A real live fake.
I've always believed that even if I don't actually have all the qualifications or experience a job needs, I can learn them... on the job! It's a mindset that has literally landed me every job I've ever had.
But it had a downside as I often felt like a total fraud, frantically working my butt off to learn as fast as I could, all the while feeling like any moment now someone was going to realize that I was figuring it all out as I went.
I was so afraid that I would get fired or called out because I wasn't an expert and didn't always believe that my hard work and abilities were going to be good enough.
To be an entrepreneur that mindset is absolutely essential because everything we do is new in a sense, and often we don't even know what skills or experience we are going to need until we are already in it. Add to that the fact that most women question their abilities and talents anyway, harboring secret thoughts that they don't know what the hell they are doing and suddenly we have a whole group of otherwise brilliant women feeling like imposters.
While imposter syndrome is essentially the inability to really recognize our own achievements, I think there's more to it.
I think that it's a big part of the "rules trap" and it affects entrepreneurs doubly hard. We're all supposed to be experts and marketing, sales, SEO, doing videos and editing, creating dazzling content.... oh yes and then actually doing the work that we're selling. And if you don't have some kind of formal qualification then you're never going to be taken seriously right?
If you take even the smallest peak into what we're exposed to every day, particularly online, it's a steady stream of people telling you that "THIS is the way to set up sales funnels". People are selling the "5 top things you MUST have to be successful" and my personal favorite, the
"ONE THING YOU'RE DOING WRONG THATS KILLING YOUR BUSINESS FOREVER!"
When you've been lead to believe that there is a formula for success and that if you don't fit that model exactly then you're dooooomed, of course you're going to feel like an imposter. You're not doing this the way people expect you to do them. Therefore you must be wrong.
It's ironic that women who are breaking out of the traditional models of business and success are in many ways still so chained to them.
In a world that is changing so incredibly fast around us, and the paradigms of what success is and how you can achieve it evolving constantly, why are we still allowing the rules to decide who we can and can't be?
I've had the privilege of spending time recently with some amazing entrepreneurs and despite the diversity of their businesses and levels of experience, the all have that in common.
but I want to challenge the way we think about feeling like an imposter. And I very much want to challenge the idea of faking it till you "make it" because for me that is the absolute worst way to resolve it!
I feel like a fake, so I'm going fake my ass off until I stop feeling like a fake..... anyone else think that's helpful? I don't!
Because all that happens is that you eventually convince yourself that the fake version IS you, but no matter how good a fake you become, inside you always know and it will always come back to sabotage you somewhere.
What if we started to explore how we feel about ourselves and our businesses and spend the time to investigate where those rules that we try to keep to come from? Instead of feeling like we have no idea what we're doing, what if we acknowledged that we don't yet know everything, that we haven't yet mastered every skill we think we need?
Instead of panicking because someone on the internet says that there is only one way (their way inevitably) to be a successful entrepreneur and person, we need to start being honest about who we are, what we want and what we are willing to do to get it. And that deep down, we know how to do it, we just aren't used to trusting ourselves and our own judgment.
We aren't trusting ourselves to decide our own way.
Let's start being real about this. Honest about why we feel like imposters... because we are trying to do so many things that we don't actually feel are the right way for us.