Imposter syndrome is REAL. Anytime we try to stretch outside of our comfort zone, step into new roles, or reach new goals, that voice of “who do you think you are?” pops up.

So where the heck does this voice come from?

It is usually picked up from childhood and it’s that undercurrent of learning that happens when we hear our parents say “that one has a big head” or “don’t act bigger than your britches”.

We learn to stay small, stay in our corner, and not venture out too far.

This voice gets internalized and reinforced anytime we try to step outside that “box” to grow beyond our current state, or set a big goal.

Sometimes our friends and family might comment on things we’re doing that re-ignites that voice of self-doubt and far in us. It can be small, micro-aggressions (whether intentional or not) like “oh, I see you joined a gym – what are you, the next Arnold Schwarzenegger?” or “you’re not happy at your job? Get used to it!”.

It could also be your own voice.

It could be saying things like “Look at her – she’s better than you.” Or “You’ll never be X enough. Better not to try.” Or “Other people are already doing this – why do you think you’re going to be able to carve out a market for this too?”.

There are normal AND we’re ALL imposters until we do something the first time. Once you’ve done it, you’ve done it; thereby erasing the possibility of imposter-hood.

So what do we do about it?

There are a few things that can help when you’re feeling the voice of doubt creeping into your head:

  1. Use a mantra to combat that inner critic. Something like “there is enough for all of us to succeed” or “her journey is not my journey” or “If x can do it, so can I”
  2. Practice Self-compassion. Talk to yourself as you would a good friend trying to do the same thing.
  3. Ground in gratitude – what can you be grateful for in the moment?
  4. Celebrate your Successes – every small thing. Note it down, celebrate it, recognize that you have made forward motion (no matter how small).

If you need more help with imposter syndrome, book a one on one call with me or join one of my sessions below (both will help)!

Yours in Courageous Leadership,