The Imposter Syndrome – even pros have it

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By Dave Henning / July 22, 2020

“Imposter syndrome is when you feel like you have no right to be associated with the craft you’re practicing or the level of success you’ve achieved.  It’s when you sit in a boardroom, waiting for the boss to arrive and fix everything, and you realize you’re the boss.”- Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler concludes Chapter 15 of Your Blue Flame as she exhorts you to use the blue flame label to inspire you.  Not limit you.  Because when your blue flame ignites in a traditionally recognized field, a label comes with it.  And when you hesitate to embrace it, Jennifer notes, you come down with the Imposter Syndrome.

For example, Jennifer recalls interviewing an author on her daily radio show.  During the interview, the author confessed that she didn’t feel she could call herself a writer.  Yet, she had written two New York Times bestselling books!  The problem? – her books sat at the bottom of the list.  In her eyes, other writers achieved more success.  Thus, this author always needed one more accolade to feel legitimate.

Consequently, when you find something you love to do, embrace the identifying label.  Do so boldly.  Starting right now.  But, Jennifer cautions, remember one important thing.  It’s good to embrace the label.  But don’t equate the label with your identity.  Above all, when you equate your label with your identity, you fail to seek constructive criticism.  Because you take negative feedback personally when you overidentify with whatever you create.

In conclusion, Jennifer gives these words of encouragement:

“Your value as a person is completely independent of your blue flame.  Understanding this will give you the freedom to spark a new blue flame even if one that you’ve used your whole life is blown out.  And you may find . . . that your new endeavor leads you to the greatest impact of all.”

Today’s question: Have you experienced the Imposter Syndrome in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The fuel you need to start setting boundaries”

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Dave Henning

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