When they say they don’t experience the Impostor Complex, I hafta ask: Why not?
I’ve got some bad news for you.
But stay with me.
Because I also have some good news.
But first, the bad news.
Just like grief that comes along and trips you up when you least expect it, the Impostor Complex too is like a wrinkle in the (red) carpet.
No matter how much work you’ve done.
No matter how evolved you are.
When you set out to do something big and new and exciting and important, you WILL wonder: “damn...why am I coming up against this NOW? I thought I had this stuff figured out and in the bag.”
Because we never really figure it out.
Not fully, in any case.
Because it mutates.
It adapts, shape-shifts, and it grows new heads.
Every time you step UP. We overcome it to be certain, but we don’t ever fully close the gap.
So, for instance, YES, you overcame your Impostor Complex when you took that stage.
But that doesn’t mean it won’t show up when you are asked to headline the conference.
Sure, you worked the three key strategies I speak of to overcome the IC (you met the critics, bolstered your authority thesis and assembled the cast) and found your way to accepting the new role of leading the team.
But rest assured, when you’re asked to lead SEVERAL teams, it’s going to re-present.
And of course, you got past the IC when you managed to self-publish that book.
But when the agent comes a-calling, so too will the IC.
Deep breath. I’m just here to remind you that you’re feeling wobbly because you’ve never been HERE before.
“Successful people don’t experience this’ is actually lie #2 of the Impostor Complex.
It’s a lie we buy into because we hope it’s a truth that will eventually apply to us. When we have reached a certain pinnacle, this shit will be behind us.
Same shit, higher hill.
With higher stakes.
Which is good and tricky, all à la fois.
But that promised good news: awareness brings about a faster recovery.
Just remember every time you felt this...what were you on the precipice of? Pressing publish? Leaving the job? Closing shop? Charging THAT price? Saying the hard truth?
Felt scary. Felt hard.
I repeat: it MATTERED. So when someone tells me that they don’t ever experience the Impostor Complex anymore, I ask them this.
Not why not as in ‘let me drink from your fount of enlightenment’. But rather, why not, as in ‘why have you stopped taking risks?’ ‘Why have you stopped doing the work that matters?’ ‘Why have you stopped looking down the barrel of your potential?’
There’s only room on the red carpet for those of us doing the work. Yes, we’ll be tripping along the way. But land sakes, will we look fine.