Have you ever pitched your ideas to someone and they were discounted, overlooked or ignored only later, to find out that your ideas had been taken by someone else? You are asked regularly for advice but your information is neither acted upon or is criticised and yet, you still continue giving because that is just ‘who you are’?
If this is you, you show an Imposter Syndrome personality sub-type where you have literally ‘invisibiled‘ yourself by default. This is because, although you are visibly present helping or doing for others the reality is, you have hidden yourself in their needs for so long that the ‘real you’ isn’t visible at all.
So Why Does This Happen?
It happens because you have learnt to over use one of the most beautiful loving gifts we can give to another person – our empathy, compassion and exquisite awareness to see the needs of other people sometimes even, before they can see them for themselves. It is like you have developed a supernatural gift which becomes ‘your thing’ and maybe, you are secretly proud of.
Learning to have this depth of empathy developed as an adaptive safety strategy to help you deal with childhood trauma. This would have been a time where you would have learnt that to ‘survive’ was to be what the ‘other people ‘wanted you to be. This normally happens when you realised that you can’t physically hide or run away from you ‘perpetrator’ and so, your next best choice is to serve your ‘perpetrator’. In evolutionary terms supplication often results in the aggressor not harming or may even ignoring the victim because dominance is established and there is no reason to peruse.
So, you are safe, you have learnt this is a good strategy and so you use it, over and over, until it becomes your SUPER POWER. However, it comes at a cost, because now you’ve spend a life time of second guessing and anticipating the needs and wants of others that you no longer connect to what you want. You also have learnt to hide your emotions so they can’t second guess your thoughts and use that as ammunition which often means that future relationships because you are unable to share how you feel or what you want and you can become very disheartened as you crave the love that you want.
However, for some people this SUPER POWER leads them into living their life in chronic selfless service to others because they begin to believe that this IS their purpose in life but it is done from a place of not knowing how it all started and so there really isn’t a choice at all.
Imposter Syndrome has 5 personality types – the Perfectionist, Super Hero, Soloist, Natural Genius and Expert and so you guessed it they are the SUPER HERO.
The SUPER HERO is the kind of person most employers love to have as they are, good at organising things for others, they get the job done, they anticipate the needs of others, they are great communicators, the hub around which everything revolves around. In fact, they are a force to behold as they can do unbelievable things, they never stop for breath, give endlessly and yet when asked, very few people will be able to tell you what day is their birthday, what are their interests, what presents to get them or what are their dreams and aspirations. People just don’t know much about them at all.
The Truth Is:
SUPER HEROES are often highly sensitive and incredibly empathic, they know how to make people feel ‘incredibly seen’ which puts people instantly at ease. They will go the extra mile to ensure that people are taken care of, are fiercely loyal, will strongly defend those that are in their care and will get extremely upset when others are in pain.
SUPER HEROES are often found in the careers which are generally, but not always, the domain of women such as social workers, nurses, coaches, therapists, teachers, mothers, etc., any field where unconditional giving to the extreme happens. Unfortunately, although giving is a good thing this kind of self-less service often leads to the SUPER HERO being undervalued by her/his employers, family, friends and society. We only have to see who is paid the least in societies.
They Assume Everyone ‘Should Know’
Although the SUPER HERO can have this incredible awareness to the needs of other people the paradox is they don’t have this awareness for themselves. They make the assumption that others because they ‘show their love’ by doing that other people would intuitively know what they want and so, they don’t ask for what they want and unfortunately because people don’t know, they don’t reciprocate in the way they expect thus they don’t believe that or expect their needs to be met. They ‘should know’, ‘people don’t care’ and ‘they wouldn’t miss me if I was gone’ is what I get told all the time when working with clients. But the truth is
“How can anyone know what you want, give you what you want….if YOU don’t tell them?”
When we look back at their history of “invisibiling” themselves the hardest thing is for them to see how they have perpetuated this pattern of putting all their attention of other peoples’ needs and the consequences that have resulted. They get to see how they created this life of Lack and Isolation and this is when their internal critical voice or judge that blames and shames kicks in big time. In those moments it can be really hard to acknowledge and love oneself when we see that we have been driven by the ‘need to appease’ and mistaken that for a way to be loved, accepted and belong. Perhaps even, how we have missed so many opportunities, let ourselves down or betrayed our self of dreams.
How Do You Stop Doing This?
You have to learn to go inwards and move into a position where your Power is internally sourced by you. You have to learn how to create new structures that help develop a different relationship with yourself and others. Structures that support your inner knowing for this is the only way you can truly keep yourself safe and stay open to loving healthy relationships. To start we need to develop a deeper awareness by:
- Recognising your own needs and desires and labeling them. This helps to downregulate the emotional charge and put you into a place of quiet Sovereign Power
- See your challenges as gifts and blessing – Be kind to yourself
- Be present in your body and create boundaries for yourself and others
- See your own value and know what you bring to the table
- Develop a WIN-WIN Mindset – so develop relationships where you envision everyone’s needs and desires are met including yours – Everyone
- Decide what you want and take forward action – forward action is the only way to change our neurology as we change by doing.
- Access resources on a daily basis such as:
- EFT or self-EMDR
- Meditations Daily
- Create a power statement based on a deeper truth such as:
- My gifts are precious they deserve to be heard by everyone and not just me
- My opinions are based in a deep inner truth and I confidently offer them in elegant and engaging ways
- I step up into leadership roles knowing that it is my duty to do so
- I am a protector and guardian of my community providing plenty of opportunities for others to thrive
If what I have shared here resonates please connect with me via the link and we can have a conversation on how I can help you. https://SherineLovegrove.as.me/MeetSherine