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Let’s talk about imposter syndrome. It’s the feeling that we’ve lucked into something, or that we’re not meant to be there, and that people are going to find out we’re a fraud and kick us out.
I had a major case of imposter syndrome a few weeks ago when Steven Bartlett invited me onto his podcast. Steven’s one of the most respected entrepreneurs in the UK, with a £300 million company and the youngest ever dragon on Dragon’s Den. His podcast is the #1 business podcast in the UK (ahead of even the Tim Ferriss show) and being on it was a terrifying prospect.
Before the interview, I was bricking it - he’s interviewed the likes of Liam Payne (from One Direction of course), footballer Rio Ferdinand, and a bunch of super successful founders and CEOs. And then he was interviewing me, a 27yo dude who happens to have a YouTube channel. At least that’s how I thought about it.
The conversation itself was great, and I tried to forget about the ‘pressure’ that I was putting on myself to make it ‘good’.
After the chat, I asked Steve about his own tips for combatting imposter syndrome. He said something very interesting - he said that the feeling of imposter syndrome is a feeling of anxiety around the fact that “I don’t belong here”, and “I am uncomfortable right now”. That feeling manifests as general discomfort in our stomachs usually. Those of us who suffer from imposter syndrome choose to interpret that feeling as “I don’t belong here”. Whereas the way Steve now approaches these situations is to think “I am uncomfortable right now and that’s how it should be, this is how I grow as a person, this is exciting”
This was a pretty great idea. I’m a big fan of reframing our internal experiences to tell ourselves a more useful story about them. That feeling of inner discomfort, that feeling of anxiety and stress - we could choose to interpret it as fear, or we could choose to interpret it as excitement.
So next time I’m feeling like I don’t belong, I’ll try Steve’s tactic of reframing it as a good thing, as a chance for growth, and as something I’m excited about rather than terrified about.
And if you'd like to explore more of Steven's tactics and his outlook on life and business, he's got a great book called Happy Sexy Millionaire which is an interesting clickbaity title but it's an absolutely sick book.
Have a great week!
❤️ My Favourite Things
🎤 TED Talk - Re-watched one of the best talks I’ve ever seen - Tim Urban’s “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator”. Probably the best articulation of what procrastination really looks and feels like. Watch it if you haven't.
✍️ Quote of the Week
"But whatever the nature of your work, there is an art to what you do, and there are people who would be interested in that art, if only you presented it to them in the right way."
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