The Imposter Inside You

Have you ever felt like you weren’t capable of doing something?

Have you experienced that little voice in your head that says, “No, I can’t do that… I’m not qualified. What if people found out the truth?”

Sound familiar?

That’s the imposter inside you.

That’s resistance.

That’s the part of you that is comfortable in the status quo.

Everyone has an imposter inside

Everyone, no matter how successful, has felt that little nagging voice saying “You’re an imposter, a fake, a fraud…you don’t belong here. Get out before you’re discovered.”

Facebook’s COO, Sherly Sandberg has imposter syndrome. Her financial net worth? $1.64 billion.

Einstein had imposter syndrome.

And you know what? Sometimes I have imposter syndrome too.

Sometimes I wonder if my success was luck.

For about two minutes. Then I say “no way… I worked my butt off!”

I made a choice to slay the imposter. The resistance inside me.

Are you ready to do the same?

What is imposter syndrome?

It was first identified in 1978 by two psychologists, Pauline Clance, and Suzanne Imes.

It goes by many names, “imposter phenomenon”, “fraud syndrome”, or “imposter experience”, but they all refer to the same concept – you feel like you’re a fraud inside.

Wikipedia defines Imposter Syndrome as:

“A concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.”

Let’s break that down into plain english.

If I had to define imposter syndrome in plain english, I would say it is, “A failure to recognize your own achievements and self-worth.” Period.

It also tends to occur frequently in high-achieving individuals. People who are successful by external standards, struggle with internal perception.

Why you feel imposter syndrome in business

Do you ever think about your business prospects, and say the following to yourself?

“I don’t have enough experience to be taken seriously.”

“I’m not qualified for the job.”

“There’s no way I can do this project.”

That’s imposter syndrome talking.

You feel it because you’re stepping out of your comfort zone.

Anytime you’re looking to go beyond your current limits, that little voice starts talking.

It starts trying to persuade you to STOP.

And that’s a good thing.

Wait, what?

Yes, I said it. Imposter syndrome has it’s benefits too.

When you feel fear of doing something that means you’re pushing yourself to the next level? That means you’re growing.

But, how do you shut that little voice up, and move forward?

How to overcome imposter syndrome

Now, I’ve recorded a special video for you on how I personally overcame imposter syndrome when I first started freelancing ten years ago.

Here’s how to “Crush THIS one mental barrier before you do anything else”:

In the video, I show you a simple technique on how to overcome imposter syndrome at the 7:04 mark.

You’ll realize that as a freelancer, consultant, or agency owner you’ve already accomplished a lot. 

Own it!

In Summary:

  • Imposter syndrome is failing to recognize your own accomplishments and self-worth.
  • When you step outside your comfort zone, imposter syndrome is likely to manifest itself.
  • To overcome imposter syndrome, take inventory of your accomplishments and realize that you are not truly an imposter.

This post and video was episode 6 in our 90 Day Challenge digital marketing series.

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  1. Marcel Odena

    Hi Jeff, I liked this video. It reminded me when I started in the marketing field. I was learning Google Adwords and I started to do some campaigns for my uncle that had a Restaurant. Then I advertised myself on Google as a freelancer and I got my first 10 clients. They paid me quite few, but I learned a lot. I also created some websites, first with Joomla and then with WordPress. When I look back I think I was quite “brave” to deliver results being so un-expert. As you say in the video, you have to start at some point and that’s what I did.
    Keep in touch,
    Marcel Odena

    1. Julius


      I am going to take your path and find someone local to work with on my Google Analytics skills and then advertise myself as a freelancer.



  2. Julius

    Your path is just like mine….computer science degree, told people I could design websites and logos. Started with one client and word of mouth built the clientele I currently have. What’s amazing is that now I have the desire to become a true developer and digital marketing expert, this small voice keeps saying “you can’t learn this and no client is going to pay you”.

    Your message has really motivated me to continue to work past the “imposter syndrome”.


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