You may think to yourself, I could do that.
Maybe in time as my expertise grows, I’ll be able to produce or provide similar services or products.
You educate yourself, practice, step out and make solid offers to potential clients and BAM…success happens!
Things start happening, you’re busy as hell, clients are happy, it’s all good.
Many of us want to leave our mark on the world, so we try to inject ourselves into situations/groups/clients that we hope will help maximize our skills and success.
Yet, as the business grows we begin to doubt that this is due to our own innate ability to provide awesome services and products, maybe it’s just dumb luck.
Do we at times put too much pressure on ourselves trying to achieve success? Or, when we have achieved a certain level of success, we don’t feel like we’re deserving of it and we get in our own way of receiving what is coming next?
As a result of the carnies discussion for this months topic, I discovered how much this thought process had a name and how much it has affected my attitude, energy at times, and eventually the bottom line.
This post is part of this months Word Carnival topic “The Impostor Syndrome. Feeling like a fraud? You’re not alone“. Make sure to visit here and check out what the other fabulous carnies have to share.
You Are Not Alone
“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”
– Maya Angelou
It’s always reassuring to know that you are not alone.
I am a work in progress, but aren’t we all. There is nothing like learning something new and growing from it. In this day-to-day grind, regardless if it’s running a business, or growing a career, we have to seize the opportunity to learn at each juncture - positive or negative.
I did not realize there was a name (Impostor Syndrome) for these symptoms “(from Geek Feminism Wiki):
- not applying for jobs, promotions, and other employment opportunities
- not submitting papers to conferences or journals
- disclaiming or understating their experience/skill when speaking or writing
- nervousness about talking to others in their field, especially if those others are perceived as highly skilled/experienced
- feeling like a fraud
- worrying that someone will find out their lack of qualifications and fire them
- having higher stress
- overpreparing for tasks
- attributing successes to chance or luck”
Listen to Others
I had to “fake” that I knew how to do certain things that I was offering. I knew that my competition offered it, I knew that I had the skills to perform the tasks, but I really had not done all of it; so I faked it.
At that time, I did not have the doubt, in fact it was just the opposite. I figured with the experience that I possessed and my skill of learning new things quickly, I could accomplish what was before me; and I did.
I continued to gain new clients, new projects and all was progressing.
Oh, oh…confidence level is low…what the hell?
It wasn’t until after the business had grown, at the time I could not take on another opportunity, but the doubt crept in.
I worked hard to turn that doubt around to a positive thought and told myself it was time to up my rates. My skill level had improved and it was time to believe in my worth. Things were more consistent but I knew I was not charging my worth, I struggled with it.
During a business meeting with a group of women that I respect highly and love, there was a discussion about my rates. They were shocked and it felt like appalled too…I was not charging enough.
That slapped me in the face, it brought a hard reality to light and I was devastated; uplifted because it was necessary, but devastated nonetheless.
I suppose like anything else, the first step is to accept reality. That was hard.
As I researched for the carnival, I find out there is a name for this doubt that keeps kicking me in my ass. On top of it, I have more that one of the symptoms!
Support Always Helps – Give Yourself Credit
As I said earlier, I am a work in progress. Through the coaching and conversations from my closest friends, I have learned to hold on to their positive energy. Step the hell up and keep it movin’.
At times I doubted them too.
One of my very first clients told me 7 years ago, when I told her about a conference I was attending, that I should be teaching at the conference versus learning from them. She has always been more supportive than I have given myself credit for.
After I attended the conference, $1500 dollars later, I discovered she was right.
It’s one thing to accept that this is reality, it’s another to accept that this is my life and I am in control.
I am a firm believer that thoughts become reality and it’s key to make sure that those that I surround myself with, who are whispering in my ear, are there for the greater good.
Our lives must contain friends, clients, and colleagues that believe in our worth and support us. We are here to lift each other up when necessary.
Maybe it’s about finding your passion - check. Maybe it’s about realizing that this feeling like a fraud is NOT BS…it’s real – check.
Now, what are you gonna do about it?
- I’m listening to my truth…thankful for the opportunity to participate in this carnival – for once again, I am learning something new.
- I’m focusing on those things that are working and keeping me motivated.
- I’m looking at those negative feelings that are not serving me well and replacing them with the positive feedback (without hesitation) my closest friends shower me with.
Most importantly…each opportunity to remove the doubt must be seized…it’s time to kick the impostor to the curve!