Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever asked yourself “Who am I?” or “Why am I here?” When I was growing up, I was continually asking the universe and praying to God to answer these vital questions. I wanted someone to give me a declarative answer; to take away the pain I felt of always feeling unsure of who I was or why I was put on this planet. I would see some people who seemed to have such clarity in their sense of self and their purpose in life. So I assumed that I just hadn’t received the answer yet, and someday I would find the holy grail of life’s purpose. Of course, I learned later this was also part of my constant assumption that I was never good enough the way I was, so if only I could figure this out, then I would be good enough. If you are nodding your head, I will tell you that nearly everyone feels this way and has asked these questions, and many people still do. The first time I realized this, I was, honestly, shocked. I was speaking to a room full of successful, women leaders in the technology industry. I asked the audience if they ever asked themselves the question “who am I” or “why am I here?” Nearly every hand in the room went up. And that’s when a light bulb went off in my head. Somewhere along the way many of us have lost sight of who we are. On the outside, we may appear to be confident and assured with a clear sense of self. But on the inside, we are filled with what now we like to call “The Imposter syndrome.” This is where you walk into a meeting or a situation where you assume everyone else in the room is more competent and qualified than you, and that they deserve to be there. However, you do not. And you are waiting for that horrible moment when everyone discovers you don’t belong. That you are not good enough. A few years ago, I developed a fabulous way to combat The Imposter Syndrome. I think back to a book I used to read my children, titled, “Everybody Poops.” The book was designed to teach children how everyone is the same, and maybe it was even part of helping toilet train toddlers. I don’t remember, but for me, the book has become my mantra when I walk into a room, as I use it to remind myself that no matter how beautiful or successful or talented or wealthy everyone else is or might be, at some point, they are all sitting on a toilet with a naked bum, pooping. Oh, and their poop probably stinks, too. This beautiful mantra helps me go from insecure to confident and often results in me entering these situations with a little grin on my face; which makes others usually feel that I am feeling confident in who I am, and as we now know, they are probably wondering if they are the imposter. So, I am now going to reveal to you that age old question of WHY YOU ARE HERE. Are you ready? You are here to be . . . YOU. Yep, that’s it. You are on this planet to be the wonderful you that only you can be. But there is a caveat. It’s not just any you. You are here to be the absolute best version of yourself — you in all your glory. Not hiding your talents, or questioning who you are, or trying to be something you are not because you think that’s what others want. You are here to be the you that you were born to be. This is what I call: Letting Your True Light Shine! The reason we keep asking this question is that we have somehow lost or dimmed our light. We have forgotten who that perfect, raw, unique self we were when we were little when the only thing we knew to be was who we were, or who we are. There’s a verse in the bible that talks about “man” being created in God’s perfect image. I like that because you are perfect just the way you are. I think singer Pink says it best in her song, F**king Perfect. Put this on your mirror and tell yourself every morning that you are perfect just the way you are: Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel Like you’re less than f***in’ perfect Pretty pretty please, if you ever, ever feel like you’re nothing You’re f***in’ perfect to me!
  • Margaret
Watch Pink’s Video