I recently read Rachel Rodgers “We Should All Be Millionaires” (side note: every single woman on the face of the planet should definitely read this book). This wonderfully honest woman had me feeling some type of way because her statement on imposter syndrome struck deep. She said that under no uncertain terms “imposter syndrome is keeping you broke” and my goodness she’s 100% correct.
Let me share a story with you:
About a year ago I was contacted by a large corporation here in Trinidad & Tobago. They were looking for a speaker for their event and were immediately impressed with me. I was told that the presentation should be around 30mins and to please provide a cost.
I called my business bestie right away and asked her advice, and she suggested charging USD$250 (a full $50 more than I was thinking). We convinced ourselves that this would be a great way to get ‘my foot in the door’ and then maybe I could charge more later on. That was the plan, and with full confidence I submitted my cost and they acknowledged receipt.
About an hour or so later, got a call from the person who initially reached out.
Bless her soul….her first words to me were: “I was not expecting that cost” and in my mind I immediately went to “oh crap….I charged too much” and literally started berated myself internally….then she continued saying……”do you know how much money I had next to your name? $10,000!”
10,0000 FREAK’IN DOLLARS Y’ALL!!!! I ain’t lying!!
I felt sooooo stupid. Here I am with my $250 self feeling like I’m overcharging and these people were willing to pay much MUCH more!! This wonderful woman went on to tell me it’s not the amount of time I spoke, it’s the value I brought within the half-hour session and the fact I’ve been in Forbes alone I should never even think about charging under $3500.
I took her words to heart. She was looking out for me…..one sis to another….and I appreciated that. But after all was said and done, the worst part was that ……I STILL DIDN’T GET THE SPEAKING GIG.
It was a moment I would NEVER forget!! I cried real tears…I had let my self-doubt get the best of me.
I vowed to never let that happen again and, to be honest, I wouldn’t want any other business owner to feel as dumb as I did at that moment. It was an expensive and embarrassing learning experience, to say the least.
Rachel Rodgers didn’t lie…..I allowed my imposter syndrome to cost me a $10k payday.
So I ask you: Do you sometimes question your own abilities?
Well, you should know that the more knowledgeable and gifted you are, the stronger you feel the effects of imposter syndrome, the bad news is that chronic self-doubt can be disastrous and can cause you to hesitate to send that proposal, take on that project, promote yourself or lose $10,000 for a half-hour of work.
(Yes I keep repeating it because I can’t believe it actually happened)
After such a painful lesson, I feel obligated to help you not suffer the same fate. I’d like to share with you five simple strategies to help you keep that pesky imposter syndrome at bay:
1: Get the right support
It’s extremely important to have the right people in your network so you can have meaningful discussions to help you move past your feelings of self-doubt. In my case, I did reach out to my bestie but it seemed like we both were on the same boat but remember she still encouraged me to charge a bit more than I originally planned so I’ll give her kudos for that.
Seriously though, your people will give you the kick in the pants you need to help you see that you are worth so much more than the value you place on yourself. I also suggest you follow famous personalities whom you admire who also suffer from imposter syndrome for emotional tips to help you reset and refocus your energies. Persons like Michelle Obama (you should read her book Becoming, it’s fabulous), Kamala Harris, Lady Gaga and more. You’d be amazed at the number of persons who you look up to that suffer from this phenomena. You’ll no longer feel alone and you’ll get first-hand information on how they have overcome their own struggles.
2: Build a strong community
These are your fans and followers of your business who will remind you every single day that you are loved, needed and are great at what you do. Without even trying, they’ll tell the world that you’re the ‘real deal’ and defend your honor if anyone says otherwise. They won’t even allow you to utter a negative word about yourself and will be the first to list an unending number of reasons why they think you’re fantastic. Trust and believe, nothing works best to build your confidence than having those loyal fans show you unwavering love and support. There will be no room for self-doubt once your community is rallying behind you so be sure to build a solid fanbase.
3: Create meaningful relationships
The people you spend the most time with can influence how you think and feel about yourself. Be very careful who you build strong bonds with and foster the relationships that make you feel energized because once you do you won’t have time to feel like an imposter. Stay away from stressful situations or ‘heavy’ persons who are always negative; and while you cannot choose some of the persons who are in your life, you can certainly decide how much time you spend with them so be sure to limit your interaction with anyone who makes you feel tired, drained or unworthy.
4: Know when to say no
Don’t let the phenomena of imposter syndrome fool you into thinking you have to do it all in a futile effort to constantly prove yourself because you won’t be able to do it all and you’ll actually become the imposter you dread. If you’re a workaholic this can be extremely difficult because you want to say yes to everything but realize that if you’re going to stay in your genius then you’ll need to choose the projects that align with your values and your business goals.
- Take time to celebrate
Don’t give imposter syndrome a moment to raise its ugly head; Be sure to celebrate your accomplishments at the moment as well as take a look back to see what you’ve done. You know I firmly believe in googling yourself to let the internet remind you of the progress you’ve made and the kind words people have said and allow that to fuel you.
So that’s my story….please learn from my devastating mistake. Most of all, understand that you’re not alone in this, we’ve all been there so pick yourself up, dust yourself off and #letsgo. (Before I forget, now that you’re ready to take that leap, remember I am here to help you show yourself to the world…….I’d be happy to help you use the media to gain global attention. Click here if you’d like to find out more).