We tend to put ourselves through more unnecessary distress and suffering than anybody else could possibly inflict upon us. Most creative people encounter what I did in my late twenties as I ventured out on my own to build my private practice and write my first book. I felt like a big fake. Who was I to counsel people? Who was I to author a book? This is known as the imposter syndrome and is understood clinically as the psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. We just don’t know our own capabilities! We doubt our capacities. We are constantly limiting ourselves or letting outside circumstances limit us. My spiritual teacher at the time said that he would be worried about me if i hadn’t had these internal struggles of inadequacy. He assured me that this phenomenon is common and that we should be reluctant to trust someone who doesn’t have such internal conversations.
When the imposter syndrome is activated we often put our life on hold; we tend to put things off because we don’t believe in ourselves. Since creativity relies on one’s efforts, you could say everything responds to this creative effort. But we resist such efforts and come up with many reasons for putting life on hold—an aversion to risk, fear of the unknown and of exposure, and the intimacy of the creative life. When feeling inadequate somehow we seek to keep ourselves safe in the norm of inactivity or business.
In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield explores the battle between the unlived life and the life we live. “Between the two,” he shows, “stands resistance.” we put our lives on hold because we have to heal first, or get into the right relationship, or have enough time or money to create our masterpiece, or find the perfect space or home that will sustain our creative life.
You get this, don’t you? Clutter is often a manifestation of this agreement to put our creative life on hold. As the piles of paper, waste, and stuff accumulate; it gives us more and more things we have to get to before we can get to our creative lives. then, the door closes and it is too late.
Many people share that they feel selfish when pursuing a dream or a passion. this feeling may actually point to how they are finally taking care of themselves.
From then on I took this psychological phenomenon of feeling like a fake as a pointer to just keep going. (This syndrome rises up with every new endeavor of mine, though, less intensely).
No one knows fully where personal inspiration originates. Most scholars and experts at critical junctures of creativity feel as if they don’t know what they are doing. But they keep going anyway. And each of us can too.
Just keep going; keep writing.
Anyone doing something truly inventive or creative will encounter this imposter syndrome or some flavor of resistance. The method behind creativity and success relies on our willingness to keep moving. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from don Quixote: “until death it is all life.”
Want to buy this Writing Sherpa a cup of coffee? Here's how: Click here: A Cuppa Java for Julie.
Mind•Body•Word: 3 Days of Yoga & Writing at Holy Wisdom Monastery YOGA & Writing Retreat this August, 2019. August 27, 28, and 29. Explore True Self on the mat and page with yoga teacher (and blogger) Molly Chanson and Writing Sherpa and counselor, Julie Tallard Johnson Three days of attending to mind, body and word in a beautiful, natural setting. Includes meals, writing prompts, retreat time, time to write, yoga for any level, inspiration. $150.00 To register contact: Molly Chanson at email@example.com. 773-259-1202
Monthly Transformative Circle: The Red Thread: Touching Reality in our Everyday Lives at Healing Services on the River in Prairie Du Sac, WI Meets monthly on the 2nd THURSDAY evening of each month, 6 to 9 pm starts AUGUST, 2019. Gather together with others once a month for a year to explore what is truly meaningful and possible for you. We will use two of my books: The The Zero Point Agreement: How To Be Who You Already Are, along with, The Red Thread: Touching Reality in our Everyday Lives through Contemplation and Action. THE RED THREAD BOOK's publication date: April 2020! The Red Thread book and circles are based on the core teachings and Circles of Trust by Parker J Palmer. Connect more strongly to what matters to you. This is my 3rd decade of offering such circles. This circle is open to 11 participants. Learn more and sign up.
LAUNCHING NEW ON-LINE COURSE: (How to) BE THE CAUSE OF YOUR LIFE (rather than the effect). Starts Friday June 14th. Take any time, and at your own pace. This course is an invitation to increase your authenticity through strengthening your personal boundaries and developing your courage. There is so much that hinders us in accessing our inner truth, trusting our experience, and living freely. How to BE THE CAUSE OF YOUR LIFE series is a way to ignite or reignite your truest, most authentic self. The course gives you simple means to be yourself, to be the cause of your life. This course is a means to develop and trust your intuition, your inner-knowing. Where all lessons are simple, they are also quite profound in their transformative abilities. You will awaken more to yourself, your confidence and your knowingness through the application of these lessons. You will know what is yours to deal with and what is not yours. We start with a free-20 minute phone consultation. Learn more and sign up.
All Write Wednesdays: World into Word
All Write Wednesdays is a blog about living the writer's life. Everything in our lives is material. Read all of the All Write Wednesdays posts.
Zero Point Blog
The Zero Point blog shares my teachings about living your life from the inside out and becoming the cause rather than the effect of your life. Read all of the Zero Point posts.
Support this blog
A CUPPA JAVA for JULIE Your support helps keep this Sherpa writing and helping others. Please consider a donation.
Julie lives in Mount Horeb WI where she walks her dogs through Stewart Park, gardens her corner lot, attends yoga at Perennial Yoga in Fitchburg and waits for spring 11 months of the year. She is author of The Zero Point Agreement & ten other books. She also writes for the local Mount Horeb paper and in her free time listens in on others' conversations at Sjolinds.