What I've Learned From My Imposter Syndrome
So often, my students join our Herbal Apprentice Program and think that we need to be perfect all the time, especially as health practitioners (herbalists, massage therapists, psychologists, you name it).
We put so much pressure on ourselves to be ENLIGHTENED and PERFECT, when that is not how the world works!
When I first started as an herbalist, this thing came up called impostor syndrome. I was feeling like a phony or a fake person because I wasn't practicing what I preached.
When I wasn't on my path, I was eating terribly. I was hiding. Binging off of food, drinking more alcohol, watching more TV, feeling more alone, getting more depressed... the cycle went on and on, and on.
I was teaching in a massage school about nutrition and holistic studies, and yet I would go home every night and binge off of sugar right after learning in my classes how bad sugar really is for you.
I would still go home and binge because I was so upset over so many different factors in my life and couldn't face those feelings.
I was hiding in my sugar, and in my disease. I was afraid to tell people that this is me, that this is the real me.
AND the REAL me is I'm not perfect.
Through the ups and downs, I started doing herb classes for some after-school moms (by the way, they were some of the coolest people I've ever met).
All of a sudden, I realized found my people.
I always thought that being an herbalist I had to look great. I had to eat perfectly. I had to do yoga all the time...
Yet here these after-school moms were like, "Oh, yeah. I totally binge on Netflix and food, too." or "Oh, yeah, I'm totally imperfect too!"
Suddenly this big, AHA happened to me. I finally realized that I'm allowed to be ME.
People actually love me MORE for being REAL, sharing my journey, and my struggles.
My ups, downs, woes, awesome failures. ALL OF IT!
Through learning to be honest about my true self, I got healthier and I got to help people, too!
As herbalists and healers, I think it's really important to know that we aren't perfect people.
The truth is:
You don't have to be perfect all the time
You're allowed to forgive yourself for not being "normal"
You get to be very, very human!
It's okay to use unhealthy coping mechanisms from time to time, too.
Unhealthy coping mechanisms are just stepping stones for your body to survive, the best way it can, until it learns something better.
And sometimes we go back and forth in this journey.
There's no final destination where we have it totally figured out. Life's a journey.
What's Your Path?
For everyone who is struggling to find their path or feels like an imposter...
All I want to say to you is that you're probably exactly on your path!
My path has not been a straight line. I think that's the case for most of us. It's the spiral, the ups and downs, lefts and rights, the whole process.
The more sideways my path has gone, the more tools I have learned to be a better practitioner.
If I had figured it out instantly, then I wouldn't be able to walk people through how to deal with sugar addiction, how to deal with depression, how to deal with anxiety, how to deal with navigating unhealthy relationships and having boundaries.
All of these are lessons I've learned, and now they're tools in my practitioner tool kit to better help people through their journeys.
So, instead of being perfect I choose to be very imperfect and let those lessons be learning points for my clients as well.
Herbal Apprentice Program
If you're interested in learning how to start your healing journey and give yourself the self-forgiveness and support that you need along the way, that's exactly what we do in our Herbal Apprentice Program.
At Artemisia Academy, we help people learn how to:
Put self-care first
Focus on your own healing
By going through tough things ourselves, we are better able to help others navigate their own difficult experiences with compassion and grace.
If you are ready to start your path, our Herbal Apprentice Program is starting up in just a little bit. You can read more about it here.