Impostor Syndrome can affect anyone from those with great success, to people with a simple idea they want to implement. Just the fact that you’re capable of something makes you a prime candidate for impostor syndrome.
Impostor syndrome is the belief that you don’t deserve to be where you are (or where you want to be), and the belief that you are a fraud in a certain activity you’re doing.
This is something that’s made worse by the reality of being told all the time to copy someone else. Even as children we are taught to emulate what we see. While there’s nothing wrong with this, impostor syndrome takes advantage of something here.
You copy people without the disclaimer “You’re copying the action, not the person!”, such that we shy away from acknowledging our own success. If you win a race, the medal goes to you. Not your coach. You can thank your coach, but you were the one out there on the track!
In the podcast, I quote some influential/famous people who express their own impostor syndrome. These are people who have massive ability to do something, or a large recognition for their actions, and yet they doubt themselves.
Impostor syndrome doesn’t hit people with nothing to offer. It impacts the people who can make an impact!
If you feel like you can help someone with your product, you’re a target. If you believe people will pay for your services, you’re a target. If you believe lives can be changed through your advice, you’re a target.
Think about it: you think you can change a person’s life.. You believe you are capable of pulling off something great… You think your skillset is worth charging others for… You speak as though you’re the one with the knowledge.
What about the actors I mentioned in the podcast? With all that absolute belief when they stood in front of the camera! There’s a bunch of ego involved, that is quickly followed by retreat.
Why on earth would you spend money on a microphone if you didn’t want your voice to be heard by as many people as possible? Of course you do! But watch impostor syndrome come and say “yeah right! You don’t deserve to be heard by anybody!”
The truth is, the world isn’t engaging content looking for the creator’s feelings. They want to be impacted by it! I’m reading your article because I think it will enrich my knowledge. I’m watching a movie to be entertained. I go through a course to gain mastery of a specific skill.
Very few people even care what you were thinking when you put that article out there, or when they called your number to inquire about your services. Impostor syndrome makes you think too much about your feelings, and the possible feelings of your audience (which are impossible to predict accurately).
***Obviously this depends on your brand and what kind of content you provide. There are ways to connect with your audience that are deeper than simply providing knowledge/a service.***
Your feelings will change, but your purpose doesn’t. Your heart will be up and down, but your responsibility is consistent.
None of those influential people I mention in the podcast have stopped what they are doing as a result. In fact, one of the only ways to go ahead, is to actually go ahead!
Remember what got you into this in the first place. Whether it’s passion or duty, reconnect with that often. It will help remind you that this is important.
Remember what you believed could be achieved through this. For me, it’s starting a movement of amplified voices in Africa. You might simply want to teach some friends how to do what you do, or make a difference in the lives of busy mothers. That’s the reason you’re even thinking of doing something. Impostor syndrome will make you forget.
Remember the wins. Some suggest having a place where you keep all the testimonials and positive comments from people who have benefited from your actions/products/advice.
On a Q & A he was hosting, Pat Flynn showed us a big pinup board he had behind him, with all the ‘thank you’ letters and cards he had received. He said this reminded him that what he was doing was truly working!
Do you have any other remedies for Impostor Syndrome?
How has it affected you in what you’re doing?