The Emperor’s New Clothes – Will anyone see?
What if I fall? What will happen? Will anyone see? Will my life be ruined?
Many of you are on our Green Dog Community Pack Facebook group or follow our business Facebook page and saw that last week I did a series of Facebook Live videos to explain the uses of the essential oils available during a week of BOGO (buy one get one).
I was a nervous wreck. It was not fear of public speaking, as I used to think, it was fear that I was not good enough, smart enough, and that I would not give value. That fear is called “impostor Syndrome” and Tasha Smith at Emerge Sales Training explained it and WOW did it resonate with me. If you have time listen to her podcasts – they are awesome. The Podcasts that she and a business partner recently did on “impostor Syndrome” are numbers 317 and 318. (https://emergesalestraining.com/myblog/)
“Imposter syndrome” is this feeling of “they’re gonna find out that I’m a fraud and that I actually don’t know what I am doing.”
It’s something like the Hans Christian Anderson story of the emperors new clothes – when the emperor, his entourage, and the town’s people were swindled by strangers that came into town saying they could make a magical cloth that only those worthy to lead could see and those who could not see it were stupid. The strangers were such good storytellers that the emperor and all his people were conned into saying they could see the fine clothes because they did not want anyone to know they could not see the fabric and therefore be considered stupid. The strangers had everyone believing the fine fabric they made was only visible to those that were worthy and it was invisible to those that were unfit for office or unusually stupid. Even the emperor knew he did not see the fabric but he did not let on so his people would not think him unworthy to lead or stupid. The emperor paraded around in what he thought were his new clothes and the only one that would be truthful and tell him he was naked was a young child.
I get impostor syndrome even though I know I have worked hard to prepare and that I have solid experiential instincts.
Most times when I am pushing to a new skill level my insecurities rear their head and I feel like I’m living the story of emperor’s new clothes. I fear people see that I am a fraud and/or that I really don’t know anything. I feel like everyone knows I am faking it but they don’t say anything. Impostor syndrome is a feeling that people watching or listening are going to know that I am a “poser” and a fraud and I really don’t know what I am talking about. This is a common feeling among people as they are skilling up to reach the next level.
When we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone it can be scary but it also can be very rewarding. When we are outside of our comfort zone insecurity grabs us by the throat and can stop us in our tracks. Don’t let this feeling stop your progress! It’s normal, its okay, and we can push through and accomplish new things.
It never goes away. It’s like an addiction that you learn to manage. So how do you handle it?
I handle it by knowing that most people are accepting, loving, and kind. It’s those people that I am trying to reach. Those are the people that will catch us if we stumble and fall. Those are the people that see value not faults. Those are the people that appreciate the effort. There will always be those that judge us and that’s okay. Our lives are not ruined by a few judgmental people. There will always be people that criticize what we are doing as we push forward to new skill levels and that’s okay.
So now when I feel impostor syndrome grabbing me by the throat I remind myself of the things I have accomplished, goals I am working toward, and how I show up to move forward and get the job done. I surround myself with people that are also pushing for their next goal, people who are willing to go outside of their comfort zone in order to move forward, people that are willing to do the hard stuff and skill up, people that are willing to push themselves do the best they can everyday without excuses because they have goals and they are going to accomplish them. I won’t let myself get sucked into that vortex created by my impostor syndrome fears – they are not real. I choose to embrace the journey even when its hard.
In the end what matters is that we push ourselves to to try new things even if it’s uncomfortable.