Imposter Syndrome: We’re All Lost and Figuring It Out

All of us are figuring it out. I saw @thejustinwelsh post this recently as a great reminder.

Sometimes we get caught up in imposter syndrome but forget that everyone on this planet is learning and figuring it out. Many of us feel like the imposter who doesn’t deserve where we are or what we have. It may not be all the time, but it can quickly put us on our backside when it hits us.

Mistakes, mix-ups, confusion, frustration, and cluelessness are all signs you’re on the path of growth.

Before we dig in – let’s look at the imposter syndrome definition according to Oxford Languages:

  1. The persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.”people suffering from impostor syndrome may be at increased risk of anxiety.”

That sounds like a pretty accurate description of what many of us feel!

Growth is the only way.

All of life is learning and growth. There is only this. It’s the foundation of the growth mindset. Feeling like an imposter happens when we don’t embrace the growth process and instead practice self-judgment.

We criticize and chastise ourselves because we don’t do things perfectly. This is approaching life in a way that causes much hurt within us. It’s also rejecting the growth process.

All of life is growth. It’s the very fabric of existence.

We play for fun if we embrace with an open mind and realize the game we’re part of.

None of us have all the answers.

The willingness to humble ourselves and learn is the way we move forward.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we have things figured out. It’s just as easy to think we have to know EVERYTHING before taking action. Both perspectives can harm us.

Our minds are constantly pushing towards the known.

The unknown brings discomfort to us. It’s why the imposter syndrome hits us the way it does. We realize we’re in a territory we don’t know, so we feel like frauds, which starts the internal critical dialogue.

But the problem is all of us are learning and growing. Not knowing things is part of learning and expanding our skill set. To start a new venture with self-criticism because we don’t know everything would be like getting mad at the water because we’re thirsty. It doesn’t make any sense.

Not knowing is part of the game.

This unknown fear usually kicks off a cycle…

The fear of what COULD happen consumes us. It’s how our minds have evolved to protect us from dangers, but if we allow it to rule us, we will live our whole lives in fear. We spin out in these hypothetical situations and forget to live in reality.

Fear is something I despise.

It’s healthy to acknowledge it and act. But it’s a terrible thing to let lead us.

When we are doing new things and learning, fear is natural. Feeling like an imposter is natural during all this. All this focus on fearful scenarios creates a ton of imposter syndrome anxiety. The anxiety makes things very difficult to act because we feel tight and restricted.

This is a very vicious cycle to break.

Fear is a good sign we’re pushing ourselves. But when we allow it to dictate how we live, we get into trouble. We must act despite the fear because it will always be there. That determines courage, our ability to act despite the fear we feel.

My vision for humanity is that we live more courageous and honorable lives.

But most of us feel like this these days…

woman holding her face in dark room, fear, imposter syndrome

Don’t let fear rule you

Fear stops us from doing this.

The fear often comes from self-doubt and not believing we can do amazing things. But we forget that all of us are figuring it out. All of us are learning and growing.

Some people are just better at faking it.

Don’t be fooled. Imposter Syndrome is something everyone feels. The most powerful and “successful” people feel it but never share it. We’ve become very good at faking our reality to portray images of perfection. This is a fallacy creating a lot of pain and discomfort for many.

One great way of overcoming imposter syndrome is to realize everyone is figuring it out. No one has all the answers, and regardless of how they may appear, no one has it all figured out.

NO ONE.

Remind yourself of that whenever you judge yourself for not being where other people are. Remember, everyone starts as a beginner and doesn’t know 💩

Starting from the beginning is how we master things, so don’t beat yourself up and let the fear rule out your awesome creative energy waiting to be shared. This is why mindset can be so powerful for us because it will help or hinder our ability to embrace the process needed to create the life we desire.

Creation is a process we all can learn and leverage, but we need to have the right mindset to embrace the process and sustain our efforts over time. Without this acceptance of the process, it becomes almost impossible to make progress and maintain the commitment to creating excellent work.

You got this.

Use Action

Combatting imposter syndrome with ruthless action will become your best friend. As you take action, learn, and expand your skills, we silence the inner critic that says we’re not good enough. That inner critic will do everything to get us NOT to take action.

The counter punch is relentless action on behalf of our creative desires. No matter what they are and how silly they may seem. The internet has made almost any business possible, so limiting our creativity can limit our lives!

We can do amazing things if willing to put in the time & effort.

At least, that’s what I tell myself every day 😂

That’s why I write. It’s why I record podcasts. It’s why I offer coaching services. All of the things I do drive towards one objective: To help all of us reach our potential and help to make the world a better place through self-expression.

Self-compassion is key

God has planted greatness in us all. The spark of the self is our greatest treasure. The only catch is that we must nurture and cultivate this seed of wonder. Too many of us have learned the ways of judgment and harsh criticism. We’ve been misled about growth and the ideas of perfection. Perfection already exists as things are.

But growth is endless. It’s a neverending journey of exploration and expansion.

Embrace growth and let go of the need for perfection. The way through the fray is through the authenticity of self. That comes from radical self-care and brutal honesty about who we are and what we desire.

Having an honest conversation with ourselves about who we are, what we desire, and where we find ourselves is critical to this journey. We have to know where we are today to work towards a better tomorrow.

This all comes from self-reflection.

The more we lean into our authentic selves, the more we find fulfillment and purpose.

Spend time with yourself

Connecting with who we are is how we can overcome imposter syndrome. The more we build a genuine connection to who we are, the more strength we build in that pathway. The strength in our relationship with ourselves counters the negative feelings we often experience with imposter syndrome.

When we feel disconnected from who we are and what engages us, it’s easy to feel like an imposter. It’s because we’re not living true to who we are and the work we’re in the world to do. We’re overruling the expression of who we are for the need to fit in. Spending time with ourselves is how we reclaim our lives and discover the beauty within each of us.

Self-reflection is profoundly fulfilling and powerful when done with compassion and patience. It’s a skill we can learn, like most things in life. But this is one skill we will carry with us throughout time. It allows us to anchor ourselves into the Eternal well of energy we all come from. This anchor point is where our power comes from.

It’s the source of our unique being. Don’t discount the power you hold. You may not feel it now, but as you connect with your authentic self, the power will slowly rise, and confidence in your abilities will also rise.

The more fear you feel, the better. This means you’re pushing deep into the core of who you are, and your socialized ego is freaking out over what it might mean for the smaller version of yourself. This battle is well-documented.

Know that you’re not alone in this battle.

The decision to master ourselves is the most incredible adventure because it unlocks our potential’s total capacity. The key is understanding that imposter syndrome is a natural part of doing things outside our comfort zone. There will always be moments we feel like frauds, but if we remember this is all par for the course, we can press on.

Remember that all of us are figuring it out. No one has all the answers. Regardless of how sunny people may paint their life to be on social media, all of us have darkness and dragons to battle.

Some are better at putting on a show than others.

Change all begins with the belief change is possible.

Now let’s get after it!

Want some help? Check out my men’s coaching offering to see if it makes sense to work together.

Originally tweeted by Brandon Ward 🇺🇲 (@BrandonLeeWard) on November 22, 2022.

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