That feeling of not being good enough, strong enough, smart enough, important enough, experienced enough, old/young enough, ____ [insert your own] enough to do something?
Imposter syndrome. That feeling that you’re pretending, playing a game that’s too big for you, hoping no one will notice, and any minute now you’re going to get found out.
I get that. All the time.
I had it when I started delving into productivity (who am I, a naturally disorganised, time-challenged person, to talk about time?!!). I had it in bucketfuls when I released my book. I get it regularly still before doing talks, coaching clients, delivering workshops and sending out articles.
When you get that feeling, you have a choice.
- You can listen to it, bury your dreams, and distract yourself with something safer.
- You can try and ignore it, and have it follow you around, chipping away at your sanity and confidence.
- You can reason with it – argue your case, work out all the reasons why you absolutely can do this, and indeed, “who are you not to?” (I get so much delight doing this with my clients)
- You can bolster yourself up with more training, more qualifications, more research, more preparation to get yourself feeling more ready…
But sometimes it’s just a case of doing it.
Doing it for no other reason than “Because I choose to”.
Sometimes it’s saying: “Gah! I don’t feel ready but I’m going to show up anyway. And until someone asks me to leave, I’ll stay.”
Much of my business journey has been on the principle of “If it helps. I’ll keep doing it. If it doesn’t I’ll do something else.”
Last week I had one of those surreal starstruck moments, when I saw my name alongside Brian Tracy and Michael Hyatt in Productive! Magazine.
I felt like I had gatecrashed a party and no-one was asking me to leave.
It felt bizarre. Exciting. Terrifying. And good! Good to know I can be myself, play at this level, and bring something valuable to the party.
What about you? What are you stretching into, that feels terrifying? Where are you finding your imposter syndrome in full voice, practically shouting “who are you to…?”
Go on, dive in. Show up. See what happens.
You never know, you might find yourself really welcome.
And if you want to see my article in Productive! Magazine here it is: What having kids has taught me about productivity.
Care to share your thoughts and stories on this? I’d love to continue the conversation in the comments below.