Imposter SyndromeDec 05, 2022
So this topic that we will be talking about today, I think about it all the time. It’s two words, that I had never heard of this definition before. I had know idea it was a thing…. But I have looked more into it and feel relieved that I am not alone.
So the two words I am talking about is, Imposter Syndrome. If you never heard this before, it basically means that you have self-doubt, and you override any feelings of success. I catch myself doing this to myself all the time. I especially do this to myself around my menstrual cycle so now that I am aware that I do this, I try to just ignore it.
As a dance teacher and choreographer, I often doubt my abilities. I say things like, Is this routine good enough, am a good teacher? Or I doubt my knowledge or put myself down. I am my own bully.
I actually heard this term when I was at a workshop recently for online entrepreneurs. I was talking with a coach, and I explaining that I would love to have a coach to keep me on my toes, and explained that I sometimes feel that I’m not qualified. He explained very simply, “Oh, that’s imposter syndrome. You got this”… I was so surprised that this is a thing, and others feel this way too, and now when I have my group coaching online, I hear this term so often. I definitely don’t feel alone anymore and now it’s easier for me to just tell myself to shut up when I start doubting myself.
As a dance instructor sometimes you get students who say, "I already know this" particular dance move, or "we did this move last year" etc… In my earlier years as a teacher, I would think, oh no, am I being boring, am I not challenging them enough? And question everything… But when I would reflect, I realized, I am doing everything this student or class needs. They do need repetition… just because you do pile’s when you are three, doesn’t mean you should stop now as a professional dancer doing plies. Certain exercises are important all the time. I do change things up during holidays and play themed music. I do play dance games during holidays. But, again, some of the moves we do, they have not perfected, so we do need to keep working on it, and just because they have a move down, can they do it faster, can they do it moving, can they do it turning, can they do the move with different arms… Don't let imposter syndrome sneak up on you when children question you!
I have taught a certain age group for so long that I am very comfortable with this age group, and I love it. I can go in, and just do my thing, and not overthink it because I know it works. Now I am also not saying to not grow, and keep things monotonous… If you aren’t enjoying teaching, then it might be time to change things up. I think we all get in a funk sometimes where we question ourselves, do I enjoy teaching still? Some of these kids really test me… or don’t listen. But, I usually take that as a challenge and try to improve as a teacher. I might take on a new job, like teaching at a studio I never taught at, or teach a fun routine for a school that I had never been to. That can be a little stressful because you don’t know the kids. But, usually after I am done teaching, and seeing smiles on some of the kids faces, I felt recharged. Sometimes I’ll have a super fun class and feel like, wow, I love teaching. I also think we get tired, and even though we love dance, we sometimes feel like not teaching. Or, I am so sore, or my back hurts, how long can I teach?…But when I sign on to my online class, and teach, I get recharged. And then I wonder, how did I get through that class when my back was killing me, maybe it’s adrenaline? Who knows, but I know I shouldn’t stop dancing, because it’s the only thing keeping me accountable for some exercise and of course I love it!!! Again, don't let imposter syndrome sneak in!!!
When I was a professional dancer, I would do the same thing, and say things like, am I good enough? Question the way I looked… The more I questioned myself, the more I started tearing myself down. Imposter Syndrome.
How I have gotten through this is? I have learned to celebrate my successes, share my feelings, as I am with you all now. I have also learned to accept that if I make a mistake or had an off day teaching, or auditioning, that it’s ok, we are only human. And when I start feeling like this, I recognize it, and just ignore it and look at my past successes and I definitely get my confidence back. And now that I know what imposter syndrome is, I can just recognize what I'm doing and ignore it.
If you have ever felt this way, I hope you don’t feel alone and I hope this blog helped you in some way. I do have social media and an online community on my website, where you can share how you are feeling or ask any questions or ask for advice on anything. I’d love to hear from you!
If you would like coaching just go to my store and click on coaching and we can set up a day and time to do a session. I also have other services if you are interested. If you need quick choreography just go to my store page and click on choreography or message me for a quote if your needs are different to what I am offering and I can send you an individual offer. Thanks for reading!