Question: Does your fear of failure hold you back from going after what you truly want in life? Do you find yourself constantly scrolling through your social media feed, envying those big influencers you see… but convince yourself that their level of success just isn’t in the cards for you?
If you answered Yes to either of these questions, or if you find yourself embracing a similar mindset in terms of seeking your own success, then more likely than not… You’ve been a victim of what I like to call Imposter Syndrome.
While we’ve talked about Imposter Syndrome before, both on the podcast and in previous posts, what I want to emphasize today is that Imposter Syndrome doesn’t need to be that debilitating factor that prevents us from moving forward toward the success we envision for ourselves…
Because, here’s the thing: Much of the underlying basis of Imposter Syndrome rests entirely on fear… The fear of failure, fear of stepping out of our comfort zone, and so on!
Learning how to reframe the way that we think about fear by coming to grips with the idea of embracing fear when it presents itself is a major point of our conversation on Episode 132 of Productivity Paradox this week. And to me, it’s an important topic to discuss!
While I share my own personal experience with failure – in the form of what I considered an epic financial fail! – on the episode, I also talk about how some of the most successful people in the world figured out how to use their experiences with failure to their advantage by turning the fear that stems from failure completely on its head to find the success and contentment that they’d been reaching for all along.
So today, I want to take a step back by going to the root of a lot of the fear that we experience when we consider failure by taking a peek at how we can nip any bouts of Imposter Syndrome we experience in the bud… once and for all.
Ready to jump in?
Before you can move past an episode of discomfort, you need to acknowledge that you’re in the thick of it in the first place.
When you feel a bout of fear or another similar (unsettling) emotion coming on, allow yourself to sit with that uneasiness so that you can come to grips with it—and then move on.
If you’re hesitating on getting started on a big goal you’ve set, a passion project you’ve been putting off, or something else that you imagine could bring about the happiness, success, and contentment you desire… Ask yourself why that might be.
Where does the hesitation come from?
The sooner you’re able to accept that there is something – whether it’s fear of failure, or some other emotion – holding you back from taking a step forward, the sooner you can get to the bottom of the issue, and the sooner you can simply Let. It. Go.
We talk about this idea a lot on Episode 131 this week, so definitely tune in there for some ideas on how this can be accomplished…
But to recap a little bit here: It’s important that we stop looking at failure as some big scary monster that’s hiding under our bed, waiting for us to take a wrong step that will land us in its clutches.
Instead of thinking of failure as something that we need to do our best to avoid at all costs, try to reframe the way in which you approach the idea of failure. In other words, look at is as a potential springboard to the success you want to see for yourself instead!
After all, it’s like I mention on the episode this week… There are plenty of examples of incredibly successful people out there who have experienced a bout of failure when they took those first few steps toward their dreams. Look to them and their stories to see just how failure can be turned on its head for the better.
Here’s a little bit of tough love for you: If you don’t view yourself as being worthy of happiness, success, and contentment… chances are, no one else will either.
When it comes to pursuing your big dreams and other aspirations, it’s imperative that you take a look at all of the strengths, talents, and other remarkable qualities that you bring to the table, and that you truly begin to believe in yourself.
Take a look at the trajectory of your life to-date. What are some of your biggest accomplishments? What strengths do you possess that make you the incredible, ambitious person that you are?
Write those things down, and keep them in a place where you can refer to them whenever you need to kick yourself into gear…
Because the more you believe in yourself, and the more you’re able to recognize that you ARE capable of achieving the success you desire, the easier it will be for you to recover from an episode of Imposter Syndrome whenever it comes knocking on your door.
Social media is one of those things that I have a love-hate relationship with. On the one hand, platforms like Facebook and Instagram make it super easy (and even enjoyable) to connect with others, market yourself, your brand, and the products you’re offering…
But on the other hand, social media makes it so easy to fall into the Imposter Syndrome trap.
Far too often, those of us on social media – whether we’re using it for business or for personal enjoyment – are bombarded with photos, influencer accounts and so on that seem to bleed #allofthesuccess and #allofthehappiness, but without ANY of the struggle.
And for those of us looking to get started on the pursuit of a big goal or passion project, all of those perfectly timed, filtered, and posed photographs that we see can be a huge stumbling block!
It becomes harder and harder to remember that each and every person shown in those photos has, at one point or another, experienced the same uneasiness that we feel when we consider taking that first step toward success.
But here’s the thing: All of the success stories, the perfectly poised photos, and everything in between on social media didn’t just materialize out of thin air. Each person connected to those accounts had to start somewhere… And chances are, that “somewhere” was at the bottom, just like you and me!
So, in the spirit of nipping the fear of failure in the bud… remember: the majority of success you witness on social media and other platforms didn’t just happen overnight. And you are not alone in the fight to the top!
This goes hand in hand with keeping in mind that you’re not alone when it comes to fighting Imposter Syndrome and the fear of failure… but it’s important that we emphasize this idea as well, on its own.
If you want to move beyond Imposter Syndrome and beyond the fear that it brings, then it’s imperative that you absolutely STOP comparing yourself to others. Trust me, very few positive feelings surface when we start looking to others as the be all and end all to the happiness and contentment that we covet.
If this means that you need to take a hiatus from social media for a while (or block those accounts that make you feel less-than far too often), then absolutely give yourself the grace and permission to do exactly that!
Keep in mind that every single person on this earth is unique – we all have different strengths, different looks, different dreams (no matter how similar they may seem on the surface), different ways of thinking and of looking at life, and so on and so forth.
And in that same vein, there are all kinds of different roads that lead to success! So, stop comparing yourself and your own approach to the success you want to others.
The sooner you’re able to nip your comparison habit in the bud, the better off you’ll be… I promise!
While we’ve certainly covered a few tried and true methods that will help you beat Imposter Syndrome for good here, this last one is my absolute favorite:
Be relentless when it comes to chasing your dreams!
If you have a level of success in mind for yourself that you want to reach, then give yourself permission to be absolutely tenacious in your approach—no matter what.
In my own experience, the best way to beat Imposter Syndrome is to continue to take action, regardless of any bouts of fear and any uneasy feelings that may crop up as a result of your stepping beyond your comfort zone.
After all, taking risks is instrumental when it comes to self-growth… And you can never know exactly how much you can accomplish if you don’t try!
Ever grappled with Imposter Syndrome or the fear of failure before? I would love to hear how you were able to rise above so that you could get back to pursuing your big dreams! Share your experiences in the comments below…
And be sure to tune in to Episode 132 of the podcast this week to hear even more about how you can reframe the way you think about failure and use it as a springboard to the success you crave!