Dealing with imposter again and again

There’s been a lot said about ‘overcoming’ your imposter, that for a while I’ve considered if it makes any sense to add to the noise.

What value am I adding with my post? Why should anyone care about my experience and perspective on this subject… 

Do you see what’s happening, the imposter is here again! He’s never too far and always ready to ‘put you where you belong’.

Feeling ‘not good enough’ is not uncommon for me. I’ve been working on my self-image and self-confidence for years and I know I still have a long way to go.

I’ve battled with imposter syndrome many times on my freelancing journey. When I first started straight after being ‘let go’ from an agency for ‘not working hard enough’ and my English ‘not being good enough’. When I decided to start running my own meetup, speak on the stage or run my first big conference.

Especially at the beginning when you’re starting with something new, the imposter is never far to remind you of how silly your goals are and how inadequate you are.

Over time you get used to ignoring your imposter or at least you’ll learn to quiet this voice in your head and do it anyway. And if you practice hard enough, you might stop hearing its voice all together!

Your imposer is never truly gone!  

What’s new for me, is that your imposter is never fully gone. Even if you think that you’ve dealt with all the feelings of ‘not being good enough’ and feeling like a fraud, as you grow, evolve and go thought various personal and business ups and downs, your imposter will be patiently waiting for its chance to show up again and remind you that ‘you’re not perfect’.

I feel like I’ve been tricked by all the articles about ‘How to overcome your Imposter Syndrome’, because I believed that once it’s been dealt with it’s gone for good!

But last year I realised that it’s never fully gone!

The moment you decide to slow down, change your direction or aim higher, your imposter will jump at this opportunity to show up again and make your journey more challenging.

Imposter syndrome often feels like a crippling fear that tries holding you back from reaching higher than your current level. Every time you decide to step up your game, change things up or start something new, it’s ready to remind you that you’re not good enough and that you’re stupid for believing you could aim higher in the first place.

I’m still working on learning to accept this feeling, too see it as a friend who’s always there for me in the least helpful way, but it’s a helpful guiding system to know if I’m heading in the right direction. If you flip it around, then you can see your imposter as a guide showing you the right way – in the least unfortunate way!

Your imposter can be your guide

Over time I’ve noticed that sometimes I worry when I don’t hear my imposter. When this voice is no longer around, it means that I’m getting too comfortable, that I’m settling down and that I’m not challenging myself enough.

For some, this might be good news and the right place to stay and savour the peace and quiet.

But I like a good challenge. I like doing new things, exploring new areas, embarking on new adventures and pushing myself out of the comfort zone. I thrive under a reasonable amount of pressure. It makes me feel alive and very happy!

So, when it comes to dealing with my imposter, I’m learning to focus more on progress, not perfection. I’m learning to pay more attention to the journey, staying present and focused at the moment, instead of looking too far ahead and worrying about what will happen once I get there.

I need to remember that done is better than perfect. Striving for perfection can often hold us back, but showing up is half of the battle and getting things done and out there will always bring you better results than waiting and perfecting something that will never be ‘good’ enough!

I’m not sure if this was a bit of a sidestep from the main topic or if it still makes sense. There’s definitely a lot more to unwrap in a later post about perfection!

For today, I’m done and curious to know what have you found the most helpful when dealing with your imposter?