How to Respond When the Impostor Syndrome Strikes

Recently, I spoke with the organizer of an International Women’s Day event where I will be one of the guest speakers.

I was asked if I would kindly share the event with my friends and invite them to buy tickets.

Strangely, even though I am excited at the thought of speaking, I am less enthused about asking people I know to come along, even though it’s for a good cause (raising funds for a women’s charity).

Why is this?

It’s the good old Impostor Syndrome at work.

If you’ve ever asked yourself: “Who am I to … (stand out, seek support, ask for the sale, invite people to work with me)?”, then you already know about the Impostor Syndrome.

It’s that little voice of doubt inside your head, questioning your worth — your credentials — your right to aspire to greater things.

It’s your natural human desire for comfort and certainty showing its shadow side, seeking to keep you small, invisible — AND SAFE.

Yes, it’s nerve-wracking to feel exposed, like the whole world is watching you, especially if – like many introverts – you don’t even like being in the spotlight.

What if people judge you harshly? What if they criticize? What if you FAIL?

Maybe they will.

Maybe they won’t.

Maybe you will.

And maybe you won’t.

Earl Nightingale once estimated that only 8% of our worries are legitimate.  The other 92% are “pure fog with no substance” – e.g. things that may never happen, things that are over and past, needless worries about our health, and petty miscellaneous worries.

Instead of worrying what others think of your abilities or status or influence, use every open door as another opportunity to let your light shine, to speak truth into the world, to make a ripple of difference.

Your message is too important NOT to share.