One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs and business owners face is Imposter Syndrome.
That feeling of not being good enough, not being important enough.
The idea that you are not someone that anyone would want to pay attention to.
Imposter Syndrome will try to stop even the most able of entrepreneurs. The truth is that the feeling is irrelevant and should not be allowed to impact your business.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Have you ever written a piece of content, created a video, or added a Facebook Status and felt like no one is really going to care? Even though you know that, objectively speaking, you are successful?
Harvard Business Review defines Imposter Syndrome as:
"...a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. 'Imposters' suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence."
In essence, if you feel you are not good enough to be doing what you are doing, you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome.
Why is Imposter Syndrome irrelevant?
I was reading a book recently, by Dr David Schwarz, called The Magic of Thinking Big.
In the book, Dr Schwarz talks a lot about thinking of yourself the way you want others to think of you. In short, if you want people to think you are relevant, then you must think of yourself as relevant.
If you want people to think you are successful, then you must think of yourself as successful.
If you want people to believe you are important, then you must believe you are important. This is the root of Imposter Syndrome - a feeling of unimportance.
Then Dr Schwarz said something that really impacted me.
Imagine you are alone on a plane. You are piloting the plane over a jungle, flying high above the clouds. Suddenly, one of the engines fails and the plane starts to fall from the sky.
Grappling with the controls you shout: "Mayday! Mayday!" into the radio, uncertain as to whether anyone will hear you.
The last remaining engine begins to sputter as you are approaching the tree line and you manage to guide the plane into a clearing, crashing into the ground.
Miraculously you survive, but the plane is destroyed. You have no means of communication and you are hundreds of miles from any form of civilisation.
Now ask yourself:
What happens next?
Wherever this may happen in the world, the response is pretty unanimous. As soon as people realise you are missing, a search party is put together. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent, as many people scour the jungle to try to find you.
Helicopters fly over the jungle for hours, looking for any sign that you may still be alive.
Groups of experienced jungle guides hack through the undergrowth to try to get to where you may be.
News coverage of the search is broadcast all over the world, and people everywhere are praying for you to be rescued safely.
And on the day they find you, there is rejoicing all over the world.
Strangers rejoice because you have been found.
You see, your value comes from being human. You are important because you are human.
You are unique, you have a voice, and you are missed.
You are worth thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours.
As humans you have an inbuilt value that cannot be taken away.
It doesn't matter whether you are a three year old child who wonders away from his mother in the park, or a college drop out, lost in the Australian outback - humanity will rally together to save you because you are important.
But what does this have to do with Imposter Syndrome?
This is where it is important for you to embrace this truth.
You are important.
You have a voice that is unique to you.
You have a way of doing things that is unique to you.
It doesn't matter if other people are more successful.
It doesn't matter if other people do things differently.
There is only one of you.
And only you can do things exactly the way you do them.
So, the next time you find yourself thinking that it is not worth continuing...
Or that no one cares about what you are doing...
Or that you are irrelevant or unimportant...
Kick Imposter Syndrome to the kerb.
If people are willing to try to find you in the middle of a jungle, why would they not be willing to listen to what you have to say?
If you are important enough to be the object of a rescue party, why are you not important enough to share your thoughts, beliefs, or run your business?
Silence that voice that calls you Imposter with these simple words:
I am Important.
I am unique.
I have a voice.
And I am going to use it.
Imposter Syndrome is real.
It is also irrelevant.
Ignore it and grow.
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