If you are anything like me, and odds are you are, Imposter Syndrome stops you from becoming a leader and standing out as someone who can help others.
Preventing you from living a life of service, community, and abundance.
Research shows that 70% of people suffer from Imposter Syndrome at some point in their life. 30% of high-achievers go through bouts of feeling like a fraud. It’s even worst on social media, where 87% of Twitter users are polled feeling like fakers.
Here are 15 ways to help you.
1/ Practice self-compassion.
Imposter Syndrome (I.S.) and the internal dialogue of it are often voices from your past, well-meaning and loving caretakers who unfortunately spoke to you in a harsh way.
You took those messages to heart and repeated them to yourself constantly.
Instead, be kind and forgiving to yourself and practice self-compassion.
Blogger, Eric Barker, of bakadesuyo.com has an awesome article on it here: https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/05/how-to-improve-self-esteem/
2/ Reframe what it means to be a teacher.
In martial arts, everyone knows that earning a black belt means that you know enough to help and teach others.
But did you know that throughout the journey toward a black belt, you are given endless opportunities to help other students?
In fact, it is sharing what you learn as you learn that actually improves your internalization of the new information.
You can always share what you know and let others know what you don’t know but are in the process of learning.
Surround yourself with 3 groups of students to give yourself a more full vision of what you know and still learning.
+: your teachers and mentors embody the skills you are seeking to learn.
-: students junior to you that you can help them on their path
=: peers that you can partner with to test out and hone your skills, gauging your progress and growth, as well as a sense of community and support.
No matter how far you grow, there will be these 3 groups, so take advantage of them.
4/ If you’re going to make comparisons, make healthy ones.
Often I.S. stems from constantly comparing yourself to others but “Comparison is the thief of joy,” so avoid it.
But, if you can’t, use them wisely.
I compare myself to my +’s as inspiration for how much more I can learn and grow, and by becoming a “Permissionless Apprentice” to watch and learn. https://visualizevalue.com/products/the-permissionless-apprentice
I compare myself to my -‘s to see how far I’ve come and also what I can share to be of value and service.
And, I compare myself to my =’s to see what I what to hone to stand out in my area of expertise.
5/ Realize that in any field of endeavor, you cannot know everything.
For over 30 years, I worked as an electrician and it was amazing to see how much the industry changed over the decades but that didn’t stop some workers from being know-it-alls who weren’t open to learning.
And know-it-alls mess up on the job because their ego wouldn’t let them be open to “not knowing” preventing them from learning and growing.
Positioning yourself as a know-it-all only sets you up to fall but being a “fellow traveler on the path” sets you up for success.
6/ Come from a place of service.
“I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.”
Most, if not all that you know can be found on the Internet, and probably for free.
People don’t want the info, they want connection, community, and support.
When you come from a place of service and community, people will feel that and that is why they will listen to you.
How can you make someone else’s life easier, better, and happier?
Have that on the top of your mind and they will forgive the missteps that are inevitable.
7/ Share what you love, not just what you know
Did you ever have a teacher that taught a subject you didn’t initially care for but s/he shared it with so much love and passion, that it couldn’t help but pique your interest?
Again, it’s not the info, it’s the passion.
Come from a place of love, service, passion for the topic, and the person you are seeking to serve.
@JerodMorris taught me years ago, that I.S. pops up when you care more about how you look and your ego than caring and sharing what you love to help serve others.
8/ Practice in public
Use social media to help you get out of your comfort zone. @heyblake has a great reminder here:
I’ve been sitting on this post for a few days now, I’m writing it up for Medium until I read @heyblake and decided to pass on the Medium article for now and test it here on Twitter.
I would love to hear what you think and if you want a more fully-fleshed version there.
9/ Be consistent.
I’ll be honest, this one is a tough one for me, at least when it comes to online content. I’m in my mid-50s & newly retired and I’m a social introvert. I’m not used to sharing my thoughts and ideas publicly consistently.
On the other hand, as a martial artist.
I knew the benefit of showing up on the mat every day. I would structure my life to be there 6-7 days a week, 3-4 hours a day, and I could experience the difference it would make compared to my =’s and -‘s.
If you’re not consistent, you know it, and it can increase I.S.
10/ Focus on a few key things
Do you know that in martial arts, “masters” only focus on a few key techniques and know them intimately, but the rest, they know only adequately?
You only have so much time and energy.
Use the 80/20 Rule to find your focus.
Invest 80% of your time on the key 20% of skills that will deliver the biggest bang for the buck FOR you.
What do you love about what you are pursuing? How can you make sure to do and share more of that?
My life as an electrician became so much easier, better, and happier when
I did this. I focused on 3 specific aspects of the industry and verbally communicated to everybody that if they put me those tasks it would make their lives easier, better, and happier.
And of course, me also. (FYI, it was FA, BMS, and Rigid Pipe)
11/ Use the 1% Compounding Effect
Once you know the 3 key areas you want to focus on and be known for, do something to grow in those areas each and every day.
Most people get this all messed up, too much marketing talking about giving 110%, rest when you’re dead, etc.
But then you get stressed, burn out, and crash.
What if you just gave a little bit more, so small, you would hardly notice. Do you know how long it would take to double your ability if you tried just 1% more every day?
70 days. That’s it. Do the math.
12/ Use a PKM system (Personal Knowledge Management)
Sometimes you really don’t know what you know and what you don’t know. It’s called the Curse of Knowledge on the one hand, and arrogance on the other.
So map it out. It’ll help you to see how much you really do know.
Recently, I discovered Obsidian.md and I love it! I wrote about my love affair with it here: https://chuckvtt.medium.com/one-app-to-rule-them-all-and-to-completely-supercharge-your-life-6959aab9234d
BTW, @NickMilo teaches an awesome class to help you better discern what you know and how to learn better.
13/ Lean into fear and discomfort
Most of the time, I.S. is voices from our past. But, sometimes those voices are strengthened by the actions we take or don’t take in the present.
Every time you use I.S. to prevent you from moving forward, you make it stronger.
Instead, lean into the fear. If you have to recite the Bene Gesserit fear mantra, “I will not fear. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me…
…And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune
With the practice of facing your fears, they lose power over you, giving you confidence, skill, and more joy.
14/ The Have-Do-Be Cycle
For too many people, they believe they need to “have” something, so they can “do” something, then they will “be” something.
It usually takes the form of a certificate, accolade, or some other chevron.
“If only I had this [proof of choice here] then I would be qualified to do and be the expert…”
But we have it all wrong, and unless you’re in some field that requires by law a certification to do something, i.e. doctor, lawyer, accountant. Most of the time you can start now.
Start today owning the fact that you are being, and becoming, whatever it is that you are on the path of. By being that, you are doing the activities that such a person does.
And by continuing to do those activities, you will reap the benefits, success, and happiness that being such a person has.
Steven Pressfield writes about it in the book, Turning Pro, and the difference between being an amateur and a professional.
Be a Pro, starting now.
15/ Don’t quit
I remember in the mid-90s, training under GM Bond Soo Han in Hapkido. I had been training consistently for a few years, 6-7 days/week, 3-4 hours/day (ah, the simple life of being young and single!) and I was feeling its toll.
I was in the locker room with one of the 4th-dan teachers and I thought it was a perfect time to ask something that had been gnawing at me.
I asked him, “Does it get easier…?”
He looked at me wondering what did I mean.
I told him how beat up I’ve been feeling and I didn’t know if I had it in me for the effort for the next year or two that it would take to earn my black belt.
“Oh…” he said understanding my question.
“Yes, it does get easier…”
I immediately perked up, thinking he was giving me The Golden Ticket, the secret.
“…the day you quit.”
My jaw dropped. That was not the answer I was expecting BUT it was the answer I needed to hear.
And I remember it when my life gets easier.
As a leader, a teacher, and a traveler on the path of life, your life will be filled with challenges. That is just par for the course.
Certainly, there will be times of relative ease followed by headwinds, doldrums, and difficulty.
Keep going. Don’t quit.
1/ Practice self-compassion
2/ Reframe being an expert
4/ Make healthy comparisons
5/ You will never know it all
6/ Come from a place of service
7/ Share what you love
8/ Practice in public
9/ Be consistent
10/ Focus on only a few things – 80/20 Rule
11/ Use the 1% Compounding Effect
12/ Know what you know and don’t know
13/ Lean into fear
14/ The Be/Do/Have Cycle
15/ Don’t quit
I hope you find this of value, if so, please share.
I’m on a mission to help people heal and to create more abundance physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and energetically in time, space, and money in their lives.
Reach out to me if this resonates with you.