Do you ever feel like a fraud? Underqualified, not good enough, a total impostor?
Let’s face it: we can all feel like frauds from time to time. Maybe you have anxiety that someone will ask you a question you don’t know the answer to. Or maybe that stress is building up because you have a meeting with someone way out of your league.
In my experience, the fraud factor is one of the top reasons we hold ourselves back in life. It’s one of the main sources of stress and anxiety.
So how do some of us go on to accomplish our dreams while the rest of us hang in the shadows, waiting to be good enough?
Follow these five tips to turn that fraud into an expert:
1. Jump before you’re ready.
If you’re waiting to be ready, you’ll never move. The main difference between a fraud and an expert is that experts put themselves out there. There’s always going to be more you can learn. But don’t underestimate how much you can already contribute. Put as much out there as you can offer at this time. You’ll be amazed at how much knowledge you already have that you don’t even realize.
2. Keep showing up.
Take yourself seriously. Frauds dip their toes in the water, then run away in fear. Experts continue to show up, every day, rain or shine. They offer all they can bring to the table at that moment, and then they learn the lessons from their mistakes. If you keep putting yourself in situations that challenge you to become an expert, sooner or later even you can’t deny your expertise.
3. Be honest about what you know, and what you don’t.
Thanks to Brené Brown, we all now know the power of vulnerability. Instead of nodding along when you have no idea what someone is talking about, be honest and ask a question. Admit when you or your company are not the best fit for a person. Being an expert doesn’t mean you have to be perfect; it just means you’re a source of quality information. And people tend to respect you more when you admit your ignorance and take the opportunity to learn something new.
4. Hone your expertise.
The greatest teachers are the best learners. Experts are constantly reading new books, listening to lectures, and taking more classes. If you read one new book on your field a month, in three years, you’ll be in the top 5% of knowledge in your industry. Experts never turn down an opportunity to learn and grow.
5. Flash those life experience credentials.
Still got not-good-enough-itis? Don’t ignore your street cred. Your experiences and passions are a huge boost to your qualifications. Every hardship, challenge, and lessons has prepared you to go after your dreams. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather work with the guy or gal who’s personally triumphed over my issue than one who’s just read about it in a book.
At the end of the day, people just perceive us the way that we teach them to. So, if you want to stop feeling like a fraud, start acting like an expert!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com