How to Stop Believing the Lie that Everything Will Crumble at Midnight
Dear strong, beautiful human being with ambition,
You did it. You achieved your goal, the one you were working on for a while now. You landed your dream job, made that difficult lifestyle change, or created the healthy friendships you’ve always wanted.
But instead of celebrating, you have this underlying fear that it’s not real.
And the fear has you feeling like a fraud. Like you don’t really deserve what you have, and worse, that it’s all going to crumble.
Cinderella knew that feeling, too. In the 1950 animated film, Cinderella has a wish, and her fairy godmother makes that wish come true. She suddenly achieves recognition or success, but it is because of all the magical changes granted by the fairy godmother. And unfortunately, it comes with strings attached. At midnight, she has to return home otherwise she will go back to rags and “everything will be as it was before.”
But darling, you are not Cinderella. And you didn’t reach this new height because of some fairy godmother.
You reached it on your own because you’re a “high-functioning woman with strong values of mastery, integrity, and excellence.”
Oh, and you might also have imposter complex.
In a recent Zura Health podcast, Kylie turns to leadership coach and TEDxWomen speaker Tanya Geisler about “How to Break through the Imposter Complex.” Also known as the imposter phenomenon, the imposter complex is a psychological pattern in which a person doubts his or her accomplishments and feels like a fraud. In this powerful episode, Tanya talks about the 12 lies we end up believing when we doubt our successes, and one of them is the lie: “it’s just a matter of time when it all crumbles beneath you.”
And it’s true that many high-functioning women (and men) have a hard time owning their successes.
To avoid feeling like a fraud, the imposter complex exhibits certain behaviors, which Tanya goes into detail in the podcast. These behaviors include perfectionism, diminishment, comparison, people pleasing, leaky boundaries, and procrastination.
She makes the point that while these behaviors are not bad themselves, they do deserve our attention when they stop us from owning our successes.
If you’ve found yourself out of the action, doubting your capacity, or alone and isolated, the imposter complex might be getting the best of you. So, what can we do about it?
Tanya shares that one way to fight the lie that everything is going to crumble is to track your wins and successes. Remind yourself that you’ve been here before.
And here is what that sounds like:
You just made it up one of the largest mountains in your life and you’ve got a beautiful view from here. Take in all the beauty. You’ve reached a new height, and you can look back at the journey up this mountain and see your footprints leading you to where you are today. That was you. Every step.
You did the work. You put in the hours. You cried when it was hard, you pressed on. You humbled yourself. You found healthy friendships and let go of the people who were not truly friends or healthy for you. You worked on your trade or talent and turned it into a real career. You did the emotional work through therapy, coaching, or spiritual guidance. You took ownership of your weaknesses and mistakes and learned from them. You apologized when it was your fault. You met your deadlines. You turned in polished work, and when you received feedback, you accepted the suggestions and learned and grew as a professional, as a friend, as a mother, as a partner, as a sibling.
And you know what time it is? It’s time to celebrate that hard work.
Where are you today because of all the work and dedication you put in? Are you finally in a home environment or family dynamic that is peaceful and reflects your true self? It will not crumble, my dear. It has a solid foundation. And your partner is just as thankful to have found you as you are to have found them.
Are you finally in the professional role you always wanted? It’s time to celebrate. Your coworkers and employees are proud to collaborate and work with you. You make their job incredible.
Do you finally feel healthy from the inside? Are you prioritizing your mind, body, and spirit and feeling incredible because of it? It will not go back to what it was because you won’t let it. You will continue nourishing yourself and taking the best care of yourself because you now know how to do it right.
Let that light explode out of you, because we want to see it, too.
Yes, it’s time to celebrate.
And while we can’t control everything that happens to us in this life, that is not what this is about. It is about owning our successes. It’s about feeling the joy that is ours.
We deserve that joy. We are worthy of that joy. And the real support system we have of true friends and family deserve to see us happy, too.
What is stopping you from owning your success? Is it the lie that everything is going to be taken away at midnight? Is it the lie that you’re not ready yet? There are 12 lies, and 5 habits we fall into. Taking the time to understand the imposter complex and the behavioral traits is the first step toward allowing yourself to jumpstart the change from inaction, doubt, and isolation to celebration, joy, alignment, and connection.
We invite you to listen to the podcast to learn about the traits, uncover the lies, and take the necessary steps to start owning your successes and feeling that joy that is waiting for you. After all, you worked for it.