Let’s talk about imposter syndrome…
“Who am I to be doing this?”
“I’m not qualified enough!”
“I don’t even know what I am doing!”
“They are going to realise that I have no idea.”
“There are people out there who are better than me!”
“How can I charge that?”
“I don’t have enough experience!”
“Other people do this better than me.”
“My marketing isn’t quite there yet.”
“I need to hire someone to make this better first.”
Does this sound familiar?
It does for me because these are the very thoughts that I’ve had about starting my own company, amongst other things.
These thoughts have followed me for decades. They are insidious and keep me busy and distracted in things that ultimately keep me stuck and frozen and not moving me towards everything that I desire.
I find myself starting and never completing loads and loads of projects.
I spend hours, days, and weeks strategising and planning to make sure everything looks perfect.
I rewrite and redo and redesign everything.
I shy away from asking the hard questions, of myself and of others.
I stay quiet not wanting to add my voice to something believing that people will think I’m stupid.
I do all of these clever little things to keep myself safe, and ironically to also keep me from actually becoming good at what it is that I really want to do.
Imposter syndrome keeps me (and you) from being the expert, from doing the thing, and from having the accolades.
It’s like the double edged sword. The catch 22.
You are afraid to feel like you don’t know but the only way you will learn is to go ahead and do the things that you don’t know so that you can learn to know.
Probably the most insidious element of imposter syndrome is the sneaky tactics of self sabotage that give you “proof” that what you really want isn’t actually meant for you.
You know those tactics…
- Don’t play
- Don’t complete
- Over achieve
- Get sick
- Be a problem
- Stop others from winning
- Be angry
- Destroy the game
- Lie or cheat
And so on…
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ve probably played the same tactics to avoid losing your whole life.
The problem is that with these tactics, you aren’t winning either…
Now I get it… we do these things, often without even realising, in order to keep us safe. Our brilliant minds have created these tactics and techniques that we run on autopilot that quite literally keep us from going after our dreams.
We tell ourselves that our dreams are too big.
We ask ourselves, who am I to want that?
We convince ourselves that we aren’t meant for our dreams by idolising those that have what we want, making them to be somewhat superior or super human compared to us.
We justify that we aren’t meant for more by breaking ourselves down and whittling away at our own self-esteem. And while yes, this is in an attempt to keep ourselves safe, what is keeping yourself safe actually costing you?
- The business you’ve always wanted to start.
- The relationship you know you deserve.
- The income you believe you’re worth.
- The international travel you’ve always wanted.
- The health and fitness goals you keep giving up on.
- The promotion you’ve been afraid to ask for.
- The product launch you’ve been over working.
- The hobbies you keep putting off.
The list goes on…
And what is it costing you to not go after what you want?
- Your happiness.
- Your fulfilment.
- Your relationships.
- Your ability to impact others.
- Your opportunity to create memories.
- Your health.
- Your life.
Could you attune a monetary cost to this, perhaps in loss of additional revenue and income? Could this be a cost to your health in the way of stress? What about your relationships, is this costing you time with your loved ones, or even keeping you away from meeting your soul mate?
The old saying goes that until the pain of staying is greater than the pain of change, we will likely stay the same.
With this in mind, it is imperative that you truly, deeply consider the cost of allowing imposter syndrome to get the better of you. It has become something that seems to grip the best and the brightest in our society, and perhaps we can all agree that we all feel the same… realistically if we all feel the effects of imposter syndrome, then who do we really feel inadequate to?
So what will you do today to take a step, even a small step, towards what you want?
One such step could be to allow yourself to ask for support. As much as we believe we can get a grip on these fears, sometimes having someone in your corner coaching you through and cheering you on can make the world of difference, and may even reduce the cost of staying the same.
Reach out, I would love to connect!