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Imposter Syndrome. It’s Real But Doesn’t Have To Be You.

Several years ago, Chris and I were given a gift card to a swanky restaurant in Denver.

Normally, we would drive past places like this because surely, we didn’t belong. This time, the gift card helped us believe we could dine with the finest people in the city.

Reservations were made and we were going to get fancy.

Except I couldn’t.

At this point in our marriage, we were young (and broke), and going out for a new outfit or shoes was not feasible. Heck, Hamburger Helper felt like a gourmet meal to us! Plus, I needed to make sure I had enough money to tip our waiter!

I settled on wearing a pair of high heels that looked like something Julia Roberts would wear in Pretty Woman. I knew 100%, I would NOT fit in with these people.

I was certain that as soon as I walked through the door everyone would stop, turn, and ask who let us in. Shortly after making a spectacle of myself, the host would kindly as us to leave because we made “the regulars” feel uncomfortable. I played that scene repeatedly in my head as I got ready, and anxiety set in.

All because I didn’t have the right shoes.

Ridiculous, right?!

My imagination can go to some pretty dark places.

After a quiet car ride to the restaurant and a timid walk inside, we were met with the kindest Maitre D who treated us like royalty. (Clearly, I thought, he’d been tipped off that this was our first time ever being in a 5 star restaurant). He took our coats, led us to our table, and good news…. I didn’t die!

In fact, our evening turned out to be one of my favorite date nights ever!  We ate like kings, laughed, and enjoyed an atmosphere that to us, was a treat.

Looking back, I wish I would have enjoyed the entire day.

I wish I wouldn’t have let my fear of how people would perceive me consume my entire day.  

I wish I would have enjoyed the kid-free car ride to the restaurant.

Instead, I let doubt and fear come crashing in.  

How often do we do this in our businesses?

Sales Calls.

Podcast Interviews.

Mastermind Invitations.

Coaching Opportunities.

Speaking Engagements.

Anytime we try something new, something outside of our comfort zone, fear coats these opportunities. Instead of taking the new experience head on, we stop and ask ourselves if we have the right shoes.

For me, I over analyze opportunities.

Can I do it?

Am I smart enough?

Should someone else do it?

And Lord help us when I say yes! It becomes a battle in my head. A battle I know will surely end in my defeat. The truth is, most of the time, the battle IS in my head. That’s the funny thing with imposter syndrome. Even the most qualified feel like they don’t belong.

Do you struggle with imposter syndrome? It’s an easy trap to fall into, second-guessing yourself and your qualifications. All the while, missing out on the journey because you’re too wrapped up in what can go wrong and what is wrong with YOU.

I’m still a work in progress, but I’m making a conscious effort to believe I’m capable. What has helped me?

Words Of Affirmation

I’m not a good cheerleader… especially not to myself! Rather than beat myself up, I’m beginning to look at my strengths and believe I’m capable. Enter The Badass List. It’s a literal list I keep of all the things I accomplish that are well, badass.

Surround Myself With The Right People

I don’t need a bunch of “yes” people in my corner but I do need people in my corner who believe in me. I have a core group of people who love me and know what I’m good at. I depend on them to remind me that I’m capable… even when I think I’m not.

Know I’m Not Alone

This is important! I recently posted on Facebook about this topic and I had several people reach out and share that they struggle with this, too. It’s important to remember that even the most seasoned speakers and teachers get nervous.

Do you struggle with imposter syndrome? It happens to the best of us! If you don’t have a support system and are struggling to move to the next stage of business because you’re holding yourself back, I’d love to chat with you. Together we can make your business everything you’ve hoped and more!

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