2017, 07:08 PM

I don't think anyone of normal mental thinking considers themselves to be flawless. So, don't worry about that part, and I'm glad you are able to identify that you have flaws. That makes you human, but don't let that stop you from improving your life. It's going to take a while, but you can get there.
   
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Re: Feel like an impostor? - August 19th 2017, 08:32 AM

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Originally Posted by Iridescent. View Post
I don't think anyone of normal mental thinking considers themselves to be flawless. So, don't worry about that part, and I'm glad you are able to identify that you have flaws. That makes you human, but don't let that stop you from improving your life. It's going to take a while, but you can get there.
Yeah, I know. Lucky I started doing something sooner rather than later. Most of us are born somewhat confident and capable, I'll just need to work that little bit harder for it. No shame in that. Might even strengthen me in the long run. I went to a shitty school, no one ever expected me to get anywhere, and now I'm one of the top students in my class at engineering school. All the doubt from others only strengthened me.

I'm still nerdy as hell, probably always will be, so I guess that's mostly why I still have trouble seeing myself as a strong, masculine and competent individual.
   
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Re: Feel like an impostor? - August 19th 2017, 08:50 AM

Yes it's the classic example of trying to be someone, instead of just allowing yourself to be.

The more one tries to be "a strong, confident man", the more one is trying to play a role written for someone else.

The secret is to stop trying to be, and instead just allow oneself to be.

If that makes any sense.

It's one of those trick things where the more one tries, the less one succeeds. It seems counter intuitive at first. Instead of trying to achieve a future, we relax in to the present.

Kind of hard to explain, and I'm not very good at it myself, but this is the message I keep hearing from various meditation teachers.

Exercise is probably very good for depression, as it gets the body chemistry going, which in turn helps heal the body and mind. When I start getting depressed I ask my friend to take me for a walk so I can get some walking exercise. The next day I'll feel a bit better.

So it's not trying to fix things, or fix yourself, it's instead being OK with things being broken right now. We still work to improve ourselves, but we also chose to be OK with being broken and imperfect. (I'm told it's the imperfections that make us attractive, though I have a hard time wrapping my head around that.) It's that feeling of OK-ness that we seek. And we think if only I was perfect then I'd feel OK. But the master gurus tell us that isn't the case. We could be perfect and still feel not OK. One is not a guarantee of the other. And we can be imperfect and broken, yet still feel OK. It's not perfection we seek, it's that feeling of OK-ness. And there are things we can do to achieve that feeling, such as exercise. And other things that help our body, like see a doctor, get some social time with another person or group, oh the list of little tricks we can do to help trick our brains into feeling OK.

Best wishes! (I should exercise more!)
   
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Re: Feel like an impostor? - August 19th 2017, 01:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by del677 View Post
Yes it's the classic example of trying to be someone, instead of just allowing yourself to be.

The more one tries to be "a strong, confident man", the more one is trying to play a role written for someone else.

The secret is to stop trying to be, and instead just allow oneself to be.

If that makes any sense.

It's one of those trick things where the more one tries, the less one succeeds. It seems counter intuitive at first. Instead of trying to achieve a future, we relax in to the present.

Kind of hard to explain, and I'm not very good at it myself, but this is the message I keep hearing from various meditation teachers.

Exercise is probably very good for depression, as it gets the body chemistry going, which in turn helps heal the body and mind. When I start getting depressed I ask my friend to take me for a walk so I can get some walking exercise. The next day I'll feel a bit better.

So it's not trying to fix things, or fix yourself, it's instead being OK with things being broken right now. We still work to improve ourselves, but we also chose to be OK with being broken and imperfect. (I'm told it's the imperfections that make us attractive, though I have a hard time wrapping my head around that.) It's that feeling of OK-ness that we seek. And we think if only I was perfect then I'd feel OK. But the master gurus tell us that isn't the case. We could be perfect and still feel not OK. One is not a guarantee of the other. And we can be imperfect and broken, yet still feel OK. It's not perfection we seek, it's that feeling of OK-ness. And there are things we can do to achieve that feeling, such as exercise. And other things that help our body, like see a doctor, get some social time with another person or group, oh the list of little tricks we can do to help trick our brains into feeling OK.

Best wishes! (I should exercise more!)
You think? That's an odd idea, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being true. It sort of makes sense. The more I try to throw my knife properly, the more often I end up throwing it wrong, the less concentrated I become, and that just adds to the cycle. Maybe it applies to more than just knife-throwing. Just like a knife, however, there are only so many failed leaps a person can take before breaking.

Luckily for me, I'm not near broken. Hell, I'm not even depressed (not anymore). This problem impedes me somewhat, but it's not that much of an issue. I know I can be strong, manly and confident. Just a matter of time and effort.

Don't know if I should "fake it 'till I make it" or just sit back and fix what's broken before upgrading my systems, so to speak. Maybe a combination of both? I became very socially competent by faking it, and now it's second nature.

Good luck on lifting, if you're also getting into it, and thanks!
   
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