“That’s not for you.” “You are not good enough.” “You’re going to starve if you do that.” “Stop being silly, start taking life seriously.” “Until when will you grow up!” “That’s for losers and in this family we do not tolerate mediocrity.” “Locate yourself, those are not your circumstances.” Have you ever heard any of these sentences? If the answer is yes, it is very likely that you have a frustrated talent (or more than one). But not only that: you were programmed to deny your essence, that is, to deny yourself in order to meet someone else’s expectations.
The first five or seven years of life are key to the programming of any human. Everything learned in that period is key to the formation of their own identity. A merely mundane identity that has little or nothing to do with our essence.
Words such as identity, personality, temperament, character and some others are often confused with the very essence of Being. The former make up the Self, which is nothing more than the programming that the mind receives through a complex system of beliefs that determines the reality of the individual on the material plane. The essence, as I already said, is the genuine manifestation of the Being. Of what is of origin, beyond the body, the mind, the emotions and the interpretation of reality that the limited five senses of the body and our history allow us. .
The vast majority of humanity lives his/her whole life(s) trapped in a false idea of himself/herself, inherited from an extensive genetic pattern and learned from the environment in which he/she develops during the first years of life. Not to mention the conditioning received in an energetic plane prior to each incarnation that many call “destiny” or “divine will”.
There are those who dare to confront that original programming and develop on a psycho-emotional level. With dedication, effort and perseverance, they dissociate themselves from the programmed Self and develop a more authentic Self that reveals a slight glimpse of their essence, but is still the result of their mundane nature and is only enough for them to adapt to the environment, having a slight sense of control. and of freedom that is far from the Being. The consciousness finds it, not the mind. With which I do not want to disqualify the process of deprogramming the Self and the development of the most authentic Self (in psychoanalytic terms, the ideal Self and the real Self, respectively). On the contrary, these are the foundations of the building and the deeper they are, the greater the awakening of consciousness. A serious mistake nowadays is to think that this part can be avoided, that’s why you don’t get far. To know who you are, you must first know who you are not. You cannot see your true face if you continue to identify yourself with the mask.
One of the biggest obstacles that a person who is in search of himself faces is the impostor. And I am not referring to the Self that usurps the place of the Being, but to that part of his personality that is in charge of sabotaging a good part of the attempts to be himself. Let me explain with an example:
Let us think of someone whose essence is the vocation for teaching, for generating and transmitting knowledge, but had a mother who always educated him to depend on her – therefore, she sent him an unspoken message that she considered him a fool- , and an absent father -which, among other things, is interpreted in the child’s mind as that one is not enough and that is why dad prefers to be far away-.
Let’s imagine that one day the teacher asks you to research a topic and prepare a presentation for the rest of the class. What happens in the unconscious mind of that child is that he sets in motion a scaffolding of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors whose purpose is to fulfill the “prophecy” of continuing to be a fool who is never enough, and, therefore, lacks acceptance and recognition of self and others. In this internal soliloquy that takes place in the unconscious, thoughts such as “you are not going to do well”, “this is very difficult”, “they are going to make fun of you because you are a fool”, etc. arise. These negative thoughts generate negative emotions such as fear, and this will be the basis of that child’s behavior. As expected, the presentation of the work will be a complete failure that will be repeated every time the child approaches something that leads him to modify the programming he received. The child will grow up to be a frustrated adult, a slave to his own mind.
It is not that he lacks skills, that he has bad luck or that the stars do not favor him. Rather, he feels like an impostor by having to transmit knowledge. How is a fool who is never enough going to be able to teach something, no matter how small? Insecurity, distrust and fear take over him and lead him to commit all kinds of errors or omissions that even lead to the somatization of disabling illnesses and diseases if he cannot find their emotional origin.
In this way, many people stop making music, painting, practicing a sport or preparing to exercise a certain profession. And if for some reason they come close to it, they do so carrying on their back the terrible unconscious weight of feeling like impostors who feel guilty and ashamed of being themselves.
There are two ways to identify this figure: frustrated dreams and false modesty.
The first is obvious. I had a poet friend with extraordinary sensitivity and talent. The guy was dedicated to business administration and in his free time, which was getting shorter and shorter, he sat down to write. He usually fell asleep with the pencil in his hand or was distracted by something. He took weeks, sometimes months, to write a couple of verses. Once he set himself the goal of saving to self-publish a collection of poems. He said that this was the best motivation to sit down and write. He never had enough money or material for his book. In a couple of years he only wrote a poem that he titled “The work that never was”. He gave it away to a magazine on the condition that they publish it under a pseudonym.
There you have the imposter in all his glory. His frustrated dream was to have studied Letters to dedicate himself to writing and academic life. In his place, he studied a career that assured him a place in his father’s successful company and enough income to support his family. Not only was his future as a poet sabotaged, but every time he wanted to write was also sabotaged. He didn’t even use his name in that newspaper publication, lest he be criticized for “not being good enough.”
The second way to identify the impostor is through false modesty, a characteristic so deeply rooted in our Latin America:
—How delicious was the food, you showed off!
—But never as rich as yours, friend.
—Congratulations on the grade you got!
—Thanks, but it’s not that big of a deal.
In these cases, the answers are not those of a humble person, but of someone who feels like an impostor when he performs a task successfully. They are usually people with rejection wounds and a strong feeling that they never met the expectations of their environment. Therefore, they grow up with the lack of acceptance and recognition of their closest circle, which leads to a lack of acceptance and recognition of their own. When someone else recognizes them, they automatically feel like impostors.
A few years ago, an artist with exceptional abilities sought me out, but who couldn’t turn that into a decent income. Despite the fact that she had a considerable internal development process, she also had a high resistance to opening up and investigating what could be affecting her. She came with me to tell me what to work on and she did not accept easily that I told her how. Her denial of reality was very evident from the outside. Little by little she allowed herself to be encapsulated by her own fears. The main one, the fear of being herself. She felt like a tremendous impostor if she accepted herself as the exceptional being that she is and she showed herself as such. In her place, she hid in anonymity. She always sought to be in the place of giving, never receiving. This manifested itself in many ways, the most notorious being that she never referred to herself as an artist, but she called others even teachers. Her work was never good enough in her critical eyes, but she gave someone else’s work a privileged place. Of her She disqualified herself through humor, she always made jokes about her and her work. She had a hard time finishing a work, she corrected and corrected so as not to finish and have to publish her work. Deep down she was terrified of being exposed to public scrutiny, lest she be found out that she was an impostor.
She didn’t feel good enough and hid behind any number of excuses not to call herself an “artist” and show her work to the general public. Instead, she settled for a small group of people who sought her out and where she felt in control of the situation. She said that “her art is being killed by the ego of the artists”, that is why she refused to “show off her work on social networks”. Every time she undertook some strategy to publicize her work, she experienced everything: her website crashed, her portal was hacked, her social network account was closed, she was plagiarized, etc. Such was her insecurity that she unconsciously projected it into her reality, in order to sabotage any attempt to be her. And of course she never accepted it, she already had a well-armed speech to justify herself by saying that “the path of creativity is very bumpy, but obstacles are the triggers of great ideas.” Excuses, very well elaborated, but finally excuses.
In case you were wondering, I don’t know what became of her. One day she didn’t come back anymore. Her refusal to accept reality – as painful as it was – and change it, was her biggest obstacle. Recognizing the figure of the impostor is the most difficult part of the process. Once you become aware of it and its origin, you are most of the way there.
Finally, discovering when you feel like the impostor is realizing that you are identifying yourself with someone you are not and behaving according to a programming that you received from external sources, both from this and other planes. It is impossible to get out of here and reintegrate yourself into your essence being someone you are not. Hence the importance of discovering the impostor in you and annihilating him. The more you get to know that figure, the more you allow yourself to overcome your fears, insecurities, wounds, traumas and everything that causes you to mistrust, the more you discover who you are. And when you identify with who you really are and lead yourself in life from your essence, the more you open the door to get out of prison. Otherwise you are condemned to live in the lie that they created for you and to perpetuate the character that governs you.
Time goes on, there is no tomorrow. If you don’t annihilate the impostor, he will annihilate you.