You know that moment when you are having a streak of success, making big wins, shaking tables, feeling confident and achieving your goals, then out of nowhere that voice pops up in your head? The negative voice practically attacks you and makes you feel out of place and in the wrong for attempting to thrive, to shine, to lead. That moment (which happens so often and is taken for granted), is universal and rooted in years of social conditioning and oppression. That moment is birthed from what I’d like to call the “Sexist Imposter Syndrome”.
Implanted by society’s patriarchal agenda, the sexist imposter syndrome is championed by the innate ‘sexist voice’ in our heads whose sole purpose is to throw misogynistic slurs at us to attack our confidence when we are at our best, ensuring that we sabotage ourselves and the opportunities ahead of us. How can we address this social pandemic eating away the surety and potential of many young African women and girls everywhere?
First of all, we must understand that there is actually an obscure enemy within. We need to acknowledge the presence of this imposter and work towards her expulsion.
Secondly, we must learn to recognize & disarm this imposter whenever she emerges in our minds in form of the ‘sexist voice’ in our heads that wants our self-destruction.
Helping you recognize and disarm this unique imposter, I’ve come up with 3 of the most common innate sexist thoughts we often have that lead to self-sabotage. This list will help you recognize the imposter, as well as empower you with ways to address this unwanted voice & disarm her:
No matter what, remember that these voices in your head have been inbred by society and the patriarchy through centuries of oppression, bias and discrimination. It represents years and years of generational trauma that makes you second guess yourself and question your worth. These thoughts are not a true representation of who you are. Therefore, you must strive to silence them and let yourself reach your full potential as a strong, confident and successful African woman.
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Written by Alice Ademola, Staff Writer, Content Creator and Feminist at Girl Africa