Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".
As you begin to grow into new levels of success you will inevitably face “Imposter Syndrome” and in a way this is a good thing. It shows a level of humility. Internally you will face this tension and doubt but the external voices don’t help. “Are you trying to be the next Tony Robbins?” “Oh, you’re a ’coach’ now?” so on and so forth. So as you are battling the internal voice that levies accusations of fraud you are simultaneously battling the external voices. I‘m reminded of a game I was introduced to lately called “Among Us.“ In the game there is one imposter amongst the crew and the point of the imposter is to derail the crew while the crew levies accusations of who the imposter is. It’s addicting and a total time waster, do not download it. If you do, let me know, we will play. Back to the point.
What do you do?
First of all, know that every person you look up to was once looked at in this same way and fought this same fight. Your favorite entrepreneur, thought leader, musician, author, actor, so on and so forth. They were once accused of being a fraud by themselves and those closest to them. As a Christian man my personal favorite is Jesus, “Who is this? Isn’t this Mary’s son? The carpenter?“ (Matt. 13:54-57) An example was set here, Jesus was true to himself and His mission. This is the first thing you must do, be true to the mission placed within you. It‘s not “their“ responsibility to see and believe in your vision. It is your responsibility to make it reality.
I was raised in a trailer in northern New Mexico in a town with one stop light. My dad worked at a feedlot and we lived there because the rent was free. I don’t have a college degree and I don’t come from a family of great prestige and success. Every year for our birthday we would get $20 to buy whatever we wanted. I am so thankful for my humble upbringing because it made me the man I am today but all of these things add to the imposter syndrome. These things constantly berate me as I work with companies and individuals negotiating business that would have been life changing to my family growing up. Sometimes it hits me, “What are you doing here?” ”Just wait until they find out who you REALLY are.” “You ARE an imposter.”
How do I battle this?
I know who I am and how I was created and now, WHY I was created. I know that I have been uniquely gifted to coach, lead, and teach in a way that is true to me. I know that my mission is not dependent on your approval. The Enneagram has helped battle this “imposter syndrome” as well as I know why I do what I do, what I am running from and what I ultimately desire. With this knowledge I am able to stay true to myself and my calling without compromise. Yes, I still battle the imposter syndrome. Yes, you will too but that is a battle that you can win! Many people have succumb to this battle because they are not connected to who they are and their ultimate purpose. They shrink back to the expectation of the world around them instead of rising to the calling on their life! One of my favorite entrepreneurs, Ed Mylett, says it like this, “We all have an internal thermostat that regulates our success to a certain temperature. If you a re used to running at 70 degrees and begin to find success operating at 90 degrees your mindset will try to cool you back down to the comfortable 70 degrees you are used to.” IF you are aware of this you can be proactive in fighting this “regulation“ of your temperature and maintain the new normal of 90 degrees!
Be proactive and supportive in the way you see yourself, talk to yourself, and talk about yourself. This will be crucial in winning this battle!
My friend, you are NOT the imposter. *sigh of relief* Be true to you, your calling, and those who will benefit from your perseverance.