Today we are talking about imposter syndrome, how you conquer it, and stop it from holding you back in your life and your business. So Stick around and I’ll outline three easy steps you can use to break through.
Welcome back everyone thanks for being here for the Second EVER episode of the Adam Clairmont show. I am still your host, Adam Clairmont.
Here we Learn to start and grow a career in audio production. With actionable tips based on personal experience from me and others.
But before we begin our conversation I’d like to offer you a free gift. I put together a list of tips and tricks that help me to be more productive and more efficient with my time. You see Audio a service based industry. We trade time for dollars right? Many of my projects are invoiced based on a flat project fee, not time and materials. No matter how long it takes, I earn the same amount of money. So I dove deep and spent the time to redo my entire process and got it boiled down to this.
If we can automate redundant tasks, clear our distractions, plan, prioritize, and batch then we will complete projects much faster.
Quality does not have to suffer.
This is my hope for you. And I’d like to help you get there.
So after this video, head to http://www.AdamClairmont.com/workflow and pick up your free pdf guide and begin working faster and earning more in less time!
I’ll add the link in the description below. too
So on with our topic of the day. Which is…
What is imposter syndrome?
Basically it’s a psychological pattern where you store a lot of doubt in yourself and your accomplishments,
It’s a constant fear of being exposed as a “fraud” or a phoney
A feeling that you aren’t qualified to get the job that your after
You aren’t experienced enough to speak on a topic in front of others
You don’t feel like you know what you’re doing or that you’re smart enough to help others.
Does any of this remind you of anyone you know?
Well, it probably should because an estimated 70% of people experience these impostor feelings at some point in their lives, according to an article published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science.
Also, I’ll let you know right here that I personally have battled this for quite some time.
So, allow me to tell you about my personal experience dealing with imposter syndrome and what I have come up with to move past it when it’s really trying its hardest to hold me back.
I’m telling you this because I think it might be helpful to you and because I think my experience is actually quite common. So hopefully something here resonates with you, and if you’re dealing with the same challenges then keep listening because I am going to walk you through some easy steps to break free.
So here’s a little bit of my history just to set it all up.
I’ve been working professionally as an audio engineer since 2005. It’s my dream job and I feel super fortunate to make a living and support a family doing what I love.
From the very beginning of my career I’ve been lucky to meet and work with some incredibly talented, smart, and generous people. And there are a few who have gone above and beyond to help me and take me under their wing. These guys have phenomenal credits under their belt, awards on their shelf, and yet they found the time to give me guidance and teach me what they knew, buy me a lunch when I was broke and starting out, answer the phone if I called with a question, bring me on to projects and on and on. Just super super generous and again, sooo talented at what they do.
I didn’t realize it for a while, but what was and still is happening, is they were mentoring me. This wasn’t something I actively sought out, but I’m lucky that it happened.
Okay, now …. Fast forward a bit, to when I began working on projects where I was in charge of others. I quickly realized that I enjoyed helping and teaching people. Passing on what I had learned from my friends and my experiences.
This happens with people I am working with, interns, friends who are hobbyists, other engineers I know. But it’s always been a situation where it’s someone I am in front of, and someone I know.
I even started a local group that met monthly. So my local colleagues and I would take turns speaking about a topic each month to help each other broaden our skill sets and just encourage each other. I remember when I got the idea to start that up, I was so excited I didn’t even stop to think how to begin I just immediately emailed over 100 people in my area that I thought would be interested and before I actually knew what I was doing, a group was formed.
It was an awesome feeling because I knew that we would help so many people. Professionals, new students, hobbyists, it was going to be great.
Then we started to meet. And it was all those things. People were learning and sharing, it was totally cool. But, as the months went on, it became harder to get new people to present a talk. I felt obligated to speak each month to fill the gap because I didn’t want to lose the group or miss a month. And I felt a ton of pressure to deliver something really valuable. And then I began to really stress about it and begin to doubt myself.
It’s one thing to think I can talk here or there, but who am I to speak every month and act like I know so much about the business of audio. I am not my mentors. I am just Adam, the guy who is still learning standing in front of a lot of really talented people.
And what are the others going to think when I keep speaking every month like I am so much better than them and know so much. The thought of my friends thinking that about me was paralyzing.
And before I knew it. I stepped away from the group. A group that I was super proud of and passionate about. At that moment I would rather do nothing than either have my friends look down on me or have them find out I actually didn’t have anything much to offer.
There it was.
Hit me really hard and it shut me down. It stopped me from doing something I really loved. And it stopped me from helping a lot of people, honestly.
And all it was, was insecurity.
So let me ask
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Ever had these feelings or been shut down by talking yourself out of what you have been trying to achieve?
If yes, let me know in the comments by typing “I feel the same”. It lets me know I’m not talking to no one!
How about this?
Have you ever felt like you needed to learn more first, before you started something? Have you thought I’m not an expert, so let me read everything there is on this topic, and THEN I’ll be ready.
OR first let me get this new certification or training to improve my skills.
Do you know someone who won’t apply for a job if they don’t meet every bit of the criteria in the posting. They tell themselves that they aren’t ready.
Well, let me tell you, You’ll never be “ready” , you’ll never know it all or even know “enough”
and get this…
no one needs you to be an “expert”!
I mean, maybe if you are in healthcare that would be a good idea but we aren’t surgeons here. Or at least I don’t think we are.
Most People really don’t need experts.
Do you think that someone who isn’t an expert has nothing to offer? Can’t help someone? Isnt worthy of a job? Because he or she isn’t an expert? Doesn’t have a single answer to anything provides no value?
That is an unobtainable standard and super unrealistic.
I am definitely no expert. And my relationship with my menotrs I mentioned before, can play into those insecurities because, they are the ones I look to for the answers. They are the ones who are the helpers.
I’m just some guy who’s still learning. 15yrs later, still learning. And I am not them. So what could I offer anyone?
That’s Imposter syndrome talking
Why should we hold ourselves to the standard of being an expert before allowing our knowledge to be shared? to benefit someone else?
Why do we hold ourselves to that standard before allowing our experience to help us get another job or promotion?
I mean, When you say it out loud it makes no sense. When you put together the logic, you start to realize that you need to just go after it and go for the job, or the promotion.
But when we are in our own heads. Negative talk churning away in our thoughts. It is super powerful and completely paralyzing. And I know, because I go through it.
You know when I first wanted to start this YouTube channel?
I should have started this podcast at least 2 years ago. But I wasn’t an expert then…
So, that’s the picture.
Now, let’s start to look at how we conquer these thoughts and move on. And that’s an important distinction to bring up quickly.
We aren’t curing imposter syndrome. There is no cure for doubt. It’s going to happen and that’s fine. But we do want to manage it right.
So Step one is Acknowlegement
- One of the first steps to overcoming impostor feelings is to acknowledge the thoughts and put them in perspective.
“Simply observing that thought as opposed to engaging it” can be helpful.
Once you realize this is something that challenges you, you can teach yourself to remind yourself in those moments that your thinking is holding you back and it’s not rational. It’s self sabotaging and not serving you.what you need is to redirect those thoughts in a positive productive direction.
Which leads us to our next step
- Take Action
Get our of your head and getting moving. Most people experience moments of doubt, and that’s normal. The important part is not to let that doubt control your actions. It’s okay to have an impostor moment, but not an impostor life.
To break that I’ve learned to think,
If I didn’t have thoughts that hold me back, what would my next step be? What do I see successful people doing? And then… do that. Sort of play pretend! Or whatever it takes to start moving forward
When I start to feel stuck I like to break it down and simplify. Identify the goal and eliminate anything that doesn’t immediately move me closer to the goal.
You see I tend to get fancy sometimes along the way. Because I want to be perceived a certain way and I want to be thought of a certain way, so I add extra steps that I think will help with that image, but they don’t actually move me closer to my goal in fact it slows me way down. It’s just procrastination at it’s worst. So keep it simple and moving forward.
Last step that I’ve found to be paramount in getting my butt into gear and moving past the fear is
Step 3) Talk to a Friend
This works on a lot of levels. Now I’m not saying you need to spill your guts out and have an all out therapy session but if that’s what you need then why not? That can certainly help too. But maybe that’s outside your comfort zone.
Actually, what I am talking about is when I don’t have the answer for what to do next I can start to move backwards and I get back in my head and doubt can come back. when I know what my goal is but don’t know the right next step I go to the people I trust and the people that have the experience with I am after.
You simply can not expect to reach elite levels by yourself. You always need others to lean on and in this particular instance for me, when I start to tell others what I am trying to do, it gives me a lot of clarity hearing advice from those I trust and hearing their encouragement. But what it also does for me is gives me a sense of accountability.
I just told someone I respect that I am going to do ABC. I now need to go do ABC. I want to be someone who follows through because the people I most respect and have the success I want, well, they follow through too.
So, if you are still following me here. Tell me if you picked up on what just happened…
So, I’m dealing with imposter syndrome and worried that people will view me as a phoney so I’m close to throwing in the towel because what a great solution that is. If I do nothing, then no one can find out I’m a phoney.
No, I go through these three steps.
I 1) recognize what’s happening as imposter syndrome, that I am self sabotaging. Then I go to step 2) I immediately take action to get my thoughts moving in a productive way and in the direction of my goal. 3) I tell a friend what I am trying to do so I have accountability… and here’s the kicker
Accountability to follow through because I don’t want my friend to see me fail and what?
Think i am a giant phoney!!
So, It’s kinda full circle and kinda using imposter syndrome to my advantage in the end. But I am telling you I have thought about this stuff alot because I’ve gone through it in my experience this really works well for me and I’m hoping that for those that feel the same way and feel the doubt like this ,
I hope you give this plan a shot. Because I really feel like we all deserve to give ourselves a whole lot more credit than we do.
So, let me know in the comments below which step you think will be the biggest help to you when you are fighting imposter syndrome.
Is it step 1) Acknowledgement
Step 2) Take Action
Or Step 3) Talk to a friend
That’s it for this episode. Thanks for staying with me
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Thanks for watching. See you next time.