Oh hey there. You look like an IMPOSTER. Raise your hand if your heart just beat a little bit faster? This post has been in my mind + in my drafts for months now, waiting for “the right time” to hit publish. In true imposter syndrome fashion, I never felt like it would be good enough to see the light of internet day – never felt like I was equipped to talk, let alone teach, the subject. But HA HA – I see you, imposter syndrome. You’re out to play in the most ironic way, and I’m here to say “not today.” 😉
Imposter syndrome is like this awful little bug in our brains that likes to randomly shout out “IMPOSTER!” when we’re doing something that our subconscious thinks we’re unfit to do. Really, I liken it to Lucifer playing mind games, because we’ll never do what God put us on this planet to do if we’re stifled by feelings of unworthiness and ineptitude. If God put big dreams and big desires on your heart, He WANTS you to go after them faithfully – He doesn’t want you cowering in the corner feeling insecure or unequipped.
Really, imposter syndrome has been top of mind for me lately especially. In this weird world of blogging and online “influencing,” business fluctuates. And the idea of “business as usual” was thrown out the window and a few streets over in 2020. Any sense of normality in what is already normally a pretty unpredictable field was shot to heck; while I can loosely predict quarterly income based on past trends and “typical” consumer behavior or marketing schedules, so much was changed last year. Some things became better, as brands that may typically spend more money in traditional media (ie, broadcast television, billboards, etc) transitioned to online spending via influencers. And others became much, much worse, as brands’ marketing budgets were cut altogether and the expectation became “work for free because we need you but can’t afford you.” SO many folks adopted a “help me I’m poor” mindset, completely forgetting that the little guys (hi! It’s us! Small business owners!) also experienced the pandemic and also have families to feed. While there are undoubtedly SO many benefits to being able to work my online business from anywhere, it’s also absolutely NOT as easy as some may think (or like some make it seem). One of the more challenging roles may be that of constant negotiator, since each and every paycheck is a negotiation between two parties (which can be exhausting for anyone not fond of money talk or putting a number on their worth). While I’m usually A-OK with this – heck, I teach a course on it! – it can also get very, very old hearing “you’re worthless” one too many times. And, there’s still not much consistency, transparency, or set standard in the industry; what one brand may value as worth a free pair of shoes, another will pay $5,000 to receive. Crazy, I know – and not exactly helpful for anyone already suffering with a case of imposter syndrome.
Beyond that, Q4 is notoriously great and Q1 is notoriously…not.
Someone can make 50% of their annual revenue in Q4, and barely make rent in Q1 (being savvy with savings is clearly of the utmost importance in this field).
With so much of your job (and life) seemingly dependent on some sense of external validation, and with everyone and their mother trying to “make it” schilling skinny teas on Instagram, I think it can just be HARD to move forward with true confidence in your craft. It can be hard keeping your eyes on your own paper, so to speak, trusting that you’re actually GOOD at what you do, and that any successes from it are because of that and not thanks to sheer happenstance or a blessing from the algorithm gods.
In general, imposter syndrome exists FAR beyond the world of the internet. So if you’ve ever felt like an imposter, no worries – you’re not alone. Apparently, a whopping 70% of us feel like imposters at one point or another in our lives, so at least we’re in good company. 😉 Let’s chit chat about what imposter syndrome really IS at its core, as well as a few ways to get rid of imposter syndrome once it’s entered your brain space.
What is imposter syndrome?
It’s when you have a boding sense that anything bad in your life was self-inflicted, while anything good was pure luck.
It’s when you just know that you’re not nearly as good as you seem. Or as talented. Or as smart. Or as worthy or as clever or as savvy.
It’s when you feel like a fraud.
AIN’T IT FUNNY that this whole “imposter” thing started with WOMEN. They always say that statistically speaking, men get more money because they simply believe they’re worth it…oh, to have that kindof confidence right outta the gate. 😉
So really, ambitious women may suffer the most from imposter syndrome. (Hi, it me, I have imposter syndrome, too!)
Your girl had a pretty serious case of imposter syndrome in recent years especially.
Once I was able to make CUR my full-time job and even hire an assistant, it did a lot to me mentally. I’ve shared before how we didn’t grow up with any sortof financial privilege by any means (we qualified for WIC and for years my mom was a stay-at-home mom while my dad was a blue collar worker). Negotiating deals based on my personal “worth” to a brand and now being able to pay my mortgage and feed my family and pay other people because of that just felt…bizarre. And oftentimes, it would really mess with my mind – especially with how things can fluctuate. One day I could feel on top of the world based on brand deals in my inbox – the next, if I heard crickets, I’d feel literally despondent like I needed to quit altogether and do something “stable” to be “responsible.”
At the end of the day, it lead me to a few dangerous thoughts:
- How can I show up on THRIVE when I don’t feel like I’m thriving?
- How can I show up in BossPitch when I don’t feel like a boss?
- How can I show up on Coming Up Roses when life is, in fact, NOT coming up roses?
Granted, the reality is that all of this IS OKAY – no one is always thriving, and the whole point in THRIVE is gaining tools and tricks and trips to be better. Me not feeling like a boss in a moment does not actually take away from what I do know and what I do teach that helps hundreds of other woman feel like bosses in their moments. And similarly, CUR was NEVER this hub of unrealistic optimism or “toxic positivity” (although I do hate that phrase) – it was always designed to be a place that wholly acknowledged the bad while choosing to focus on the good.
See what I just did?
I used truth, logic, and FACTS to set imposter syndrome at bay. Because at the end of the day, imposter syndrome is fueled by lies – be they lies we’ve heard from others or lies we’ve told ourselves that make us feel less than.
And sis, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Let’s note a few ways to get rid of imposter syndrome when it pops up.
How to get rid of imposter syndrome:
Take solace in the statistics. 70%, remember? YOU’RE NOT ALONE, SIS. Never are, never will be. And while it won’t solve all of your problems, it at least helps for a hot sec knowing you’re not the only one with ’em.
Watch your words! And thoughts. The second your inner voice starts blaming wins on luck or thinking you’re not cut out for XYZ, bring out the duct tape and shut it the heck up. As my friend Cait said so profoundly said on a recent episode of THRIVE, you have to take the monologue running through your head and turn it into a dialogue. Talk back to the negative self-talk that’s on autopilot. That’s the only way to take back control and re-program your brain!
Accept compliments. Like, say thank you. Don’t deflect them, and don’t make up a single excuse when a kind word of praise comes your way. Own it!
If you’re proud, BE PROUD! You’re allowed to be proud of your highs, just as much as you’re allowed to mourn your lows. Don’t you dare try to downplay your highs or move past them onto a higher mountain ahead. Soak it in, if only for a moment.
If you catch yourself comparing…stop. The grass isn’t greener on the other side – it’s green where you water it. Regardless of what you’re comparing, just stop and focus on your own thing instead.
Have you ever felt imposter syndrome in your own life?
If so, how do you get over it in the moment or prevent it in the future?