Many people on this planet live with a feeling of not being good enough – consciously or unconsciously. This way of being might be something that they heard from parents, teachers, other kids, partners or coworkers and then internalized. Through this, it became an underlying program that they started living from.
Some people can clearly remember those scenes – for example, a friend of mine recently shared with me that a math teacher at school told her: „You will never be able to properly work with numbers!“ For some others, the roots of not feeling good enough are hidden.
In order to move forward, it is not important to know those roots. Imagine you walk through a forest. You trip over something, fall forward and land in a pit. You take a minute or so to recover and then start climbing out of this pit. You do not need to know what you tripped over in order to successfully get out of the pit – however you might see it when you look back. Or not. Either is fine and you can move on. The more sensitive you become to your emotional states, the faster you can catch the thoughts of not being good enough when they show up in your life.
Recently I had a deep insight into this while I got coached by my friend Bob Russo. I shared how I have had a hard time dealing with authorities. I hated being commanded and to follow rules that made no sense to me. I reacted with anger. This would also show up at university and in relationships.
This was the surface level. Bob dug a little bit deeper – and it got clear that underneath the anger was a fear of not being able to live up to the expectations that I thought others had of me. Underneath the anger, there was fear that I could not be seen as good enough.
For me, this insight came with a feeling of liberation, since seeing this so clearly changed my identity. I can not exactly remember where I started this habit of reacting with anger towards these fears. As mentioned above this is also not important. The shift in identity is.
Another thing that got clear in the conversation with Bob is, that people who „live on the edge“, who do things outside of their comfort zone on a regular basis, will have more moments of „not feeling good enough“ coming up. Sometimes it comes in the covers of the so-called „imposter syndrome“.
„Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments“, say Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey (2021).
Especially if you continuously choose to play a bigger game, it is possible that you are confronted with Imposter Syndrom many times in your life. I learned not to fight it – but to see it as a signal that I am about to do something that has been living outside my comfort zone – until now. My mentor Rich Litvin (2021) puts it this way:
„Imposter syndrome is a feature, not a bug“.Rich Litvin
He even states: „If you don’t have Imposter Syndrome, you’re probably not dreaming big enough…“
How does this land for you? Do you know the feeling of not being good enough? Have you ever felt like an imposter? How has this been holding you back? How would the version of you go through life who already dissolved those thoughts and feelings?
You can send me the answers to those questions. Let’s start a conversation.
Litvin, R. (2021). Imposter syndrome is a feature not a bug. [https://richlitvin.com/not-a-bug/]
Tulshyan, R. , Burey, A. (2021). Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome. https://hbr.org/2021/02/stop-telling-women-they-have-imposter-syndrome