Updated: Feb 17
How I Overcame Imposter Syndrome
This week I took a chance.
I took a chance on ME.
I attended a Bootcamp in Austin, TX for professional note speakers to get on bigger stages, get in front of bigger audiences, and make a bigger impact!
Sounds amazing, right?
And it was - it was all that AND a bag of chips. But as a newbie in this space, it was also overwhelming and intense.
I was a little fish, surrounded by a bunch of amazing, talented, HUGE fish.
The first event was a happy hour to "meet and greet" everyone. I walked in - loud music playing - people laughing, hugging, smiling. I quickly realized all these people knew each other already. And here I was, knowing literally NO ONE.
So I took a deep breath, had a quick little pep talk, and told myself to "just get in there."
And that is what I did. I approach a small group, stuck out my hand, and said "Hey! I'm Erica! And I don't know ANYONE here."
Turns out, as I said before, many of these people already knew each other (I quickly learned.). Many had been working together for years. I certainly felt like an outsider. But I made my way through the evening, forcing myself to interact with as many people as I could - in spite of feeling a bit out of place.
Once the night ended, and I made it back to my hotel room, I took a deep breath and let the feelings come.
- What am I doing here?
- I am SO out of place.
- I am nowhere close to achieving what these people have done... why am I here?
- I'm never going to hit this level of success.
- Some of these people have been here 4, 5, 6 times... I've never been to ONE!
- Holy Sh***T.
I let those thoughts come, and then I let those thoughts go. I recognized that THIS was imposter syndrome. OF COURSE, I deserve to be here. I am new and that is OK.
I sat in the feelings, and I reframed each of those thoughts in my mind.
- What am I doing here? Became: Wow - I can't believe I am here! This is an opportunity of a lifetime.
- I am SO out of place. Became: I may feel out of place, but it is because I don't know these people yet. I am exactly where I am meant to be.
- I am nowhere close to achieving what these people have done... why am I here? Became: Everyone here has been where I have been. The starting line. I can learn a lot from them.
- I'm never going to hit this level of success. Became: WOW - Look at how far I can go!
- Some of these people have been here 4, 5, 6 times... I've never been to ONE! Became: Everyone started at one. You are starting too.
- Holy Sh***T. (Well, Holy SH***T stayed Holy SH***T - but with excitement!)
As the hours of bootcamp FLEW by, my imposter syndrome continued to fade. One of the keynote speakers #ryanestes said:
"You start where you start."
And that alone, empowered me to keep going. There were others before me, and there will be others behind me, attending their first Bootcamp.
I am starting where I am at. I am embracing the journey. I am starting at my starting line.
I have always heard that you should surround yourself with people who are better than you. And this was one of the times in my life, I truly felt surrounded by greatness.
By infinite opportunity - if I do the work.
By a community of people who want to make an impact on the world.
This is a new chapter for me. It is filled with excitement, infinite possibilities, and a lot of unknowns. I can't see the path ahead, and what it looks like, but I trust that it is there.
This Bootcamp was the first step from my new starting line. And whenever I feel that tug of Imposer Syndrome - that feeling as if I don't belong - or I'm not good enough - I'll remember that I "Start where I start."
And with that start- comes no finish line. Because my growth is just getting started.