I like using words like finale in my blogs…it makes me feel smart. It’s the kind of thing that people read and then they think to themselves “this guy must have been a child prodigy when he was younger.” And that gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling that only grandma’s chocolate chip cookies from my childhood could give.
But, isn’t that at the essence of what being an imposter is about? We’re living this life that feels like we’re playing a part in a movie and soon someone’s going to yell “cut” and then people will finally see the real us – the one that’s not a superhero, or a super-parent, or a super-employee, or a super-anything. We’re just…us.
And the us that we are will ultimately end up being on the cover of a magazine that we all read when we’re standing in line at the grocery store. Just like those celebrities, when the camera has been turned off and we find out about the real them.
We’re then left living this life that is less than it could be… But could there be more? Could there be a way to overcome this fear that we’re going to be found out to not be everything that we’ve built ourselves up to be…in our minds?
I don’t know. How’s that for an answer?
But, I do believe there are truths that we can all grab a hold of to help rid us of the imposter that lives inside of all of us.
- The first truth is that this is a battle of the mind. 100%. This is not, often times, based on a past experience that went badly. This is something that we begin thinking about ourselves – often in small ways at first – and if it’s left unchecked, it can turn into a monster that prohibits us from attaining really good things in our homes with family or in our workplace.
- The second truth is that you are where you are for a reason. You may not always feel prepared for where you’re at…but you’re there – so make the best of it. When you find the imposter thoughts creeping up, remember that someone hired you…or someone believed enough in you to give you the opportunity…or someone’s counting on you to do what you do. And, have a file of all the positive things that people have said or written to you that you can pull out and read when you’re having these moments. That customer that said you treated them well, the positive note your boss sent you when you hit your goal, the note your spouse wrote you to encourage you, the picture your kids colored you when you were away for a long business trip.
- The third truth is that you can change. If you’re really not in a role that you are qualified or prepared for, there are a wealth of resources that you can tap into to get better. Don’t just let the fear of ‘being found out’ stop you from growing in your knowledge and expertise. Find books to read, classes to take, mentors to tap into, blogs to read, etc.
- The final truth is that you can shift the way you think about this. I like to ask myself the question and play out the scenario – “What’s the worst that could happen?” If you get fired tomorrow, so what? What would you do next? If you lose your home because you can’t afford it, what would you do next? If you don’t get that assignment done on time, what are your options? There are some answers to this that will make you re-work your life, however. So, you must be ready to answer it. A question like, if my kids aren’t getting enough quality time with me, what now? A question like that could lead you to leave a job, re-think your commitments, or cause you to change your situation dramatically.
I’m sure there are many other ways to overcome the Imposter thoughts in your life. These are a few that I have used.
What about you? How do you overcome these thoughts?