Imposter Syndrome At Its Finest
I recently published my first self-help book for women, From Caterpillar to Butterfly: Transform the Life You Have into the Life You Love. And with that so many people have congratulated me. People have told me how proud of me they are. They asked when was I going to be on Oprah and how did I get published.
The truth is I published my own book. There was no publisher and no six figure signing advance. Just a girl with a vision. All this to-do over something anyone can literally do makes me feel like an imposter.
I’ve heard about this syndrome a lot. Yet, it’s never really impacted me until now. The idea of people seeing this accomplishment as anything other than determination, an investment of time and money, and a belief in myself is unsettling. I want to say to everyone, “Please don’t make this a big deal. PLEASE! I’m no Oprah.”
But it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishment. A lot of people want to write books and most never will. I did achieve something. Just not what I imagine to be the impression of my family and friends.
In honor of my own feelings of being an imposter here are 8 quotes on what it is and how to conquer it:
“The beauty of the impostor syndrome is you vacillate between extreme egomania and a complete feeling of: ‘I’m a fraud! Oh God, they’re on to me! I’m a fraud!’ . . . just try to ride the egomania when it comes and enjoy it, and then slide through the idea of fraud.” – Tina Fey
“She explained that many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are- impostors with limited skills or abilities.” – Sheryl Sandberg
“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell
“It’s the constant nagging voice in the back of your head telling you that you’re unqualified to do what you’re doing. And it’s being absolutely convinced, even after you do it, that your success was only due to luck, coincidence, or outside help.” – Kathryn Grayson Nanz
“When I was younger, I just did it. I just acted. It was just there. So now when I receive recognition for my acting, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I tend to turn in on myself. I feel like an impostor. It was just something I did.” – Emma Watson
“Sometimes I wake up at night and go, “Oh, damn! Here we go again! What were they thinking? They gave me this role; don’t they know I’m faking it?” – Renee Zellweger
“I still sometimes feel like a loser kid in high school and I just have to pick myself up and tell myself that I’m a superstar every morning so that I can get through this day and be for my fans what they need for me to be.” – Lady Gaga
Everyone from musicians, to writers, and corporate executives deal with imposter syndrome at times. It’s this idea that we’re a fraud or we’re not good enough. So what should we do about it? Borrowing from the words of Lady Gaga, pick yourself up and tell yourself you’re a superstar every morning. Or just do it like Emma Watson. Perhaps even fake it like Renee Zellweger.
What’s important to know is that it is completely normal. In some instances it can given be healthy:
“It’s helpful to have some arrogance with paranoia . . . If we were all paranoia, we’d never leave the house. If we were all arrogance, no one would want us to leave the house.” – Chris Martin
As for me, I’m telling everyone, “thank you,” for their compliments and well wishes. I’m even signing autographs. ??
Purchase your own copy of From Caterpillar to Butterfly: Transform the Life You Have into the Life You Love and save 25% plus get free shipping for a limited time only. If you want your copy autographed too just send me a note and let me know!