With all my success I sometimes feel like an impostor…
You have accomplished so much but you feel like you have accomplished nothing…
According to good old Wikipedia the Impostor syndrome is defined as the inability to internalize your success; a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. Notably, impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women.
Mostly because we have this bullshit picture in our head of how things are supposed to be stacked up before you can own our accomplishment, and I mean really own it like with the confidence of Kanye West.
I know this because I’ve been through that journey more times then I can count
I’ve written books, that all have major publishing deals, I’m one of the pioneers of the gourmet popsicle industry that calls Google, Airbnb, Forever 21 clients, I’ve spoken around the globe, to students, executives and world leaders, I’ve been featured on boat loads of major news outlets, I’ve raised major VC funding, I’ve built and executed huge branding campaigns for the NBA, Sony, and Nintendo, I’ve built an tech organization that has mentored some students that despite all their obstacles, they have and will astonish the world. But, there are times not just along those journey’s but recently I felt like an impostor.
Everyday we rev ourselves up like a car engine in a race, with motivational quotes, manifestos and daily affirmations. But when you are alone you often feel like a fake. See even with the education, the years of experience, lofty job titles, businesses with awesome cash flow we all still find ourselves in situations, where you feel small, like even though you just killed it at that meeting, soon people will find out you don’t know what your doing…but you do!
Here are some quick tips I use to get out of the imposture mindset
1. Create your Epic Shit List
Sometimes we just need a trip down good old memory lane. In this list you will include anything and everything that you have ever accomplished from your little league trophy, positive feedback from your old boss, clients, customers, family, friends and strangers. I’ve created a template for you to Collect all your Epicness and visit it when ever you are feeling like a impostor.
(I find it best to create this list when you are having a freaking fantastic day, when your feeling yourself. For what ever reason you tend to dig deeper.)
2. Identify your “Are you Kidding Me” Friend
You know those friends that allow you to vent but then immediately say “Are you kidding me, do you know how much you have accomplished…” Aside from my husband Derick, I have 2 great friends James Taylor with Taylored Athletes and Casandra Henriquez with Inspire Many that provide that dose of reality.
3. Stay in your own lane
I find that the times I feel the most intimidated is when I start venturing into lanes that are not my own. I’m not saying don’t take risk and don’t try new things. But realize what you are extremely good at and what you truly suck at. Because there are times in the impostor syndrome when you truly being a greedy impostor instead of being honest and being a resource. If you don’t know something, don’t take that opportunity and think google will save you, say you don’t know but you know someone who does and put that person on. As I always say the Pie is big enough for everyone to get a slice.
So I’m known to have a motivational potty mouth that I happily accept. Sometimes the only way to motivate yourself, to really get out of a rut, to really unleash your badassery is to well…put a little stank on it. Because you got this, I mean you really fucking got this!
5. Stop letting Luck steal the credit for your hard work.
You worked your ass off for this shit! Everything you have done leading up to that point every late night, every proposal, every pitch, all the no’s and every yes. Every sacrifice, every struggle, every epic failure and every success has lead to that moment. It’s not Luck! You deserved that opportunity, you deserve to be in that room and you deserve a seat at the table, unapologetically accept that shit!
You are not selling snake oil, you are creating a company, working on a project, or starting a movement that is going to have a huge impact on the world and it takes time, and you don’t know all the answers but you know your stuff so stop playing small and thinking small so that others can feel big. Because if everyone was more honest about the process you will see that we have all jumped off the mountain and are building a plane and trying to fly all at the same time. You are not an impostor you, my dear are GRINDING!
Felecia Hatcher is a White House Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker and Author that creates cool books, products and courses to help Start-Ups, Creatives and Broke Entrepreneurs follow your most EPIC Dreams!