I felt afraid.
What if my analysis is wrong? What if there is something I missed? What if they ask a question and I don't know the answer....
Then...she asked me a question, took me off track. I froze.
I was afraid of being wrong. I was intimidated because I was surrounded by people who had been in the industry much longer. I thought to myself, "how do I even know if I'm giving them anything valuable?"
At the end of the presentation my client asked me for an additional analysis. Surprisingly, my boss trusted me enough to lead the conversation solo. I guess that means I did a great job, I thought to myself.
I wasn't an imposter after all. At that moment, I realized that I am a brilliant woman afraid to own my brilliance in front of a group. I had challenged myself to overcome the "imposter syndrome" and I totally succeeded in the opportunity that was given.
You see, imposter syndrome is reserved for those smart enough, persistent enough and diligent enough to do something they've never done before.. and succeed. But, if we let it take over our lives we are only settling for mediocrity.
So how do you overcome the imposter syndrome?
ACCEPT THE FACT that you WILL NEVER have the answer to everything.
We get caught up in the idea that we have to be an expert in a field that we pressure ourselves to always have the answer. So, when we can't explain something we start feeling like a fraud. I encourage you to be honest with others and let them know when your unsure. Your audience will appreciate this gesture a lot more.
REMEMBER... no one really knows what they are doing.
When people ask me the formula to success I tell them I don't have one. I also tell them to let me know when they find out. I do however encourage them to take risks. So, consider yourself brave for trying something new. Reality is that no one really knows what they are doing even if they like to pretend they do. So, you're willingness to take a risk will motivate someone regardless of the outcome.
DO NOT equate your success to luck.
Remind yourself that you worked hard to achieve your success in life regardless of how small it may seem. Maybe you made the right connect at a networking event or happened to be at the right place at the right time. Regardless of the situation you made a choice. You decided to speak to the CEO at the corporate dinner. You decided to attend the brunch where you met your future business investor. So, regardless of how it may seem, luck doesn't just exist you create it.
It's very easy to feel like a fraud as you climb the ladder towards success. But, remember that you worked hard for it, you're not perfect, and you really do know a lot more then you think.