"You Cannot Make a Difference. You Cannot Speak Up."—And Other Lies Impostor Syndrome Told Me
What is the lie—or lies— that your impostor syndrome tells you?
The lies my impostor syndrome tell me are,
“You are not great enough,”
“You are not legit,”
“You cannot make a difference,”
“You cannot speak up,”
“Your emotions are not valid.”
Introduce yourself: Who are you?
I am Karena God Touze.
Face your reflection: Is there a disconnect between your inner self and your outer self?
To be honest, at this point in life, there is quite a disconnection between my inner and outer self. I once was connected, and lost the connection when I GAVE my power to outside sources and energies. After December of last year, I stopped making time to meditate (crucial for me), and began to walk back into old relationships that I knew were not good for me. During that time, I began to compare, degrade and accept the unacceptable once again... all in the name of “love.” Everyday I think of the disconnect I allowed, and at this moment am setting myself up to positively build myself up again.
What do you do to remind yourself that you are enough?
To remind myself that I am enough, I meditate, converse with myself, look in the mirror (staring into my eyes) and affirm, write, and leave relationships that are not the best for me.
Scenario: You walk into a room of your "peers"—describe who they are....do these people encourage you, intimidate you or both?
I walk into a room full of "peers,” that do not intimidate, but encourage me. “My peers” are mainly African, and encourage me from their actions, to rise above hate, negative self reflection and stand strong in the face of cowardliness. They encourage me, because I see the what they are faced with.
Who is in your "hall of fame"? How does this person(s) influence how you view yourself and your potential?
In my hall of fame, there is Esaie (brother) Busta Rhymes, DMX, Lalah Hathaway, Robert Glasper, and myself. My relationship between my brother and I, personally brings me to realize the good in me, and the negative things I hold onto. As well as the artist I listed, they are each themselves in their careers. For example, Busta Rhymes is the outgoing person, jumping on chairs, wearing large hats and loud colors. Busta is completely himself, and is celebrated and accepted for that. These people are physical examples, showing me that I can rise, be successful, and achieve anything.
I chose myself as well, because I separate my inner from outer self. I personally do not consider my inner self Karena (different name), she holds knowledge, peace and understanding, that I from flesh do not always act upon. My inner/true self is who I am going to be 24/7, and she constantly feeds me affirmations, and words that manifest great things in my life. I am the person that can save myself, and I look up to me for that.
If you haven't already, explain the work you do and why.
I am a soul connector, also known as singer. I sing because I love the challenge, and I know that songs are able to change lives (both positively and negatively). When I get down, music literally encourages me and lets me know that everything will be okay. Music is a large part of my life, has saved my life and is a magical medium. Also, I sing because music feeds us messages subconsciously. To know that I can give someone a positive and self building message is great, because this slips into their subconscious, allowing them to create great lives.
Secondly, I am a hairstylist. I service locs and natural hair, because I absolutely love them, and love maintaining them holistically (for the most part). I also love educating others on their hair, and teaching them to accept it (their hair) for its rawness. I know that our hair is an EXTREMELY powerful non verbal story, it represents us (weather bald, afro, locs, etc).
Lastly, I create loc, braid and twist jewelry (stories). I do this, because I want to promote positive images of us, as well as allow people to wear stories of Africa.
How would you encourage someone who is afraid of their potential?
I would encourage someone who is afraid of their potential, by being open with my life, and in a way affirming for their success. I would tell someone they can do anything, without allowing the imaginary limitations of others infiltrate their reality.
Hey there, Rose here—
With each new story, I feel my melanin glowing.
I hope you are feeling inspired as well!
Your story matters. Are you wiling to share and inspire hope in others? If you’re a black woman reading and following this series, I hope you feel inspired to kill YOUR impostor syndrome!
Today, impostor syndrome is telling me that people will get bored of seeing my posts every day for a month. If you’re reading this, please know that sharing is scary for me and it often puts me in a place where I am filled with doubt and am sensitive to criticism. But good encouragement from friends (along with inspiring stories like this) go a long way! So please consider sharing, this post, your story or some encouragement…or all of the above.