I recently read an article about “Imposter Syndrome” on LinkedIn. And WOW, it really resonated with me. It struck a chord… then, it didn’t.
Read on, I’ll explain.
But first, what is Imposter Syndrome, you ask?
Imposter Syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.
So back to my weird statement above. I read the article, listened to the podcast, and really felt something. I have been suffering from this for YEARS. I think — wait, I know — it is because I don’t have a college degree. I spent twelve years of elementary and high school in the gifted program, showed a ton of promise, but truly never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. (Sometimes, I still don’t!)
I went to community college for two years, took some business courses, dropped out of accounting because I was certain I was going to have a medical episode over it, LOVED the English / creative writing classes, and took biology and pharmaceutical math, which strangely I also loved. So, yeah, I was unsure to say the least. Then, I “took a semester off”, got married, started a family, and the rest is history. I regret none of it. I know the skills and experience I have gained over the last two decades outweighs any piece of paper I would have earned in 1994. Look at how much the world has changed since then: technology, the internet, social media — everything my generation has learned has been through experience or had been self-taught. If a company wouldn’t interview me without a degree, I moved on. Yeah, it stung a little but I always landed on my feet and I feel everything happens for a reason. Every position I have had, the people I have met, and the career experience I have gained were all placed in front of me for a reason.
So, back to the Imposter Syndrome. I thought about it all day. It was in the back of my mind until it hit me — I don’t have it any longer! I am cured! At approximately 12:40 pm on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 I made statements that, I now realize hours later, have proven I no longer suffer from Imposter Syndrome.
I sat in as a guest at a (virtual) BNI meeting. I was asked to stay on the Zoom call once the meeting ended to speak with the leadership team. When I started talking about my business and what I do for my clients, I realized I was truly speaking from my heart — with no reservations about my skills and what I bring to the table. I went on (and on) about the program I am managing for the Community Liver Alliance and how I feel so good about helping liver patients through managing this initiative. I talked about my love of writing and marketing and how I want to help organizations tell their story, reach their ideal clients, and grow their business. I talked about how I added a graphic designer to my team and how I want to continue expand so I can add additional contract employees. It felt so good to be so open and to talk about my work. MY WORK. Not a corporation. Not someone else’s company — MY COMPANY. Not someone else’s dream — MY DREAM. I didn’t shy away from telling these gracious people why my company is growing and succeeding: because I’m making it happen.
I am my own boss, I have a 30 second commute from bedroom to office, I work when I want and how I want (mostly in sweats), where I want (home office or in the back yard) and I can choose which jobs I take and which I decline.
I am NOT an imposter; I am the real deal. I love what I do, I am good at it, and I should not be afraid to say it. I am NOT afraid to say it.
And you should not be afraid to say it either.