Here’s How to Fix Imposter Syndrome
With four simple words
Want to know how to get out of your own head, your own way and just do what you need to do? Fed up of feeling like a fraud, worried you're not qualified enough or have authority to speak on a matter?
This is imposter syndrome and there are four words that can fix it.
“Start before you’re ready.”
This mantra has got me through a lot of blockers. It essentially evaporated my creative imposter syndrome. It's done the following for me:
- It gave me permission to start a podcast
- It gave me permission to make 100 vlogs
- It allowed me to step on stage and perform stand up comedy
- It’s allowed brand myself as a writer and actually write
“Start before you’re ready” allows you to do anything creative because it puts you in the experimental mindset. If something goes wrong, the outcome isn’t great, who cares? You’re playing around.
Your ego can’t get in the way if you’ve already admitted you’re not yet ready.
These four words are a pre-emptive attack on the ego. They're a tool to get out of your own way and just start.
In the beginning, my vlogs weren't particularly good. I didn’t know what I was doing. My first podcasts were recorded around a table on an iPhone. I was a clueless beginner.
Now people come to me asking for advice on audio recording, video editing, asking me how they can start podcasting, or if I can master their sound.
They’ve seen my results and want my help. I’ve become an authority all because I ploughed on and made mistakes on the way. No one would have asked for my advice when I started but here's the point:
I allowed myself to begin.
Life is just failing until you stop failing
Babies can’t walk until they can. Children can’t add up numbers until they can. No one stopped at crawling or 1+1 because it was all too difficult.
We don’t have a sense of ego or imposter syndrome when we’re young, so we just get on with failing, failing and failing some more until we succeed.
If you want to be good at anything, you have to accept you’re going to be bad at it first.
Let’s take writing as an example. If you’re bad at writing this doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer, it just means you’re not a good writer yet.
If you want to be a black belt, you’ve got to let yourself be a white belt first. You're not a black belt yet.
Just do it
I have found if I research something, it puts me off doing it. I start to realise how saturated the market is, how big the mountain is I have to climb, how much I have yet to learn. I start comparing myself to others, I start feeling like a fraud, an imposter.
Instead of research, if I use my naive enthusiasm as fuel and leap into the unknown, it’s fun, a journey of discovery and I am an enthusiastic beginner. And then I make progress.
Have you got something big you want to do? Don’t look up how to do it. Just do it.
Seriously. Whatever the odds, no matter how ridiculous, start before you’re ready and just do it.
Declare to the universe you’re not ready but you’re tenacious enough to venture out anyway. It might change your life.
In the highly inspirational words of Art Williams in what became known as his “Just Do It” speech, he makes this point over and over:
"Everybody can talk a good game. We need people in America, who can do it. I go all over this country … and I have people say, 'Art, you can count on me.' Wonderful. Just do it.
'Art, I guarantee this is my last stop. I’m going to win now.' Super duper. Just do it.
'Art, if I could just have one good month and get the ball going I know I could make it big.' Super. Just do it.
'Art, if I could just pay off this debt I could really go.' Great. Just do it.
'Art, if I could just sell my house.' Do it. 'But houses ain’t selling?' Do it anyway.
'Art, I’m not making any money. What can I do?' You just do it. 'Do what Art?' You do it, and do it, and do it."
Action will boost your confidence and change your mindset quicker and more effectively than any self-help book will. And imposter syndrome can only get you if you’re pretending to be something you’re not. So start before you are ready and do it, do it, do it.
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