As everyone is well aware, the UK went into lockdown on March 23 and was officially in ‘full lockdown’ for 3 months. Even though, at the start, this seemed like the worst thing in the world, the extra time it gave people to pursue things they never had time to before has allowed people to explore different hobbies and even change the path of their life and find spirituality. It seems that, for many, lockdown was a blessing in disguise.
One person in particular that has taken lockdown as a chance to change her life is Naomi Osei, who during lockdown, overcame her Imposter Syndrome, created and hosted online classes and even wrote an EBook!
“I want to inspire others to be the best version of themselves. I decided that I wanted to create a legacy that I could be proud of.”Naomi Empowers
Naomi is 33 years old, lives in West London and has been suffering with imposter syndrome all of her adult life. She is single mother of two young children, and is a trained transformation coach.
According to Harvard Business Review, Imposter syndrome is a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. Imposters suffer from chronic self doubt and intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success.
“Imposter Syndrome manifests in different ways. There is the version that shows up when I have to tell someone what it is that I do. There are lots of things that I have the ability to do, but what happens is I get deep feelings of embarrassment, I feel ashamed and wonder if the other person is thinking ‘oh she’s such a show off’. I get lots of feelings of shame and embarrassment.”Naomi Empowers
Naomi (MBA) created ‘Naomi Empowers’ throughout lockdown as a testament to the legacy she has wanted to create for herself, but her imposter syndrome hasn’t let her.
Lockdown allowed her to have the time and space to work on herself and her mind set and prove the voice in her head wrong.
Naomi describes herself as a ‘high functioning imposter syndrome sufferer’, and had been able to employ techniques that allow her to show up regardless.
Her very positive lockdown experience was due to the new found time and space she found herself having.
“My lockdown experience was so positive because I FINALLY had the time and space to reflect on my life and its direction. I became acutely aware of my own mortality and recognised that, in many ways, I had been taking life for granted.”
Naomi recognises that her Imposter Syndrome was brought about as a form of post natal depression.
“I feel like it was triggered by a toxic relationship. After I had a baby, I wasn’t feeling the greatest and having someone around me that was constantly spewing hateful words towards me, adding to the insecurities I already had, it got really bad.
That’s when I stumbled across the quote by Lao Tzu, ‘Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character and watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.’
I understood that by transforming my mind, I could transform my entire life.”
Psycotherapist and coach Sarie Taylor says that one of the most common issues she discusses with her clients are about the expectations and pressures people put in themselves.
Sarie has been working in the field for 15 years, helping people to do things they never imagined possible.
“We can be our own worst enemy and very quick to criticise ourselves, and yet when we so manage to achieve many wonderful things in often challenging situations, we do not credit ourselves enough.”Sarie Taylor
“I wrote my book, Success: the inside job, created a master class master your mind-set and hosted a goal setting and virtual vision board workshop called the reset because I believe I owe it to myself and humanity to complete my mission here on earth. I get such an incredible reward for what I do!”
According to Sarie, Imposter Syndrome is not unique, and rather than needing a diagnosis, people need to understand and be aware of the affects our unconscious thoughts are having.
“We will all experience times and situations in life where we wonder if we are good enough, or compare ourselves to others. Overthinking and questioning ourselves becomes a habit, and like any habit, if we don’t even realise we are doing it, it can creep up on us and become destructive in our life.”Sarie Taylor
This is what Naomi has learnt, and can now take steps to minimise imposter feelings when she has them.
“I have affirmations, I believe that your internal voice is nothing more than learnt behaviour, it’s a habit. I had a habit of negative self talk, now, I will seek to actively replace that with something more positive. I get into the habit of affirming myself, I will build up a catalogue of evidence to support the things that I am saying.”
This is something she also practices with her clients in her workshops.
Naomi operates on the ethos that all we have is now, yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not promised. This allows her to focus in what is here and now, which helps her realise that there are certain things that just don’t matter.
“I commit to doing at least one thing that terrifies me each day, I am refusing to stay stagnant. I am pushing my own boundaries”
Her book was one of these terrifying things, Success: The Inside Job is a tool she now uses to fabricate her daily affirmations.
In order to tackle her imposter feelings, Naomi looks for evidence that proves the voices in her head wrong. When she was having imposter feelings around her book, she read reviews people had written about it, or looked as what people were saying on social media. This helps her stay out of her head.
“I always say, the only way through is to do. Do the things you think you cannot do. Even if you fail, its about changing our relationship with failure.”Naomi Empowers
Lockdown and Coronavirus has left many people jobless and afraid for the future.
If Covid-19 has affected your job, think about what you could do with your extra time, think about any passions you didn’t have time for before. Can you change your career path? Can you start your dream business? As Naomi says, the only person stopping you living the life you want to live, is you.