Imposter SyndromeApr 08, 2021
Over the last year I had the chance to participate in a keynote speaking experience/class called Heroic Public Speaking. If you’re looking to sharpen the saw when it comes to public speaking, HPS is the place to be. Michael & Amy Port do a fantastic job. Over the course of about six months, I was able to write and deliver a keynote presentation. As you can imagine there were many iterations during this process. Writing coaches, voice coaches, story-telling coaches, etc, etc. During the course of this, we rehearsed in groups many times and, of course, there’s nothing better than deliberate practice. It was a safe environment and also a place where people could speak truth into you about how your talk made them feel or what resonated with them. It was hard work and great work. I love to speak. There’s something about speaking and helping people. To feel the energy in the room (or right now, virtually). But, the truth is, I’m pretty scared to speak. In fact, I’ve struggled with stage fright in the past and even bonked during a presentation about 10 years ago where I had to leave the room and fake a headache. That’s right, I had a panic attack and I lost track of my thoughts. Guess what….I’m in sales. I speak for a living. I’ve done it a million times over. And I was pretty decent at it. But still, I had doubts. I let fear sink in. And, I struggled.
For the last 10 years, I’ve been working hard at the craft of speaking. Trying to regain my mojo and my confidence. I started with Toastmasters where I stumbled through many a speech and then eventually found some semi-solid footing. I’ve taken every opportunity to speak at my company, to customers, to sports team, to our church, etc. And, although I still have fears and doubts, I find strength in the courage of simply showing up.
Have you ever doubted yourself? Have you ever wondered why that small (but mighty) voice in your head is telling you that you’re not good enough? That you don’t belong? If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. I’ve been there and I still face that challenge. But, I’ve learned to embrace that voice. To dance with that voice. To look it in the face and say, “not this time”. To show up and to continue to prepare and practice. And, not focus on perfection. Imperfect progress. That’s my game these days. I highly recommend it. There’s freedom in that.
One of my good friends from HPS, Kris Kelso, just published a fantastic book called “Overcoming the Imposter”. I’ve heard Kris deliver many parts of his speech on this topic and it’s nothing short of life transforming. The book is as well. I highly recommend you pick it up. Kris is also starting up a small group cohort around this topic. If you’re struggling with Imposter Syndrome, it just might be worth checking out. Here’s the link if you want to take a look. If you do, maybe we’ll be in the same group ; )
All the best,
P.S. Please feel free to reply back with any thoughts on your experiences with Imposter Syndrome (aka that little voice in your head). I’d love to continue the discussion and support you in any way I can.
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