Are You Letting Impostor Syndrome Hold You Back From Your Goals?

Are you letting impostor syndrome hold you back from your goals?Want to know how I really felt on the day the Get Gutsy ebook launched?

I felt a little bit like a fraud.

I had a serious case of impostor syndrome. 

If you’re not familiar with what that means, impostor syndrome is defined as a psychological phenomenon where people are unable to recognize their own accomplishments and don’t believe they deserve success for whatever they’ve achieved.

I was definitely proud of the book and how it came together so beautifully thanks to my wonderful contributors and fabulous designer, but thoughts ran through my head like:

-Who am I to launch a book?
-Why would anyone read this?
-Will the community think it’s boring or dumb?
-Should I have included my OWN story in the book?
-Is it even a real book if it’s just a compilation of OTHER people’s stories?
-Is this good enough?
-Am I good enough?

It’s hard to believe I was actually thinking these negative thoughts, even when things were going so well on launch day.

People were spreading the word on Twitter…my email list grew by nearly 100 people in a two week period. Members of the community were emailing me telling me how inspired they were by the book.

And yet, that nagging feeling persisted.

It didn’t feel good. I tried the best I could to quiet the mean voice in my head and soak in the happiness of the day, but it wasn’t easy.

I share this because I want you to know that everyone feels inferior from time to time.

Everyone feels doubt.

It’s OKAY to feel impostor syndrome (let’s face it, we’ve all been there) but the lesson here is that we can’t let it control us or stop us from reaching for our big, scary goals.

Luckily, after sharing these thoughts with the Get Gutsy e-newsletter community, my friend Janelle shared this article with me from 99U. It’s called “Nobody Knows What The Hell They Are Doing.” (Don’t you love that title?!)

The author, Oliver Burkeman, offers some encouraging words about impostor syndrome:

“Research suggests that the so-called “impostor syndrome” may get worse as people get better: the more accomplished you get, the more likely you are to rub shoulders with ever more talented people, leaving you feeling even more inadequate by comparison. In short: if you’re worried you don’t measure up, that could well be a sign that you do. And the truth, deep down, is that we all feel as though we’re just winging it.”

Such important words- after all, we really are just winging it, aren’t we? Even the most accomplished of us all have felt that icky feeling of not being good enough.

Burkeman continues, “The real trick to producing great work isn’t to find ways to eliminate the edgy, nervous feeling that you might be swimming out of your depth. Instead, it’s to remember that everyone else is feeling it, too. We’re all in deep water. Which is fine: it’s by far the most exciting place to be.”

See a connection here? What’s my favorite quote? “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Getting gutsy means embracing those uncomfortable feelings from time to time…and not letting it hold us back from our dreams.

Even though I felt the impostor syndrome like crazy throughout the launch, my method of coping was to just keep moving forward. To remind myself that I worked hard for this and that the book would be a success if it inspired even ONE person, let alone hundreds. To feel proud of my accomplishments and to share my work with pride.

To keep pushing onward…toward the next big goal.

Are you letting impostor syndrome hold you back from your big goal? Share your stories in the comments below.