We all feel like imposters at times. I certainly have. It's the hardest thing to struggle with your self worth and the value you provide for others when you're feeling like... "why should they put their trust in me?"
Think about the number of times someone has complimented you on an achievement, and you’ve brushed it off as “luck” or “timing.” We all do it, and it's one of the biggest "interrupters" of enjoying our personal success!
In a 1978 study of high achieving women, clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes concluded that the women in the study believed they were not intelligent and were “over evaluated” by others.
They couldn’t appreciate their accomplishments because they felt like frauds. Although this was a study of women, I think men feel it, too.
The imposter syndrome arose in me during the years I had to balance being a single mom with building my corporate career, and writing. I was trying to do it all.
During that time, there were abundant years and lean years, but I made it work. My 19-year corporate career experienced cycles of ups and downs, but throughout, I remained one of the top producers in my office. An imposter didn’t do that…
Not only that, I was able to finally write the book I dared to write--the story of my survival as a mother who lost a child. I wrote it for other parents, like me, struggling with their own loss. I knew I could offer them hope, because I had resurrected my own life. Goodness... it was not easy. There is nothing easy about grieving.
But, I wanted them to know it's absolutely possible to find happiness again. I shared parts of me that felt doubtful and hopeless, because it was all a part of the healing process. I shared the truth... it's not easy, but it's possible.
An imposter didn't do that... It was the real me.
It brings me such joy to write and share my stories in my books and blogs.
It also makes me happy to be able to assist other aspiring writers in finding their joy! I started with just a few treasured friends, encouraging them to write their stories, and teaching them what I know. My role was to help them recognize the greatness of their story... no matter how difficult it was... their life mattered and deserves to be told.
And they became published authors!
What if I'd said "no" to the call. What if I believed I was an imposter and I wasn't worthy to teach? Those very authors have told me they didn't think they would have books or blogs today.
Do you see how valuable your knowledge can be to someone else? Do you see how telling your story as a teaching memoir or blog can change people's lives?
Soooo.... It took years for me to realize…
...but I came to the conclusion that if I was going to continue to help others, grow my business, and fulfill my purpose, I had to fire the imposter inside my head.
Here's what I did...
I sat down and wrote a list of my accomplishments and wins, including that of being a full-time mom, real estate agent, and writer of books and blogs. When I added it all up, I felt so proud!
Here's your reward for the day...
Sit down for 10 minutes and make a list of all your accomplishments that quickly come to mind. Don't miss a thing and write fast... whatever you can think of.
Include the big "wins" and the small "wins."
The big win would be something like, you became a top producer in your field, or you successfully raised three kids, or you built a yoga practice that has kept you healthy and strong.
We often forget the smaller "wins" and the magnitude of what they actually accomplished. These are things like helping a friend who is recovering from cancer; or taking your mom to the grocery store and a surprise lunch at her favorite place.
Keep your attention on what that did for them. You changed the course of their day, and they will never forget it.
If you ever have doubts about how genuinely wonderful you are.... look at your list.
You'll learn to revolutionize your thinking by owning your accomplishments.
Change your thoughts… change your potential.
Start celebrating your wins! Make a big deal of it! You might even toast with a Manhattan.
Yep, that’s me in the photo below with a Manhattan, making a big deal of it!
Isn't it time to make that special list and FIRE the self-doubt monster inside your head so the new you can shine ever so brightly?
Now is the time to start doing what you truly love, and don't let that silly imposter get in the way. It's not real... just look at your accomplishments!
If you've had even the smallest dream to write and change your life... I hope you'll join me for Writing for Your Life, a 3-hour writer's webinar on May 6. Get all the details right here!