Your Imposter is Picking Your Pocket
Do any of these ring true?
+You don’t bill all of your time (or worse, maybe you don’t even track it).
+You consistently send invoices late.
+You haven’t raised your rates lately (or ever).
If so, your Imposter (aka The Judge) is at work.
Your Judge wants to keep you small and scared to “protect” you in some warped way. It lies to you—listen to me and you’ll be successful; without me pushing you, you’ll get lazy; nothing will improve unless I constantly point out what’s wrong. And berates you—you don’t know what you’re doing; no one will hire you; who are you to ask for that fee. For years I believed my Judge. Still do sometimes.
Here’s the deal, the opposite of the lie always comes true. Instead of improving or feeling motivated and successful, you feel discouraged, exhausted and demoralized. Listening to the Judge will never lead to prosperity.
Maybe the exact words of your Judge are different, but the message is the same. You don’t deserve it, whatever “it” is. So we don’t charge a competitive rate, or we don’t bill for our time, or we procrastinate sending (or even doing) the invoices. Sound familiar?
Here’s some things to do about it:
1. Watch for your Judge. Awareness is the first step to doing things differently. The Judge is everywhere! If billing isn’t your challenge, you won’t have to look far. Whenever you feel stress, look for the Judge. It might be judging you, someone else or the situation as “bad bad bad!”
2. Name it and claim it. Acceptance is the answer. Your Judge is never going away; your brain is wired for it. But you can catch it quicker and shush it, and also have empathy for yourself for how it brutalizes you. Give it a name to make it real and to take step 3.
3. Play with it. Act like a Sage and mess with your Judge to minimize its power. Say things like, “What took you so long, [insert name]? I’ve been waiting for you.” Or, “Is that the best you can do, [insert name]?” Alternatively, take the Judge’s gloom and doom to the extreme and really dramatize it. For example, “You’re right, I am a terrible designer and I will never get paid, and then I’ll never get another project and I’ll have to close my business and then I’ll lose my home and my friends and and…!” Humor and playfulness are strong Sage traits.
By the way, you are not alone. Every human on the planet has a Judge; it’s how we’re wired. So share these steps with someone and commiserate together!
Sick of your Imposter holding you back? Grab your seat in my next Mental Fitness Bootcamp starting September 18th. We will deep dive into the Judge and you will learn dozens of ways to deal with it and your other Saboteurs. Special offer in the Toolkit for MBA members!
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