Hello. My name is Elaine Johnston and I struggle with Imposter Syndrome. But I don’t let it define how I show up in the world.
Imposter Syndrome, ever heard of it?
For years, I have struggled with the idea that I’m not good enough, which is something that many of us face. But specifically, I felt like I wasn’t good enough AND that I was going to get found out because of that. I felt like my success as a young adult wasn’t legitimate or that someone was going to discredit my work ethic. I’m not sure if this is due to my young age, being a female, or the pressure to lead others, but it is a very real thing.
If you don’t recognize the term, this is the literal definition:
“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.”
You might be dealing with the idea that you’re not worthy of your accomplishment. Maybe you might be afraid to admit your wins due to the fear of rejection. Or quite possibly, you’re afraid someone may try to revoke and/or illegitimatize your success.
This idea isn’t anything new. And quite honestly, it’s not specific to any sex, age, demographic, accomplishment, etc. There are individuals who have multiple Ph.D.’s who have highly established careers who feel the burden of being labeled as an Imposter. You have authors who have written hundreds of books or podcasters who have recorded hundreds of episodes who feel like they aren’t allowed full credit. There are many business owners, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists who have done amazing work who are struggling with Imposter Syndrome.
Showing Up is the ONLY Way to Not Become an Imposter
The truth is, amazing people still question their worth. Highly established people still have doubt, fear, and insecurities that they question every single day of their career.
But know what the difference is between those who struggle with Imposter Syndrome despite their success and those who are actual imposters?
They still show up.
See, you might be struggling with Imposter Syndrome. But it doesn’t get to dictate how you show up in the world. Y’all quit selling yourself short! Just because you question whether or not your work is good enough doesn’t mean it isn’t good work. We all question ourselves from time to time.
But you know what? Imposter Syndrome is a self-limiting belief if you allow it to be. It is a literal negative mindset that has the potential to hold you back if you allow it. Do you know the best way to prevent becoming an imposter? By simply showing up and doing your work. It is literally impossible for you to be an imposter while simultaneously showing up in the world.
It’s fine to evaluate your work. I think it’s great that we can recognize how we can do better the next time. Growth takes some pruning and refining. But when you allow the doubt, fear, or insecurities rule over your personal calling, this is how you become a literal imposter. Sure, there are still days where I feel like I don’t deserve my success and accomplishments. But then I realize all the hard work it took me to get to where I am currently at. Then I think, “Heck yeah, I freaking deserve where I’m at because I showed up for myself”.
So if you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, seriously, quit selling yourself short!
And keep showing up.
You deserve a lot more than you give yourself credit for.