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Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever doubt you’re good enough or even qualified for the responsibilities you face? If so, you may be experiencing “Imposter Syndrome.” This short video (2.5 minutes) will help you get past these limiting thoughts in just three simple steps.

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READ THE TRANSCRIPT.

Do you ever feel like you’re “faking it,” and  you’ll be found out for your flaws and limitations? Me too. This week we’re Off Balance On Purpose in Washington, DC.
You’ve heard it all your life – fake it until you make it. But the seed planted with the word “fake” may mature into the belief that you don’t deserve what you eventually attain, and will be exposed as a fraud. Imposter Syndrome, is extremely common, especially among high achievers. Probably even this guy. 
Think about it, only those who are motivated would have the courage to step into a new realm where they must learn, grow and be tested. Feeling inadequate, experiencing self-doubt, or the idea of being a “fake” is totally predictable. So what do you do about it?
First things first. You are not a fake. When you step on the field, you’re in the game. And the challenge isn’t about achieving perfection. The challenge – and the measure of your credibility – is about how you deal with what isn’t perfect or even truly understood.  The most valuable people in a team, community or a family are those who can enter the unfamiliar and become what is necessary.
So here’s my suggestion, stop telling yourself that you’re “faking it” because that isn’t accurate. There’s nothing fake about learning. Failing. Hurting. Growing. Instead, tell yourself, today and every day, that you are “becoming what is required.”
When the challenge is real and demands are urgent, how do you become who you need to be?
1. Name your “gap.” What exactly don’t you understand? Specificity leads to clarity.
2. Find the parallels. Success principles and human dynamics are universal. There’s something you have done and know with certainty that serves you here. Find it.
3. Transform. Ask yourself, “If I did know the answer, what would it be?” Suspend your doubt and self-judgement and allow yourself to become the person who learns and leads.
Past experience is fantastic, but imperfectly suited to the challenge at hand. So use what you have. But understand that real mastery is becoming.  And there’s nothing fake about that. Until next week, stay Off Balance On Purpose.
  • Norb Woodhams says:

    Great lesson, and one I needed to hear.

    Enjoyed seeing you in DC, and look forward to learning more from you in Orlando tomorrow.

  • Mike Rayburn says:

    Such a great point! Joe Walsh, legendary guitarist for the eagles, has said regardless of everything he’s done he keeps thinking one day people are going to finally see that he really isn’t that good. Joe-freakin-Ealsh! This is the guy who played all is amazing songs in solos including half the solo on hotel California. This helped me because I figured, if someone is greatest Joe Walsh experiences imposter syndrome, then that syndrome is the real imposter.

    • Dan Thurmon says:

      So true, Mike! Thanks for offering great additional insight. On an adjacent note, I believe this is why so many superstars become substance abusers. They think they can’t possibly be enough on their own. In truth, they are so capable they can even overcome self-inflicted limitations.

  • Tak Kurtz says:

    As a street performer turned International performer, I have been on both sides of that coin. And from the professional now… looking at those faking it, and their audience believing that they are a professional and to trust them as they do dangerous things ( and using an audience volunteer in the process)…I have raised my son to step back when watching street performers or for that fact any act doing a dangerous feat and telling the audience to not worry that they are a professional.
    I have seen performers (and their audiences) get injured, trusting the ‘ professional ‘ line. As for me, feeling out of my depth…I was in the first wave of international clowns to hit China in 2007, my training being the streets, puppeteer training at CPA and growing up a son of a famous animator. I felt out of my depth as all these guys were Ringling Brothers Clowns…had been to Clown college, many of them in the same graduating class…and I was invited … with the those guys!!!! No circus background really to speak of …in my case. But when I took the stage, and got the response, not only from the audience, but all the clowns…I let that feeling of not deserving to be there , ‘go’. I had brought something fresh to them…but up until that time i felt so out of place!

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