How to overcome imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome… We have all been there, we have all experienced her and doesn’t she just show up exactly when we don’t need her the most?
I’m going to give you a few quick tips just about how to overcome imposter syndrome. Specifically if you are an online course creator or an expert who’s going out there to share your message and imposter syndrome comes along and shakes us up.
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It’s impossible to know everything
Imposter syndrome… We have all been there, we have all experienced her and doesn’t she just show up exactly when we don’t need her the most? I’m going to give you a few quick tips just about how to overcome imposter syndrome. Specifically if you are an online course creator or an expert who’s going out there to share your message and imposter syndrome comes along and shakes us up.
Now the most important thing when you’re getting started is to make sure that you are looking at the right things. Too often imposter syndrome creeps up upon us, because we are thinking about all of the things that we don’t yet know how to do, or that we can’t yet explain, or that we don’t yet have the full suite of knowledge to. Rather than looking at all of the massive abundant of things that we do know and we can do! So the first thing I want to share with you: it is impossible to know everything about a topic.
So if you’re sitting there thinking, I can’t teach this course yet until I know everything, you’re never going to get started, because you can’t ever know everything. If you’re sitting there thinking ‘I’m just going to learn a bit more’, again: you’re never going to get there and your course will never get out to the world.
Teach what you know now
My advice is to just teach what you have now, what you can do right now, what you can teach right now. You can add new stuff later as you learn it. It’s all about focusing on what you can teach right now, and I bet you have an absolute abundance of things that you can draw upon.
It may be your formal experiences, your formal training, your formal industry, your formal area of expertise that you can teach, formal training and education, formal work experience. It could be informal stuff like your life journey, like your experiences. You may have a set of certain achievements that you’ve accomplished that other people haven’t yet and they would love to know how you’ve done it and your course is going to be quite simply ‘this is how I got to where I am’.
Imposter syndrome happens to everyone
Now, the next thing to remember is that imposter syndrome happens to every single one of us. Even those of us who are the most accomplished, who look like we’re the most confidence, who look like that we could never ever be knocked, it happens to us too! I’m speaking for myself here as well.
Also, it’s not an illness and it’s not a problem. It is a completely natural part of caring about what you do. And therefore it’s important for you to know that as long as you care, it’s impossible for you to get rid of imposter syndrome. Because if you’re always thinking about ‘I want to do my best to people’, then of course you’re going to be worried about not doing the best thing for them or not coming across as if you’re doing the best thing for them.
The trick here is not about trying to eliminate imposter syndrome. I’m sorry, but if you care, she doesn’t go away. What the trick is is to make sure that you just take a deep breath and learn how to go on despite her. It’s about learning how to push through that imposter syndrome, because she’s going to hang around no matter what.
You have something valuable to share
The next thing that causes imposter syndrome for a lot of people is thinking that they have to be some world-renowned experts. So what I want you to really understand here is that you do not need to be a PhD-qualified professor in the thing that you’re going out to teach in order to have something valuable to share.
You have something valuable to share that is defined by: will it help somebody? Will it help somebody move forward? Will it help somebody see something differently? Will it helps somebody get a certain outcome? Will it help somebody feel better about themselves? Will it give someone confidence? Will it give someone some kind of skill or trick that they didn’t have before? I am absolutely certain and can guarantee that every single person in the world has one of those things, i.e. something valuable to give to another person.
Now of course, if you do have special accolades or special stories or special qualifications, absolutely shout those out from the top of a mountain. That is simply using unfair advantages. It’s one of the ways I make myself stand out from the crowd is, I say ‘why use other course creation specialists when you could use one who’s qualified?’ Of course I’m going to milk that and use that to my advantage, but does it mean that the other guy who’s not qualified can’t teach you how to create an online course? Of course it doesn’t. I’m just doing marketing!
Stop comparing yourself to others
Now of a very similar vein to that point is stop comparing yourself to others in general, full stop. I see a lot of time, particularly in the business space, is brand new people coming to business. They are in their first year, and they start comparing themselves to guys who have been in business for ten years or longer. They sit there and go ‘I can’t do this’ ‘look at their number of followers’ or ‘look at their fancy website’. They look at basically everything that the other guy has taken 10 years to build.
Please don’t compare your year one to somebody else’s year 10. It takes a really long time to get to those places. And comparing yourself to 10 years down that line further than you should be is obviously a great way to invite old imposter to come and kick you in the nuts. You have to start somewhere. You can only discover the way that you share your message and you can only connect with an audience if you just start putting it out there and letting that audience find you.
You do not have to be perfect
The next big thing about beating imposter syndrome is to remember that you do not have to be perfect to help somebody. You simply need to share. You can pick up your mobile phone, go onto Facebook, press livestream. I don’t care whether you’re sat in your car park waiting for your coffee. You could change somebody’s life by doing a livestream like that. That is what matters, not how many pixels is your retina.
You could be sharing information, knowledge, tips that help people succeed, move forward, get out of the black hole that they’re in. It could change their life. It could save their life. Please don’t think that the only way to do that is by being perfect. You need to share your thing. That’s what changes somebody’s life, not how whizbang your finished, edited video was, not whether your name flashed in at the bottom sideways and twinkled with a little ding at the end. It is the results that your information gives to your people that is what will elevate you as an expert. That is what gets people saying, that person is amazing, that person’s really helpful.
You have to have something to build upon. There must be a prototype from which that you can then go to market with, iterate and improve. Give yourself room for improvement and evolution later. You can polish up your videos later, you can redo them later. You can do a better version of them later. The great thing about going online and putting your online courses out to the world is that it is never there in stone. Something is better than nothing every single time.
How to dissolve imposter syndrome slightly
Now my final tip! As I said, we can’t completely get rid of imposter syndrome, but we can find ways to dissolve her slightly. One of the best ways to kill imposter syndrome is with thanks. When people start thanking you for your content, when people start saying these magical life-changing words to you ‘you have changed my life’ ‘your course helped my business’ ‘your course helped me get this particular result’. When that thanks comes, your confidence and your self-esteem absolutely skyrockets.
There is nothing better for your confidence, your self-esteem, your self-efficacy, than people thanking you for the content you’ve put out to the world. So of course the only way to get that, the only way to get that boost and self-esteem confidence and kill the imposter syndrome, is to just put it out there to just start sharing. Because there will be people whose lives will be changed by what you have to say.
Just stop worrying, put that imposter aside and go out there because you might not just change somebody’s life. You might actually save it too. Good luck, be brave, be strong, and go out there and share with the world what you were born to share, because there are people out there waiting for you.