I was recently asked to give a talk at TEDx Boulder. The talk was based on a speech I gave in D.C. a few months past. Humans have a superpower. That superpower is the ability to convince ourselves that something is true when it is not. Seventy-five percent of us have convinced ourselves that we are an impostor or fraud when it comes to our jobs and careers. Psychologists refer to this as the impostor syndrome. The impostor syndrome is questioning our achievements and living with the fear that someone is going to find out that we are not good enough and we are a fraud. The impostor syndrome struggle does not know anything about career, title, identity, history; it is universal. So many of us struggle with this, the question is what do you do about it? I am going to give you two plans of action.
- Find a comfortable/safe environment to share the secret that is telling you that you are not good enough.
- Be an encourager and encourage others on their skills and capabilities.
I wasted twenty-five years of my career believing the lie that I was not good enough. So what lie is telling you that you are not good enough and that you are an impostor? Whatever that lie is, the opposite is the truth. So, what is the truth about you that is amazing?
Fear of the Impostor Syndrome
As I shared in the speech, impostor syndrome knows no boundaries. It is not tied to something about us, it is ourselves being hypercritical of ourselves. The fear of being found out can be paralyzing. What is fear? Fear is that emotion that comes from feeling threatened, feeling like you are going to get hurt, or abused, it can be the result of being physically impacted or how we will be emotionally impacted. Fear stands for “false evidence that appears real.” My fear was not conforming to what society said would make me successful. In the innovation game we will experience the fear of failing, the fear that the idea is not good enough. What I learned from my experience from feeling fear from impostor syndrome is to test it. Is it true fear? Or false evidence that appears true? Once you know, put your fear in its proper place.
If you find yourself struggling with impostor syndrome, why don’t you head over to The Innovators Community. It is a great place to connect and post your own impostor syndrome or send me a private message and I will respond. I’d love to hear from you. Definitely, find someone to share your impostor syndrome secret. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us today.
To learn more about the impostor syndrome, listen to this week's show: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome to Create that Game-Changing Innovation.