Have you ever felt like an imposter? I often do in many aspects my life, from my golf game to the things that are important to me like family, friendships, and work. If you follow my blog, you know I am a relatively positive person; but like most people, I have moments of self-doubt. And when those doubts creep in, I feel like an imposter.
Years ago, I had dinner at a restaurant that offered Dining in the Dark. The dining room was pitch black and the waiters even had to wear night vision glasses when they came to serve the next course of food and wine. After each course we were asked to guess what we ate and drank, and for 5 of the 6 wines I correctly identified the varietal.
When friends say I have a good palate for wine, I don’t believe them. While I can identify some of the fruit notes and flavors, I can’t recognize all of them. The same goes for cigars and whiskey, which are also big passions of mine. I think my palate is below average and my collection is limited, despite regularly being told the opposite. So why is it that I believe I’m “faking it”?
Several years ago, I agonized over buying a car. Not over whether I could afford it, but if I had earned it. I happened to have dinner with my accountant around that time and we discussed my hesitation towards making the purchase. His question to me was “why are you afraid of your success?” What he meant was that I work hard and I take care of a lot of people, etc., yet I still did not feel like I was “there”. I did not feel like I had earned or deserved the car. Instead, I felt like an imposter.
Recently I mentioned this to a friend of mine, who said she often felt the same way. She also felt that her success was pure luck (rather than the hard work she had put in) and eventually, the luck would run out and she would be seen as an imposter. The truth is we are both very capable people, but we do not see ourselves that way because we can always be better. My wine, cigar and whiskey collection and palate may not be as extensive or refined or as sophisticated as my friends, but it is above average. Our company is successful because we all work hard and treat our team, clients, and partners well. What it comes down to is reframing your mind and changing the way you look at things. Why are we so afraid of believing in ourselves?
“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.”– Denis Waitley
This weekend take time to appreciate what you have and what you do and know that you are good at what you do. You are not an imposter!
Have a great weekend.