July 17, 2022

E364: Imposter Syndrome is a Lie | CPTSD and Trauma Coach

Imposter syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be, and it's a lie...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e364-imposter-syndrome-is-a-lie-cptsd-and-trauma-coach/#show-notes

Imposter syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be, and it's a lie.

Today, I talk about my own journey and battle with imposter syndrome.

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Imposter syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. And it's a lie.

What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I've been thinking about this a lot over the last few days and my own journey and battle with imposter syndrome. And the truth be told, I think everyone faces imposter syndrome, apparently so does the camera, if you're watching on YouTube right now, cuz we just disappeared and now we are back. If you didn't know, we have a YouTube channel, check us out Think Unbroken on YouTube, we're on all the social media platforms.

I remember in the beginning of my journey, just feeling like so fake about everything, just being like, I don't deserve to have love or admiration, I don't deserve to be someone who has a voice, I don't deserve to be someone who was heard or seen. And there were so much about feeling like every single time that I wrote a blog post or I spoke on a stage or I coached a client that I just felt fake, it didn't feel real, it did felt like I was pretending to be someone else.

You know, recently on episode of the podcast, I had the amazing Lisa Bilyeu, and we were talking about this concept of fake it until you make it. And if you haven't listened to that episode, I highly recommend that you go and listen to it because it was a really powerful episode. And in that conversation with her, I was thinking to myself, you know, there were so many times in which I was just like, screw it, I'm going for this anyway. There were so many times where I was just like, I'm going to figure out how to be me no matter what. There were so many times where I was just like, just go one step further, just keep trying and shut off all the noise. Like everybody faces imposter syndrome and to truth be told sometimes I still do. I mean, think about this, Think Unbroken as a podcast alone, I've had some of the greatest minds on planet earth come on this show, right? Oprah's coach Tim's story, Jordan Harbinger, John Lee Dumas, Anna Lembke, Dr. Caroline Leaf, Jenna Kutcher, there are people coming on this show who this is my own superstition, but I won't say their names until I record with them. But you know, there are people coming on this show who are unbelievable change makers. And for 0.0001 second, sometimes I have anxiety about this idea about being an imposter and then I remind myself who the fuck I am. And that's what you guys have to do.

Look, trust me, when I say this, you have to remind yourself who you are every single day, day in and day out because the thing about this imposter syndrome, it's a lie. Like we just tell ourselves this, if you want to be great at something, then just fucking do what it takes to be great at it and own it all the way up, right? It's an experience like you feel phony, you feel fraudulent, you feel fake, you feel like people are gonna find out who you are, you beat yourself up over your performance, you attribute your success to other people, you fear that you won't live up to the expectations a lot of times it's fucking overachieving and sabotaging yourself and self-doubt and you set goals that are fucking impossible to reach, and you agonize over all of the things about who you're not.

And you look at the world through this scope of I'm not good enough. And you know what that is like its truth be told, its massive, massive, massive self-esteem issue, it truly is because there are levels to it. Right? And I think in the beginning, the moment you start to switch your mind into uncertainty, then you get into this place where change is scary and because you haven't experienced it before, you're kind of like, oh shit, like, I don't think this is really me, but the only way you find out who you really are is by having the oh shit moments and trying to do things differently than you have that have led you to where you are.

Imposter Syndrome, like, look, it's just a part of life and you don't have to identify as being an imposter, but instead you have to just simply…

Look, think about it like this…

When you're a little kid, when you're a child and for the first time in your life, you are taking a step back and you are creating something. And you look at that thing you created. For me as a kid, I loved Lincoln logs and these things called connects, and I was always building, building, building. It was one of my favorite things to do because I would get done and I would look at it and I'd be like, oh man, I made something cool. As a kid, not one time, at least in that experience, did I ever go, oh, I'm an imposter, I'm not really an architect, I'm not really a builder, I'm not really a creator. No. Because we haven't been fucking disillusioned by society yet. You know what I mean? We haven't yet been put in this position where we question every fucking thing we do, all of our decisions, the clothes we wear, the people we're around, the community we keep, we aren't there yet. Now that comes right, obviously, especially I think during puberty, it really starts to make sense as humans, we get more communal, we start to wonder, are we fitting in. And, you know, I've shared this before on the show, but in my early teens, like I was always dressing like the other kids acting like the other kids pretending to be something I wasn't, because I was terrified to be me.

And a couple weeks ago, one of my friends and I were hanging out chatting and she told me something really interesting. She goes, you know, the thing that I really appreciate about you is that you are always 100% yourself. And I was like, I love that. Thank you for saying that because I have these moments like anyone does about feeling like, am I imposter? Am I fake? But instead of sitting and ruminating in that, I just go, nope, this is who I am, and I own all of me. And imposter syndrome was gonna come up. There's always gonna be those moments when we're stepping into new things, when we're challenging ourselves in ways that we've never challenged ourselves, where we're gonna have that moment of questioning of wondering if we're fraudulent or if we're phony or if we're make believe. And one of the best things that you can do in that moment is to convince yourself of one inherent truth that imposter syndrome is fucking bullshit and it's a lie and it doesn't exist, it is only simply in your head because you are ruminating on an idea that is a fall city because you have not yet gone through all the things that one must go through in order to prove the hypothesis that you are, the person that you believe you are, and that just comes in time.

And the people who are automatically in that place of, well, I'm not even gonna try because it's fake, you're not going to succeed. I'm just gonna cut it to you straight. You're never going to live up into your potential. You're never going to be who it is that you want to be because you've actually already predetermined that, that's the hard truth of the reality of this. So many of us automatically predetermined who it is that we are by making a preconceived notion about the possible outcome, i.e., that creates worry and worry leads to anxiety and when we're faced with anxiety, we do not jump off the ledge because we are scared of certain death. Whereas most people, if you're really paying attention, you actually look below you'll find that the ledge is only about six inches off the ground and you'll probably be fine.

And so, what you have to recognize and understand is this really interesting reality that imposter syndrome is only ever going to be overcome by overcoming it and not beating yourself up because you're not perfect and not holding yourself against other people. And in the moment, I swear, I know I say Grant Cardone's name all the fucking time on this show, but when he told me two years ago to take your flowers, what that meant to me, wasn't just about taking the accolades, but also acknowledging myself for what I've done, because guys, there are still moments where I'm like, man, fuck. You know, I was 350 pounds, smoking two packs, drinking myself to sleep, cheating on my girlfriend, lying to everybody, being a monstrous person, and today I'm not that not even remotely close and it's not that I don't fuck up, cuz I fuck up and I talk about that openly and publicly, but it's just like, I'm just gonna keep going forward, every single day, no matter what, and I'm not gonna beat myself up about my flaws and my mistakes and the way that I've been over, being able to overcome imposter syndrome is very simply by (A) looking at the community of people that I'm around because the people I'm around, I promise you, they do not belittle me, they do not bring me down. Hell. Most of the times they tell me my dreams are too damn small and I need to think bigger, so, I'm around an amazing community. (B) I reinforce the thought patterns that I can create the life that I want to have by executing action every single day, day in and day out because when you do that, you're positively reinforcing what you know, you're capable of doing. (C) I think in the most important thing is I just give myself grace, give yourself fucking a little bit of grace. You don't know what you're doing yet. You've never done it before. And the more that you do it, the more you discover you don't actually know what you're even doing. Right. But don't second guess yourself, just see what happens on the other side and stop worrying about what other people think I'm gonna add (D) stop worrying about what other people think. And I've said that 8,000 times on this show, but it's true cuz look, I'll tell you right now, like just the other night I posted on Instagram, a very polarizing video because I wanted to speak my truth and I got fucking raped over the coals for it. Right? But I don't care. That doesn't make me not a great coach, that doesn't make me not a good leader, that doesn't make me an awesome learner, it just means that people didn't agree with me. And we live in a cancel culture that says be perfect or be dead and I just don't subscribe in the lightest.

So that said my friends, I hope that what you will take away from today is recognizing that imposter syndrome is bullshit, it's a lie that you tell yourself, and instead of negatively reinforcing that reality, instead positively reinforce the things that have led you to where you are today and leverage those things to go to where you want to go in the future.

So, thank you so much for being here. If you're watching on YouTube, sorry about the camera, I have no idea what's happening, we'll figure that out later, we'll get the team.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll see you.

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Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.