Imposter Syndrome (Why It's Ok and How To Move Past It)
Today I wanted to share my thoughts on imposter syndrome. I have heard a lot of people discussing this lately and it looks like it is a common theme among entrepeneurs and women just trying to develop themselves. If you don’t know, Imposter Syndrome is that feeling when you feel like you aren’t good enough, like you aren’t qualified enough to help people. Jodie Foster once said, “‘When I won the Oscar, I thought it was a fluke. I thought everybody would find out, and they’d take it back.”. This shows that even when we are recognised for our achievements we can feel like a mistake has been made or we are not worthy. Even celebrities!
My Experience With Imposter Syndrome
So, if you didn’t know I recently launched an online shop on my website. (Click the Store button above to have peak) Now it isn’t much; I am slowly launching it but I have a couple of printables on there now which I am actually really proud of. I was so excited to share them with everyone on my email list and any new people along the way. I thought they were so pretty and they have everything you need to get started on being more organised.
However, this all changed when I got my first sale. I got the first email through and initially I assumed it was a spam Paypal email, and then when I realised that someone had actually bought something from me I panicked. “What if they hated it?”, “I can’t believe they just spent their own money on some mediocre thing I put together”, “Surely this is a mistake”. I was even preparing myself to offer a refund in case they didn’t like it.
This was the first time I had noticed that I really was feeling like an imposter. I didn’t have any training in how to create these printables and I didn’t feel like I was far enough in my own personal development journey to allow people to spend their hard-earned money on my content.
But then I sat down and thought, well there are decent pictures of what it is they are downloading on my website, and damn I did work hard on them and they do look good. So why couldn’t I just accept that someone had a look, liked the content that they saw and decided that they needed it in their life?
I looked back over what I was providing and noticed that yes, they are good and yes they will help someone who is looking to get organised so they can start working on their goals. And this is what I was hoping to achieve by making them. So I can finally see that, this person didn’t buy this by mistake, they bought it because they saw value in what I was selling and knew that it would help them.
How we can Reframe
I feel lucky that I recognised then that this was just imposter syndrome kicking in and it was normal for me to feel. Some people can get so stuck on this feeling that they let it consume them. So much so that they can’t look past it and end up giving it all up because they feel like they can’t or shouldn’t be doing it.
So if you are worried about not being good enough or qualified enough just remember as long as you are being honest to yourself and the people you are sharing with then you are completely qualified. I was honest in what I was offering as my printable and people bought it. So why was I worried?
If you are being true and honest and people are praising you for your work then that is the validation that you need in order for you to keep going. We are always going to doubt ourselves because we want to be liked, we want to feel like we are succeeding and if we feel threatened by that, we will self deprecate to protect ourselves.
I think we all just need to create and share our experiences and if we can earn a living from it then there is nothing wrong with that. Just remember, if people are paying for something it means that they like it. They have already weighed out the pros and cons of spending their hard-earned money on this and they decided it was worth their investment. Be proud of this.
Remember We Are All Human
All the time we look at celebrities and feel so far removed from them. We assume that it would be so different to be them but remember, they are just humans. If you were to become an overnight celebrity I am sure you would be shocked at how you would feel the exact same as before. You would still have the same emotions, you would still have the same insecurities, the same opinions and flaws and quirks.
So stop looking at these people that have already achieved the thing you are looking to and thinking of them as some extraordinary person that must be completely different to us. They are not. They have been in your shoes. They had to get past your stage to get to where they are.
They still go to bed every night and wake up in the morning with worries, just like you and I. There is nothing different about them. They have the same capacity for knowledge as you do, they just happened to start sharing it before you did.
So just remember this feeling is normal and just because you don’t feel extraordinary or professional or even grown-up that you are still serving yourself and others around you and you have just as much right to as anyone else.
We are all part of this crazy life, no one really knows what they are doing and we just keep going and working on ourselves in the hope that we are doing the right thing. As long as your intentions are good and you are honest and kind then there is nothing to worry about. Keep doing you and be proud of all that you have achieved.