Conquering Chaos

Ep 12: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

June 18, 2019 Season 1 Episode 12
Conquering Chaos
Ep 12: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Chapters
Conquering Chaos
Ep 12: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Jun 18, 2019 Season 1 Episode 12
Erin E Hooley
Imposter Syndrome is the projection of our fears and feelings of inadequacy onto those around us.
Show Notes Transcript

Imposter Syndrome is the projection of our fears and feelings of inadequacy onto those around us. When we consume our thoughts and our efforts with what others may be thinking or saying about us we divert our attention away from making true progress in entrepreneurship and business.

Every small business owner has struggled with the effects of imposter syndrome. Here we break down the ways it manifests itself and how to get past it.

Speaker 1:
0:01
Welcome to the conquering chaos podcast. I'm your host, Aaron [inaudible], president and founder of multimillion dollar ecommerce children's clothing line, Bailey's blossoms. So it turns out I'm pretty good at business, but what really lights my soul on fire? It's providing other entrepreneurs and mompreneurs with the tools they need to truly succeed. So if you have a business or have one on your heart, you're in good company. Pull up a chair or dropping some earbuds and let's conquer some chaos today in today's Yep. Sewed,
Speaker 2:
0:30
we're going to be talking all about impostor syndrome, what it is and how to overcome it. But before we get started, we're going to do a quick spotlight review from one of our listeners. And this review comes from d are Davies and she says, Aaron is inspiring. I am so incredibly thankful to have found Bailey's blossoms as a stay at home mom. I needed something I could do to contribute and something to keep me moving. I get Bailey's Boston's wholesale and just opened my own boutique. This wouldn't be possible without Erin. She is just truly inspiring. I can't wait to hear more of these podcasts. So I can get advice on how to contour my own business. You guys, this one just made my heart so happy because this is the exact reason why I started mentorship and entrepreneurship to begin with. As we expanded into the wholesale market with Bailey's Boston's and with Peyton Bri, I realized this gap and this whole, we're all these people who wanted to create their ideal life through entrepreneurship.
Speaker 2:
1:29
We're struggling to figure out the steps to be able to get there and understanding that I was once in that place and I just wanted to pour everything into them in a way that it was palatable and where you could take these bite size excerpts away, the with actionable steps that can help you to progress along your journey with an entrepreneurship. Thank you, Dr Davies, for taking the time to leave that review. If you want to shout out on one of our future episodes of this podcast, please take a quick minute to leave a review with your feedback. I would love to know your thoughts on the show and what I can be doing to better serve you and with that, let's jump right into the content of today's episode. Now, this topic is near and dear to my heart and the reason it hits so close to home for me is because of the numerous times within my own career that this has been evident and presented itself and held me back in many ways.
Speaker 2:
2:25
So impostor syndrome, what is it? It puts a name to that feeling that I got that I've always associated with beginners jitters. It's the feeling I got when I went to the Dallas Market Center for the first time, opening up the Bailey's blossoms showroom, walking into that market, feeling like everybody was just staring at me, that everybody must know the secret, that I didn't belong there, that I hadn't done my time, that I wasn't deserving, that I wasn't worthy, that I wasn't good enough, that I didn't know the lingo in the stuff that I should know and just feeling there was like this secret and exclusive club that I just wasn't invited to. That imposter syndrome feeling like a fraud, feeling like a fake and feeling like everybody around you knows the truth, like this seemingly secret dark truth about you that you are not worthy or enough.
Speaker 2:
3:17
Another time that I remember feeling impostor syndrome really intensely was the first time I was invited to speak where I was speaking to a bunch of very well educated corporate professionals and suddenly my lack of degree was an embarrassment to me and I had never given it much thought before. I'd always run as an entrepreneur with full speed ahead and suddenly because of the people that we're going to be surrounding me, I second guessed myself, I second guess my worthiness. I second guess why me. If it should be me at all, if I had anything that I could possibly teach the people that would be in that room and I just took myself down assuming that everybody else would figure out again that I shouldn't be there. Imposter Syndrome is also the reason that if you go back to episode one and two and even a little bit of three of this podcast, you'll notice that I am grossly scripted and that was because I didn't trust myself yet in trust myself to speak off the cuff.
Speaker 2:
4:20
I didn't know what it meant to run a podcast. There was fear that was really driving a lot of the things that I was doing and so really that's the essence of imposter syndrome that we have fear that people are going to find us out. So we feel like we need to present ourselves in a different kind of a way to help hide the truth. But the only truth is that we are the ones in our own way. We are the ones who are stopping ourselves and we are the ones saying that we're not worthy. When you are confident in who you are and in what you're trying to accomplish, you don't waste time worrying about what someone else is doing or what someone else is thinking. So when you see people who are taking the time out of their day to affirm your fears, it's only because of fears they harbor within themselves as well.
Speaker 2:
5:09
Imposter Syndrome is in effect any time where you undervalue yourself and your abilities in context with the situation or people you're surrounded with. It's when you purposefully avoid certain topics of conversation out of fear. We are the ones who create this impostor syndrome is not given to us by any external force. It is only our own negative self speak, our own negative self talk. That puts us into our mind saying, guess what? You're not worthy. You don't have enough experience. You don't have enough education. You don't have enough money. You don't have enough. Whatever it happens to be to be worthy of the outcome that you're trying to set forward to achieve. But why is this even a problem? It's a problem because when we spend so much time consumed in our fears and our questions and our self deprecating and diminishing thoughts, we paralyze ourselves from making true progress.
Speaker 2:
6:05
That's the reality. We can use all of that energy and we only have a finite amount of time and energy and resources. We focus all of them on this negative direction and then we can not get any repositive so we have to be able to dispel things. I'll be honest, the first time I heard things like mindset matters in all of these, you know, think big thing, great to be great, and I thought, oh for goodness sakes, that's, I mean, throw that up on Pinterest where it belongs. It's really of no consequence to me. I need to be a realist. I need to keep myself in check. I need to be honest with myself all the time. And yes, that is true, but there's a difference between being honest with yourself and trying to pad yourself or pad your fears because you don't want to be let down.
Speaker 2:
6:52
We have to believe that we are capable of more. We have to believe that we are worthy of more in order to tackle more with any degree of impact. So your mindset needs to empower you and not cut you down to size our repeat that your mindset needs to empower you, not cut you down to size. And I'll be honest, I have always been a stubborn and determined person, but I've also always been a cautious expectation planner as well. And by this I mean that all have a goal in my mind and that might be, it might be a really big goal. So I'll be maybe a little bit afraid to speak it out loud. And the only reason I'm afraid to speak it out loud or to speak to others is because I am afraid of the likelihood that I'm then going to have to go back and explain why I couldn't achieve it.
Speaker 2:
7:40
Maybe I fell a little bit short. Maybe I couldn't pull it off to the same degree that I was really wanting to. So oftentimes I'll have my main secret goal, which I stifle and kind of rewrite over the top of it with a safety goal that's much more easily attainable so that I can choose to be pleasantly surprised when I exceed versus being disappointed when I fall short. It's kind of a silly thing if I really think about it. I'm not sure why I've done this and why it's so hard for me to stop doing this, but the reality is I think we all do it to a decent degree and it takes great degree of confidence to be able to say, you know what, I'm going to speak this big scary goal and I don't even care if I don't make it. I'm going to give it my best and then the rest I'm going to put away.
Speaker 2:
8:30
We are really good at doing this as parents. Our kids have big scary dreams and we are encouraging them all day long and if they fall short of those dreams, we are telling them how awesome their efforts were and what an amazing accomplishment they had. And that even in the, they're falling short, they, they accomplish something great and they learned and they grew from that experience. But for whatever reason, we do not allow ourselves that same grace. So back to my tendency to give myself a safety or kind of a mini goal to supersede or cover up my big bold goals that I really, truly have and might be keeping to myself. I absolutely hate that I do this. So I've been trying to be very deliberate and very aware of when I do this because I don't want to pass that onto my team. I want my team to have big, bold goals.
Speaker 2:
9:24
I want my kids to have big, bold goals. I want to have them, but what am I teaching through my actions versus through my words, if I'm not willing to actually do it and allow myself the chance or the propensity or the possibility that I might fall flat on my face. If I use failure to reach my goal as validation for my imposter syndrome, that I'm not good enough or not worthy enough, then that same negativity will seep into everything else that I set out to do and every goal I set out to achieve. But I deserve more than that and we all deserve more than that. So I want to speak my really big and scary goals out loud and I'm going to work my way to them. And if I don't make it all the way, that's not going to slow me down.
Speaker 2:
10:10
That won't validate my fears or my negative self deprecating thoughts, but I will give a name and a reason to that underperformance along with the solution. So what does this look like? For example, if I have a goal for having my first million dollar month and at the end of the first month after speaking that goal, I've only done 600,000 well, I'm going to identify why I didn't make it to 1 million and it may be we didn't get enough traffic to the site to sustain $1 million at our average checkout conversion rate, and that is something I know how to fix. We can fix that a number of ways. We can increase our ad spent on the channels that are working best. We can diversify where we're reaching our audience onto other channels. We can increase our organic reach efforts through email, text message, our APP, social media posts, and this way rather than, Oh man, I'm not good enough.
Speaker 2:
11:09
It's no longer a personal problem that I manipulate into reflection of me, but rather it's an issue in context which I can create a plan to overcome. If you give something context and you take the emotion out of it, you can tackle it head on and you can put together a plan. But the reality of imposter syndrome is that failure becomes a validation of those negative thoughts. And what does that accomplish? Absolutely nothing and accomplishes absolutely nothing. So we need to take imposter syndrome out of the equation and be able to look with an emotional, an unbiased eyes. Take the disappointment out and look at it objectively, look at the problem, identify and give a name to the problem. And then you can clearly start to break down the solution and put together a plan to make the outcome better next week or next month or next year.
Speaker 2:
12:09
I truly believe that impostor syndrome is a byproduct of our ego. And when our ego dictates the choices we make, we almost always end up regretting a few of those choices if not all of them. So take your company and take yourself and separate them. And this can be hard to do. I understand, but we have to take our goals and take you as an individual and separate them. Because when you tie your worthiness to your goals directly or to your company directly, you will be on that roller coaster of affirmation that's going to leave you wanting to get off every single time. Business has its ups and downs, our goals being achieved. There's always unforeseen circumstances that are going to affect them. Again, ups and downs, we cannot tie our personal sense of worthiness or our personal sense of accomplishment to an ever changing variable.
Speaker 2:
13:08
You, your business, you, your company, you, your goals separate. Absolutely separate. Now, one of my projects that I'm working on right now is actually building my youtube presence. It's not a platform that's ever been a major priority for me and yet I've become so passionate about showing up for you guys in all the different ways that would be beneficial to you. So understanding that some people are audio learners and some people are visual learners and there's so many different ways that I want to make sure I am showing up in every single way for you that I possibly can to make sure that your chances of success are as good as they possibly can be. And that I am serving you as best as I know how to serve you. And I've said this before, video not my thing, it's not my thing and yet what I was accomplishing three months ago and what I'm able to accomplish now is night and day.
Speaker 2:
14:09
Is it perfect? No, but my comfort levels are increasing my flow in my ability to just express myself and to express myself any fluid and consistent way is also increasing. I'm a very scatterbrained person. I shoot off squirrels all the time and it drives me crazy. But I am allowing my passion to drive this purpose and this mission and this goal. But I'm also separating it. So I'm saying yes. The why behind this is because I'm passionate because I want to show up for you guys because I want to pour into and expand this community as much as possible. But if I slip up, if it takes me an extra hour to edit it because I was not on my a game that day, I'm not slamming myself in the slightest because I understand that I am learning and growing and progressing through this process. So for me, I get excited.
Speaker 2:
15:10
I get excited to track and to see my progress and if I completely bombed something, I'm going to take myself out of it. And even in a situation like a youtube video or a podcast recording where it is me, I can say, okay, let's diagnose the problem. Why was that so hard? Was it because I wasn't properly prepared? Was it because I did it during the two hour wall that I hit every single afternoon between one and three? What was the reason behind why that was so hard? And then I can put in again a plan to overcome it the next time. Plan it. Don't personalize it. One of the biggest ways that imposter syndrome becomes evident is within the realms of social media. When you show up, especially in a place where you're not comfortable, and I know this so well. If you get on a live video, if you do a podcast, if you're on a youtube video, when you're putting yourself out there in a way that is not comfortable for you, where you feel incredibly vulnerable, it's really easy to need the validation of other people to need the feedback.
Speaker 2:
16:22
The unfortunate thing is it's a double edged sword because yes, those comments, when I get your guys' feedback, it means the world to me. I love to hear your stories. I love to see your reviews. I love to hear that I am driving and making a difference in helping to inspire you to step into your fullest potential and to conquer the life of your dreams, but I also need to be confident enough within my own right. I also need to be grounded enough in the purpose that I set forward, that even if nobody ever says a word to me, even if all I hear is crickets at the end of the day, I know and I am confident in what I am doing, so much so that it will continue to propel me forward. And that can be excrutiatingly difficult on social media, especially where we are hardwired for likes, for comments, for engagement and yes, all of those things are fantastic and we want those things.
Speaker 2:
17:26
But wanting them and needing them are two very different things and we need to be able to distinguish that. Do you want them because you want to be fully engaged with your community or do you need them to validate your purpose because you're not grounded in it or believe in it yourself? Entrepreneurship can be intensely lonely. Leadership is intensely lonely. So being a part of a community where people can learn and grow and uplift one another, what had been a game changer for me, but the reality is I didn't have that. I know why I am building this community. I know why this is so important to me and it's because if I could go back, I would give myself the same advice that I am trying to put out into each of you in hopes that I can save you a little bit of time and heartache along the way, but I have to be firm enough in understanding what I am trying to put out there.
Speaker 2:
18:28
I have to believe enough in the content that I'm curating, knowing and understanding that it is valuable, that if you choose never to engage with me, if you choose to be a silent listener forever, then I still know that I'm making a difference without you having to tell me. So let's talk about ego and pride a little bit and how that plays into impostor syndrome and how that manifests itself. When we relaunched Bailey's blossoms after we moved to Texas from Sao Paulo, initially it was going to be a DIY and I had this fantastic idea because I had originally been been making all of these tutus and costumes and hair accessories and I said, okay, I want to teach other people how to do it. I want to teach other people, whether they're business owners or they just want to save some money at doing themselves.
Speaker 2:
19:17
I want to show people that, that they can do it, that they can accomplish this, that it's really not that hard. And so I asked my husband to take my iPhone and record a DIY video of me making a no. So two two on a table in our bedroom. Now I had just had Channing our number five and so I was post-baby pretty self conscious, didn't really love the way I looked, little poochy tummies, still all of the things. And so I was very specific. I said, this is the angle you need to hold the phone in that says you can't go below this region of my, of my abdomen because I don't want anybody seeing that. And I was very self conscious and so he as any proud husband, he started off strong, but he's, but he faltered very quickly and as he's watching me through eye contact rather than through the screen alone, the camera dropped and dropped and dropped and dropped.
Speaker 2:
20:19
So after an hour of filming, I didn't have the bandwidth or the energy to pretend like I want to rerecord. When I saw that he had done all the things I asked him not to do, so I said, you know what? It's fine. Who's gonna see this stupid video anyways? And I threw it up on youtube. It was the first one I had threw out. I didn't think anything about it. Then I started to notice that it was actually getting some traction and within the first year, almost a million people have viewed that video. And when I saw that that many eyes had been on that video, I panicked and I said, oh my gosh, the world can't see me this way. They're going to think I'm pregnant. They're going to think I'm this. They're going to think I'm that. And I just started that self deprecating, oh my gosh, I don't look authoritative enough.
Speaker 2:
21:04
I don't sound authoritative enough. The backdrops bad, the camera's terrible, the sound quality's off. And I just started ripping it apart as to why it wasn't worthy to be viewed. The number of times that it had been viewed. So what did I do? I'm ashamed to admit I deleted that video off of Youtube and I re shot a video, put in some special effects, different lighting. I threw in some music that by the way, was way too loud and did all the things to make it look and sound much more professional and worthy of a million views in my mind. The reality is three years later, to this very day, I think it only has like 72,000 views, which is devastating in comparison. I'm going, oh my goodness, and what got in the way completely. 100% my ego, which manifested itself in this imposter syndrome, got in the way, told me I wasn't good enough, told me the world was judging me, but the reality is nobody said a mean thing to me, and even if they had, who cares if I could go back and shake myself?
Speaker 2:
22:11
I totally would because the reality is people loved the first one, the first one, gain traction. The first one was real. It was authentic. It was me. And who cares that I had a baby a month before the video was shot. We can not pick ourselves apart. Our perfectly postured, perfectly composed, perfectly curated content is not always what is going to resonate with our audiences. And so we need to be able to take back the curtains a little bit, to be real, to be vulnerable, to be honest, and to be a little bit afraid and just to be us. And even if one comment echoes your fears, do not let that be the validation that takes you down as you are right now, imperfections and all five days in the same yoga pants, more dry shampooing your hair, then you know what to do with messy house, screaming kids.
Speaker 2:
23:09
I don't really care what your situation is, but where you are right now in all of its reality, in all of its imperfections will resonate more than any cookie cutter version of yourself ever could. And I know that that sounds Cliche, but we have to be able to embrace our real selves. We must learn to be okay with where we are at now so that we can celebrate the wins along the way to get us to where we want to be because it will never be immediate and you're going to fall down flat and you can't be so focused on your embarrassment of struggling to get back up that you end up choosing not to. You can get up, but that's a choice and the quicker you choose to do it, not being hindered by your thoughts of embarrassment or what is everybody else thinking or saying about me?
Speaker 2:
23:58
The quicker you learn, you grow, you move on, you progress and then you reach your ultimate goals and you exceed those goals. That is my hope for every single one of you. My hope is that you have a big bold and scary goal and you go after. It was so much determination that someday you're going to look back and you're going to laugh that you ever thought that goal was big to begin with because where you find yourself in that moment is so far past it that it just makes you smile. This takes me back to the other way that our pride can set the perfect foundation for impostor syndrome and it's that need for validation from others. We want people to think that we deserve success. We want people to think that we deserve the title we want. We want people to think that we deserve to be listened to.
Speaker 2:
24:49
We want to be heard and for our opinions and our experiences to be valued. I remember as a newlywed having thoughts and opinions about how to increase and improve and build your relationship with your spouse, and yet the comments that people would make about, oh, well, you've only been married for one year. Just wait until it's five and then you get to five and I'll suddenly, the comments change, Oh, well, you've only been married for five years. Just wait until it's 10 wait until it's 20 wait til it's 30 there's always somebody who's ahead of you. The reality is we need to be cautious that we're not that person who's ahead of anybody else who is downplaying their experience. We need to value one another's experiences regardless of where we're at on our journey. Without undercutting or feeling like we need to buoy ourselves up or fill our buckets by stealing from theirs.
Speaker 2:
25:40
I can learn from somebody who's been married for one year, even though I've been married for 15 I can learn from someone who was a new mom or hasn't even yet had kids. Even though I have six, we can't always judge people based off of this fictitious idea of who's allowed to teach or mentor us and who isn't. When we do that, we close ourselves off to learning and to growing in so many aspects of our lives. My kids who were three and four and five years old have said a simple phrase that has been incredibly profound. We need to have a degree of humility and a love for learning sufficient enough that we can learn from anyone with any degree of experience around us. You're never going to know as much as everybody, but that doesn't mean that your opinions and your insights and your experiences are not valid and valuable.
Speaker 2:
26:42
Do not let other people you. Otherwise, regardless of how many years you've been married, how many kids you have or don't have, how long you've been in business. We all have different experiences. We all can learn from one another's different experiences. I need to be stable enough and confident enough in who I am and in the place I am in that I don't need to compare it to other people. In conclusion, the essence of imposter syndrome holds us back, but imposter syndrome is completely within our realm of ability to control and as we identify the ways within our lives that we allow this to creep in and we dispel them, we become masters of our own time. We become much more efficient, we dispelled
Speaker 1:
27:35
pride, and we accelerate our progress. Thank you for taking the time to connect with me here on the conquering chaos podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, will you please take a moment to leave a review? It's the fuel to my fire and lets me know that my efforts to enact change and broaden your perspective on what's possible matter. Thank you so much for your support. If you want more content like this, don't forget to subscribe and connect with me on social media at Aaron Lee or Aaron equally. Dot Com. Have a fantastic day. Get out there and congress and chaos. Yes.