How to Fix Imposter Syndrome by Sorilbran (1)

Imposter Syndrome: What to Do When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

I know what it means to feel like you’re not cutting it, even when you are. That nagging voice telling you you’re not good enough, or that everyone’s going to find out you’re winging it—that’s the Imposter Syndrome. It’s a pattern of thinking that makes you habitually downplay your successes and leaves you feeling undervalued. It sucks, and it’s no way to live. So, I want to share the one thing I’ve found that works, without fail.

In my 49 years, I’ve experienced three distinct “acts” in my life. My first act was spent in the arts—writing, performing, and even fronting a band called Atlantis Theory in my 20s. We had the incredible opportunity to open for Maceo Parker and The Rippingtons. It was an unforgettable time with a solid group of guys who were both friends and brilliant musicians. I keep a picture of us in my kitchen, a daily reminder of the vibrant, creative spirit that defines who I am. 

Then came my second act as an entrepreneur in Detroit. My then-husband and I started a window company that quickly became one of the top suppliers in the region. 

My third act began post-divorce when I moved to Atlanta to be a professional writer. Fleeing Detroit for better educational opportunities for my kids, I freelanced to prove my writing skills. I decided to teach myself marketing and, after years of relentless self-study (seriously, I replaced the radio and music streaming with marketing podcasts for literal years), I landed a position at an influencer marketing agency where I now serve as the head of content marketing.

Despite my achievements – and I’ve had tons of big successes – I constantly felt like an imposter. The pressure to keep up with my idea of what a marketer should be and look like was overwhelming. As an African American mom of four, self-taught through YouTube University, I often felt out of place in the world of digital marketing. 

The Two Words I Use That Render the Imposter Syndrome Powerless

In my first year or two as a freelance writer, I was hired by the Mike Michalowicz’s team to edit and update blog posts. One of the posts I worked on was about the power of the words “I am.” I think that was the initial seed. Later, that same seed was watered as I listened to a sermon by Bishop Tudor Bismarck on the power of “I am.”

Those two – the blog post and the sermon – served as the catalyst for reshaping my thoughts around the idea of speaking to who I believe I am instead of fretting about who I hope I’m not. I realized then that affirmations could transform my mindset. So, I wrote three pages of affirmations describing the woman I wanted to be. Here is an excerpt from those. :

“I am Sorilbran. I am loved, chosen, and favored by God. I am a loving mother. My kids adore and respect me. I am a fantastic wife. I am a valued and loved sister and daughter. I am a jewel in my husband’s crown. I am educated. I am compassionate and even-tempered. God has given me all the right relationships needed to fulfill my purpose. I am a woman of excellence. I am a strategic thinker. I have precision of speech. I am not timid and fearful. I am purposeful. I listen more than I talk. I am bold. I am warm and courageous, confident and unreserved. I speak boldly without ambiguity. I am a woman who creates and implements plans.”

These affirmations became part of my daily routine. Each morning, I read them aloud, letting the words set the tone for my day. This practice helped me combat the negative self-talk that comes as a result of our own perceived failures, our past experiences, and of course, Imposter Syndrome. Whenever doubt crept in, I had a reservoir of positivity to draw from.

It worked. I began to see changes not just in how I viewed myself, but in how others perceived me. Confidence is infectious, and as I grew more confident, others started to recognize my value as well. I went from feeling like an imposter to owning my place in the professional world.

Form the Habit. Then Re-Form the Habit as Necessary

In the 11 years that have passed since I first penned this life-changing set of confessions, I haven’t always been diligent in speaking these confessions over my life. There have been literal years that have passed when I’ve forgotten about these confessions, and frankly, forgotten other important things about myself.

Sometimes we forget who we are!!

Sometimes we’re so busy living life and taking care of our families and trying to show up at work, at church, at home that we forget that we ever wanted anything other than a great garden, the updated version of our SUV, and whatever house-related thing you want.

That Time I Completely Forgot I Was a Musician

I realized only about 18 months ago that I’d completely forgotten that I spent more than half my life as a performing musician. My younger kids (seven and ten years old) had no idea I even played an instrument! How does one erase 26 years of her life?

For me, it was pain. When I relocated from Detroit to Atlanta, I decided to move away from music to minimize the chances of me returning home prematurely. Everything about Detroit reminded me that I was a musician. My closest relationships were with other creatives. The man I loved was someone I’d worked with in music for years. I spent almost all of my free time writing, composing, and performing music. I needed to get out of the music ecosphere.

The first few years away were extremely difficult for me. But eventually, I got so busy being the Atlanta version of me (the writer and marketer) that by 2016, I completely forgot that I was ever in music. It took six years of me being away and completely uninvolved in writing and performing music. I also minimized contact with my tribe. And I eventually forgot music. And them.

And me.

By the time 2023 rolled around, I was so far removed from the version of myself who sang and wrote music that Rib Stone (that was my stage name) seemed like a friend of a friend’s whom I didn’t know very well.

Once again, I found my way back to me by reading the list of confessions, even adding new ones.

My point is this: if you’re struggling with Imposter Syndrome, I encourage you to put together your own list of handy little reminders of who you are. They don’t have to be grand—just honest reflections of your strengths and goals. Read them daily, let them sink in, and watch as your mindset shifts.

The Imposter Syndrome thrives on fear and self-doubt. By consistently affirming your worth and potential, you render it powerless. Embrace the power of “I am,” and step confidently into the person you are meant to be. 

In the end, it’s not about achieving perfection or never feeling doubt again. It’s about recognizing your value, celebrating your hard-won successes, and knowing that you are enough, just as you are. The journey to overcoming the Imposter Syndrome is ongoing, but by leaning into self-compassion and making a commitment to see yourself the right way, you can change your mind, and in so doing, change your life.

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