Feel Like You Have Everyone Fooled?

Photo Source: Rachel Pfuetzner via unsplash.

Melanie Childers – So often we tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, or we compare ourselves to others and think we’re not as smart, capable, or amazing as everyone else around us. We might even find ourselves at an event where we think “Wow, these people are so accomplished, and I don’t even belong here.” Then we mentally shrink our accomplishments while imagining everyone else’s achievements as impossible dreams we can never hope to touch.

This is Imposter Syndrome, plain and simple. It’s our own self-doubt creeping in to keep us in the safety of our comfort zone. And let me tell you, it freaks the hell out when you’re putting yourself out there in really big ways.

If you’re like my clients it may show up as self-deprecation when you introduce yourself such as, “I’m running for office! But…just a tiny local seat.” Never mind that you’re doing what 99% of people are afraid to do!

Imposter Syndrome might look like keeping to yourself or a small intimate group at professional events…or not even going at all. It might look like embellishing your cred and trying too hard. Or you might find yourself dismissing your hard-earned successes as just getting lucky.

The more you accomplish the more likely you are to experience Imposter Syndrome. Don’t let that make you hide from your dreams, though. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just that our brains have to catch up with reality. We need to recognize when we’re seeing ourselves through the lens of the past instead of that of the present, as well as when we’re comparing our everyday lives to everyone else’s highlight reel.

Almost everyone feels like an imposter sometimes – especially those who have accomplished a lot. It’s part of the growth and mastery cycle, and we never really stop experiencing it. The next time you level up, you’ll probably feel it again.

But here’s the truth: you don’t have everyone snowed. They just see your accomplishments and incredible potential more clearly than you do right now. Just because your brain *thinks* you’re an imposter doesn’t mean it’s true.

Call to mind 5 things you’ve accomplished, are good at, or have tried hard at (yes, even if you failed – they all count!), and embrace the evidence.

And know that most people are just keeping it ‘Upper Duck’ – they look good on the surface, but underneath they’re swimming like hell. So remember to cut yourself a little slack. We’re all just doing our best in the moment. So are you.

Take some deep breaths and remember who are.

When you’re comfortable with yourself, you’re at home no matter where you are.

Has Imposter Syndrome ever shown up for you? What was it like for you? How did you overcome it?


Melanie Childers, MEd, is a Master Certified Confidence and Leadership Coach,
activist, yogi, writer, educator, and is best known as The Enlightened Badass.
She is passionate about working with progressive women and entrepreneurs in
building confidence and reaching their professional and political goals. Find
Melanie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!



Republished with permission.