Hello. Welcome to the rest of your life. It’s not what any of us want to accept but, if we keep growing, we are all going to struggle with Imposter Syndrome off and on, forever. Like, I fully expect to be 110 years old and having some doubts about my abilities.
Instead of falling into the shit of it, since it feels awful, I’ve been very curious about it in my life and my consulting clients’ lives. I have some good news for you: Imposter Syndrome is actually a good thing in a number of ways. If your FB news feed is like mine, you’ve probably seen all the articles that have made the rounds about that (if not, get to google my friend.)
Imposter Syndrome seems to be an inevitability for those of us that are pushing our limits.
It’s not constant since we gain competence as we learn and grow. And we tend to rest a little in the new comfortable place until something in us itches for new/different/bigger-better-faster experiences. I call that stage “business bored.”
Here’s the deal- you probably grappled with Imposter Syndrome in grad school when you realized how little you know about mental health. So you learned and you grew. Then felt it again upon graduation when you realized you were supposed to be fully cooked by this point. So you learned and you grew. Then clinically when you realized you were a bonafide professional. So you learned and you grew. And then, as you build your practice you have plenty of opportunity for Imposter Syndrome on the clinical side, the marketing side, the business side. So you learn and you grow.
More good news: perseverance is cited by many as the defining characteristic that makes an entrepreneur successful or not. We’ve persevered through grad school. Many of us are drawn to this field because we persevered through some really difficult personal challenges. We’re a group of people who are devoted to perseverance AND personal growth. So we got this Imposter Syndrome thing.
In my businesses and in the businesses my consulting clients, I consistently see measurable growth after bouts of Imposter Syndrome. And it makes perfect sense: we feel dumb when we’re learning new strategies to build our businesses. Learning new strategies is often necessary to get out of stuck places. We usually feel more competent as we integrate the new knowledge and play with it a little. In doing so, our businesses build and we calm the eff down.
So while I’m currently shoulder deep in my own Imposter Syndrome, having been through this and having seen it in my people, I know it’s a temporary byproduct of being courageous, learning new things, and dodging complacency.
If you’re here with me, let’s hold on together. I encourage you to look at the ways in which the aftermath of Imposter Sydrome actually improved your life so you have that knowledge to rest in when Imposter Syndrome circles back around later.
Can you identify the ways in which Imposter Syndrome was a harbinger of good news to come? Let us know in the comments.