In June 2020 I was having a deep conversation with a close friend of mine who is also a coach. She was sobbing on my screen as she was telling me how stuck she felt. We were surrounded by highly successful, highly motivated, highly impactful women being examples of what is possible, but my friend couldn’t see herself in any of them.
Instead what she was experiencing was a paralysis-inducing level of imposter syndrome. She literally couldn’t make a move in her business because she was terrified of being found out as a fraud and she no longer believed she had anything to offer.
So instead, she had been investing in more mentors, certifications, and business programs.
But the investments weren’t paying off. Several years into this journey, and instead of feeling more capable she just felt more pressure to “figure it out” because of the mounting debt and the time invested.
Imposter syndrome is a serious mind fuck.
Regardless of what your dreams are, if you can’t get past the feelings of being an imposter, a fraud, you’ll never step into the person you were born to be.
We think what we need is more knowledge, experience, or endorsement to make this feeling go away. That some source of external validation will change the way we feel about ourselves and put us in a new light.
But there’s a fundamental flaw in that philosophy.
True change doesn’t occur through doing.
It occurs through being.
And being isn’t out there. It’s an internal state. One that we choose to experience. The more we insist on taking external action instead of shifting our internal state, the longer it takes to change. Read that again.
If we look deeper we realize that imposter syndrome is a response to the belief that we will be exposed as a fraud. That the world will realize we aren’t who they think we are.
And when they do we will be ridiculed, outcast, attacked.
We feel anxious, fearful, & trapped by what we think is the inevitable outcome when the truth is found out.
But is it the truth? Are you an imposter?
The “truth” (our belief that we’re a fraud) is a distorted perception served up by our own internal, skewed view of ourselves.
The real problem isn’t that you’re a fraud and if you aren’t careful you’re going to be found out.
The real problem isn’t about who you ARE at all.
The real problem is who you believe you AREN’T.
It’s only your perception of yourself that causes the imposter syndrome. WTF?
Why? Because you’re clinging to the belief that you know yourself best.
BUT YOU DON’T. You can’t. You are filled with experiences, emotions, and stories that have you seeing yourself a certain way. You’ve lost your perspective. You’re too close to be able to see objectively.
And that means your perception can’t be trusted.
My friend was surrounded by powerful, capable, fantastic women who could see just how powerful, capable, and fantastic she was. They (myself included) were consistently cheering her on and telling her what magic they saw in her.
But from her limited perspective, she didn’t believe them because she was convinced they couldn’t see the real her.
Until she opened her mind to the possibility that they might be right and she might be wrong.
Do you know what happened when she decided to believe them instead of herself?
She started showing up in her life and business as the capable, powerful, successful, fantastic woman she is.
Her business took off.
Her love life flourished.
Everything started to fall into place (as if by magic).
She didn’t DO anything different. She simply changed her state of BEING.
Imposter syndrome isn’t based on fact. It’s based on fear and a distorted view of ourselves.
Just for a moment, consider the possibility that those people in your life who keep telling you how magnificent you are, actually see the real you.
Let their belief hold you up until you can see it for yourself and watch the magic unfold.