A few days ago I posted on Instagram about Imposter Syndrome. Lately I’ve been feeling some doubts and sitting in my insecurities, more than usual, when it comes to my little business.
I wasn’t super familiar with the term until recent months, but once I started learning more…I felt a lot less alone.
In brief, Imposter Syndrome is the feeling that success is only based on luck rather than actual skill or hard work. Essentially, feeling like a fake (or an imposter) in the work that you’re doing.
Sitting with this feeling of being a fraud has revealed my own insecurities and lies that I’ve been believing about myself, my skills and my ability to grow. It’s caused me to delay releasing new products or trying out new ideas. Complacency and repetition have been my rhythms, rather than my natural tendency for growth and innovation.
Learning more about this phenomenon helped me to work through it. I took a step to be real and honest and vulnerable with the people I connect with on social media. Throwing assumptions and fears out the window, I hit the post button and walked away from my phone for a while. You guys…people SHOWED. UP. (This is where I’d put those clappy hand emojis for emphasis, but you get my point).
Over the following days, conversations were held, comments were posted, support + encouragement abounded. In reflection, and in hopes that my experience can help thrust others back into motion, here are a few things that I’ve learned about Imposter Syndrome.
#5 You are being noticed (but not in the ways you fear)
People are amazing. They’ll crawl out of every stage of your life to encourage you when you show the need. Lifelong friends, mentors, family members, strangers and acquaintances are cheering you on - even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment. Silent supporters are sometimes the strongest.
The lie that I believed was that people were “liking” my projects out of pity. How crazy is that! People aren’t trying to falsely boost your confidence. Take each compliment, accept it and sit in that gratitude.
#4 You know more than you think you do
Lean into it. Use the feeling of not knowing what you’re doing to learn more. Keep learning, keep growing, keep trying new things. Even if you fail at 1 million things, all it takes is 1 to be successful. (Excuse me while I repeat this to myself 100 times every day from now until forever)
Reflecting on how far you’ve come can be a helpful tool to get through this. Look back at what your goals were a year ago, 2 years ago, 6 months ago….look what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve tried and what you’ve learned. You’re doing awesome.
#3 The numbers mean literally nothing
Ok, this one isn’t eloquently stated, but honestly…they mean nothing. Has your work reached one person? Maybe two? Then you’ve offered value. You’ve shared and given something valuable and unique to another person. After all, isn’t that the real goal here? Just to share and hope that someone derives meaning out of what you’re saying?
If you’ve created something and shared it with the world, you are doing a good job.
#2 It’s OK to click ‘unfollow’
…even if the person has 100 billion followers and is known as an influencer with superpowers and incredible wisdom in your sphere. Check in with yourself - is this person’s message propelling you forward and lifting you up? I’m not asking if their goal is to lift you up, I’m asking how it sits with you. When they get on Instagram stories and give a motivational talks do you find yourself comparing and feeling unworthy? Girl. Unfollow.
It’s ok. I promise.
#1 You are not alone
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this. There are so many people out there that have felt what you’re feeling. Everyone starts somewhere, and the people that know what they’re doing now had to learn along the way - and make mistakes! My friend Stephanie said it best:
We could all use a little boost. Let’s go out of our way to encourage those around us.
And if you need a little encouragement…just ask. I promise you people will jump at the opportunity to lift you up and tell you what they love about you.
And if not? Reach out to me! I’d LOVE to encourage you along this journey. We’re all in this together.
I sure love ya, thanks for being here!