It’s official, the book is finally launching on Sunday June 9th! SOOO EXCITED! There is still time to join my book Launch team, for Connect the Dots, turning strangers into meaningful network relationships.
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I’ll do a separate Q&A for anyone that joins my Book Launch team. For those that want the behind the scenes – the good/bad & the ugly and by, have I learned a LOT of lessons.
Today’s episode is about IMPOSTER SYNDROME with a free downloadable cheat sheet. This is for everyone that needs a little jolt of confidence. Imposter Syndrome is basically self-doubt. We all have this and experience it. This episode is inspired from all the questions that I receive.
I love this podcast and the emails that I receive. I’m absolutely grateful for it. I’ve received quite a few emails and messages about feeling like an imposter. Which absolutely breaks my heart because it’s a very real and valid feeling. I repeat, what you are feeling is crippling and REAL!
So, I decided to do an episode about imposter syndrome.
We’ve all heard that quote ‘fake it until you make it’ but how can you fake something, when one thinks that they are the ‘fake’ element? When we doubt ourselves?
First, you’re not alone. It’s universal. It doesn’t discriminate on age, background, language. It’s truly universal. Einstein used to feel that way too, he described himself as an involuntary swindler. He didn’t feel that his work deserved the attention that it deserved, CRAZY RIGHT! Here is a great TED Video that explains imposter syndrome. It’s really a cute video. I’ll put the link to the video in the show notes.
It’s interesting, we hear about these Innovators and their challenges and it seems to channel some sort of doubt in our own capabilities versus inspiration of those that challenged the norm. So, let’s talk about it. Here is my point of view. Imposter Syndrome is actually an ADVANTAGE!
I know what you’re probably thinking… WHAT? How is it an advantage? You have more self-awareness than anyone else.. Yup, It’s an advantage. Think about all those that overestimate their abilities to do things and they just don’t see the gaps and therefore, they can’t mitigate risks. Then, when it fails they blame EVERYONE else.
TA DA!!!! Whenever we are trying something new for the first time, it’s hard. We have learning curves, hard work in front of us. We can see the vision but we don’t know exactly how to get there.
You know, Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Wonderful) stated that he loves investing money in female run companies because they make money in the company. Here is why, women tend to provide conservative estimates in their sales projections. They evaluate the different assumptions, requirements and how realistic things are. They take the time to understand the gaps.
Here is a blog from Business Insider: Kevin O'Leary of ‘Shark Tank' invests in 27 companies and says the only ones making money have female CEOs
You know, when I started off in management consulting (nearly two decades ago), it was sink or swim mentality. We had to find ways to figure things out. Do the research, talk to people, find a way to validate it and then present it to our partners and this was before GOOGLE days. One thing, that management consultants have is, the opposite of imposter syndrome, we had competition, sense of urgency. We didn’t have time to doubt ourselves, we needed to get to the finishing line before our competition did. It was such an ‘up or out’ mentality in the consulting world. We were either moving up in terms of promotions, visibility, branding and so on or we were seen as irrelevant. It really was the survival of the fittest. Good old Charles Darwin makes an appearance again.
However, when I left the corporate world to become an independent consultant. I also decided I wanted to start a podcast. You know what hit me? What disappeared? My confidence. My ability to navigate in the unknown. WHAT? I used to create new product & services offerings not knowing how to do things. What had changed? YUP, I became an imposter!
I had nothing to hide behind. I was literally crippled by feeling like an imposter. It was my name, my reputation and my credibility.
I mean seriously, What on earth did I know about podcasting? Just because I love listening to podcasts, doesn’t mean that I’m going to be great at it. It’s like those foodies that love eating and then decide to open a restaurant. What universe did I belong to? I mean, seriously, I have zero broadcasting background. Never touched a microphone, except for the occasional microphone on karaoke nights. I didn’t have the knowledge, didn’t have the mindset. My benchmark was those that were those that were crushing the podcast world. I’d never hit that status. Trust me, I obsessed over every little detail.
We are afraid to fail but we also forget that success takes time and we learn, we tweak, we shift and we pivot. We see people’s FB/Instagram and compare ourselves to these images. You can be inspired, but don’t hold that as a benchmark. Projection is not real. We are just projecting our insecurities. We see things in others that we ourselves lack. But, how do we know if we lack the ability in something, without trying? Here is the truth.. Those that have ‘so-called’ made-it. We don’t really understand how long it took to ‘MAKE-IT’. We also don’t know about all the struggles they faced. So, here I was, Imposter in the podcasting world.
Did I tell you my favorite quote…?
“Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times when trying to create the light bulb”. When asked about it, Edison allegedly said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”
Now, 90+ episodes later, I think… what was I waiting for? I should’ve started earlier and made those mistakes earlier. Nothing that I did from day 1 is the same after a year and a half. The website has changed 4 times, the name of the podcast changed, how we edited changed and we still keep changing things and we still keep making such silly errors (i.e. spelling errors on posts, forgetting to send the newsletter, wrong time zone on events and so on). It’s life. Most days I just shake my head and laugh. The spirit of continuous improvement. We need to start somewhere in order to improve.
I’ll tell you, starting this podcast at the time was the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. AT THAT TIME,. 18 months later (TODAY). Could I start another podcast? Yup, in a heartbeat. I’ll share something else, starting this podcast has allowed me to have more opportunities.
Now, I’m launching a book. No background in writing or publishing and my grammar, stinks. Did I ever tell you a story about my dad. When I was in grade school, I came home with an A+ on my book report. My dad, was furious, absolutely furious. He marched into the school and talked to the teacher. Most parents would be happy that their child got an A+, but not my dad. He actually read the book report. My grammar was AWFUL! He got the teacher to change my grade to C+ and I believe the teacher was nearly in tears.
So, who am I to write a book? Well, I have learned a few things. Find out what you’re not good at and find someone to help you in those areas. There is no bottleneck if you have things that you want to try, find out all the reasons why you will say ‘NO or BUT’. List them all down.
Then, give yourself a few options. I always believe in the rule of 3. Find 3 options to overcome this challenge/bottleneck or even
I’m here to tell you that – You’re no more of an impostor than I am with starting a podcast, writing a book and launching an online course!
TONY ROBBINS SAYS: FEED THE FEAR!!!
It’s like, when you play a new video game for the 1st time. We don’t get very far in our first attempt at the level. But, then we think, what could I do differently to pass this level. We experiment, try and learn.
Another great example, It’s like dating, we go on a lot of bad dates before we hit the jackpot. Did we stop going out on dates? Nope. But, the stories of those bad dates are what we share with others and we laugh. So, why don’t we share the challenges that we hit in our professional lives?
Impostor is because we are lacking confidence. We are afraid to fail. How about changing the outlook, to say that you’re just experimenting. I started the BrainFood Virtual Book Club, because I would read business books and have no one to talk to. I put out a blog to tell everyone that I’m going to try this and see if it’s a failed experiment. It’s been 5 months now and it’s been a great success. There are only a couple of us that come each month.. But the point was.. I had zero clue on how this BrainFood Virtual Book Club was going to work. It didn’t stop me because I know that everything can be FIGURED OUT! Everything is Solvable (except health, I have zero clue, but I’m learning)
Well, we need to start somewhere to beat this impostor syndrome and this ties nicely to the vulnerability episode (which by the way, was one of my top downloaded episodes), along with the episode with Ariel about how to undo those knots in our head. Get rid of those negative thoughts. Links will be in the show notes.
So, you know me, I like getting to tactics
She basically breaks down people into a few different categories:
- Are you a perfectionist? Is the issue that you’re afraid of not looking perfect
- Are you Superwoman/Superman? Need to do everything?
- Are you an expert? The one that needs to know 100% of everything before you can start. This is my challenge area
- The Natural Genius – that makes everything look effortless.
- Soloist – the one that never asks for help
Have you ever admitted out loud when you’re scared of something and then all of the sudden, your not? Well, that’s exactly what we are going to do here. What are you in imposter in? Write it down. What are you dissatisfied with?
I was afraid of not being able to do everything. Yup, I was guilty of Superwoman. I have now learned a few things I can delegate and outsource certain things.
Now your turn! Say it out loud! Say it to someone!
To building confidence in the area, is to research and read. Find out what others are saying about the topic. That will provide you with a baseline. I’m not saying become an expert in it. I’m saying just read the headlines and be familiar with the themes. Is there anything that these top experts are saying that you didn’t know? Maybe you don’t agree with them. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have a benchmark of what the top experts are saying. Now, you know what and where you’d like to elevate.
You know, Tony Robbins is the first to tell you that, when he started out, he read and learned from others that were doing it. In fact, that’s exactly what management consultants do. We learn from others and ‘ELEVATE it’. We don’t start from ground zero. So, continue to learn – get obsessed with the topic and have fun exploring your curiosity.
Starting is the hardest part. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. One step at a time.
Do a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities & Threats
Analyze your strengths (S) and weaknesses (W). We keep underselling ourselves, whether it’s how much we charge for our services or our capabilities. I want you to remember that you have some incredible experiences from not just our successes but also from our FAILURES. Such a great source of data! Don’t forget to add things like your amazing source of support. For me, I write down my relationship with my nieces and nephew. They are such a source of strength for me.
What are the different opportunities (O) that it could possibly bring? What could it possibly lead to? Dream big? Think of the WHY – get inspired/ get creative and have fun.
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the T, in SWOT. T stands for Threat in the SWOT analysis. Let’s tackle the T.
Take each of those threats and write down 3 options so that it becomes an opportunity. Did I let my fear of my poor grammar stop me from blogging/writing? Nope. I turned it from a threat to a weakness. I recognized it had 3 options.. (1) Get better at it. Read things out loud, pay attention to the red underlines in word (2) Get someone to proofread everything that I do (which is another bottleneck for turnaround time (3) Delegate or outsource it. That’s exactly what I did. I have Claire, my podcast manager and Barbara, who was my book editor.
Step 6: Develop an end to end plan – what does the overarching roadmap look like? How do we get from point A to point B? What does the end result look like? Break things into smaller steps. Celebrate all your small victories. Come up with timelines/goals
“Goals are dreams with a deadline.” — Tony Robbins
It is a lonely road sometimes. Find someone to support you and hold you accountable. Have your own personal board of directors, that come from a variety of backgrounds. Diversity really help see things from different perspectives. In fact, I’ve been part of a few masterminds that have really helped. I’ll be starting my own mastermind shortly. Stay tuned. This is after the book and the course is out.
Just in case you wanted another resource: 4 ways to quiet imposter syndrome and start believing in yourself by Tania Katan.
Here is another great read from Ideas Ted: 4 ways to quiet imposter syndrome and start believing in yourself
We are all human and we are always going to have fear and doubts and insecurities. But, I want you to remember, the bigger picture. For me, my anchor are my nieces and nephew. I want them to know that they can do anything and therefore, I need to be their role model. It pushes me in a different direction. They are my guiding light. Find your WHY!
Remember, we all don’t wake up like models in the morning. Everyone started somewhere. Surround yourself with things that make you happy and remember what we are grateful for. We are lucky that we can create opportunities to try these things.
- Admit the Fear – What are you an imposter in
- Baseline yourself
- SWOT yourself – get grateful!
- Find your WHY
- 3 options to get over hurdle (s)
- Plan & celebrate
- Personal Board of Directors
I want you to remember to have fun, look at it like an experiment, try and fail (it makes better stories and makes you more authentic). Have fun going on a bunch of bad dates, but remember, we learn something from every bad date.