I am so glad that someone came up with a name for this annoying feeling I’ve been feeling for a while now: imposter syndrome.
The definition of imposter syndrome, without looking it up on someone else’s site, is that you feel like you’re faking the funk. You find yourself thinking “who do you think you are to do XYZ” when you’re somewhere you feel like you don’t deserve to be. Literally or figuratively.
I am a card carrying member of the imposter club, and it had me in my feelings today, along with other days. I couldn’t fathom why I’m a go-to person at my job when I’m the youngest supervisor in the company. I couldn’t figure out how I had the audacity to think I could quit my job at some point and work for myself. I even convinced myself, like a hater, “nah, you don’t need to do all that.”
I came home depleted and knew I had some prayer and meditation on the agenda. I was going to finish my job-work when I got home and work through the night. But I got inside and changed my mind and opted for self-care instead.
Off went the jeans. On went the jeggings. Mix the Yellowtail with the Sprite. Order up the spaghetti. It’s lit! (no really, I also lit some candles). After praying while walking Layla, I decided this was how I was going to end my evening.
Not even close.
I decided to pose a question to Lamar Tyler’s Traffic Sales & Profit Facebook group.
Anyone else suffer from imposter syndrome? How do you fight it?
The first response I got was from the mentor I’ve always wanted, Luvvie. It was one of the best quotes, and I have to find a way to make it a Good Tees Mad City tshirt:
From there, the conversation took off like wildfire. So many other entrepreneurs from the group were responding with such awesome advice. And Luvvie lit the keyboard up, because within 30 minutes of me posing the question, she already wrote a post about imposter syndrome. Damn Daniel!
The amount of support, advice, and cosigns that went on in that post was miraculous to say the least. Then, it just so happened to be the #blkcreatives Faith chat. My spirit was not even remotely ready for the amount of testifying and fellowshipping that went on. I very well should’ve passed around a collection plate (Melissa, we’ve gotta find a way to do that, seriously LOL).
Along with an always inspirational chat with my mom about my fear of greatness, my most recent post / return to personal blogging detailing how I’ve been running away, and the love I’ve been getting from the Startup Noire Instagram posts, I really had to pull myself to the side because my cup runneth over.
Entrepreneurship is not easy. It’s mentally and emotionally taxing, not to mention financially. Knowing you have a gift and a passion that you want to share with people, and having the fear and imposter syndrome telling you that you have no business doing so is nothing but the Devil. And he’s what, class? *children scream “A LIE!”*
I had so many questions, comments, and concerns when I left work feeling beat up. How am I supposed to keep doing this day in and day out? When will I have time to work on my own business instead of someone else’s? I may be doing decent at work, but can I really use those skills in my own business? Even after praying on it, I still felt like I needed to do a brain dump.
But you know when your well is depleted like Ella Rucker told me. Just like a gas tank or a bank account, you need to make some deposits in order to hold a balance. You can’t just keep driving on the same tank. You’re going to hit empty! And what better way than to mingle with your tribe and get a good word?
We are often our worst enemies and we get in our own way. Negative self-talk and self-sabotaging is the number 1 killer of small businesses everywhere. You cannot let your business, your product, your service, your gift, fall victim to imposter syndrome. You have too much to give. And we simply won’t let you do it.
You were put on this earth to be great, not mediocre. Heed the call. Get into action, Jackson. You won’t be alone; I’m taking this journey with you.