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Are You an Impostor?
See if this sounds familiar: When it comes time to help a client, or discuss your work, or promote your practice… you hesitate. Sometimes just a little, sometimes more, sometimes you balk all together. You ask yourself, “What it they figure out I don’t really know what I’m talking about?” or “What if I don’t know enough?” or “What if mess up because I’m not really worthy? or “What if they find me out?” Do you ever feel like a fraud, an impostor? Studies show that at times, you probably do. In fact, that feeling is so prevalent that it has a name: “Impostor Syndrome.” In our hearts, most of us think we are frauds. We’re in good company! Maya Angelou, Tina Fey, Tom Hanks, Kate Winslett, Michelle Pfeifer, Seth Godin, Sonia Sotomayor…. From celebrities, to politicians, authors, and musicians, the feeling that we aren’t quite worthy of respect or simple appreciation, much less adulation or acclaim, is just as commonplace as feeling hungry or sleepy. For most of us, it’s just part of our DNA. I’m not here to tell you to forget about it, or even to just get over it. If it’s in our DNA, we can’t get past it any easier than we can change our hair color or eye color…. but…. wait…. we CAN change those things, right? Even if it’s temporary, we can dye our hair or wear color-changing contact lenses. It may not be easy, and it may be uncomfortable, but if it’s important, we can do it… We can mask these other parts of what our DNA has produced…. So why not work to mask some of our impostor syndrome, too? As business owners, learning to mask some of our feelings of not being worthy is a must. In fact, I believe that if you can’t cover up your impostor syndrome, you won’t succeed in self-employment. Period. Getting past that feeling of being unworthy is required for many aspects of our work: discussing contracts, asking for money, public speaking, media interviews, sticking up for our clients in the faces of roadblocks and…