If you are reading this post, chances are you have felt like a fraud at some point in your life, or maybe you do right now. Well, let me tell you that this post is just as much for me as it is for you.
I was planning on writing a pregnancy post today, but this feeling of not being good enough in my career has been coming up over and over again the last few weeks.
However, this is not a new feeling. I have felt like I’ve had to prove myself for pretty much my whole adult life.
It started back in University where I didn’t feel I was good enough to be learning alongside such high achievers, that I had to study my butt off to get the best grades, be super thin and athletic to prove myself to others that I was meant to be there.
By my last year I had over-committed myself and my grades started to slip as a result (I don’t want to point any fingers, but this was the year I met my husband Mike..;P). I had one grade that dropped my average just low enough that I wasn’t able to get interviews for any Physio schools, which was my dream at the time.
I ended up getting into an Athletic Therapy/Masters program at York but I feel like I had let myself down, mostly because I knew I had knowledge and the ability to be a great Physio.
While I was in Grad school, I applied to Med School and to Physio Schools again. Needless to say I didn’t get in, but I clearly had this constant need to do something more than AT and to prove myself good enough to…myself.
Once I became a certified AT, I literally immediately started to look into getting new credentials. Should I reapply to Physio? Chiro? Become a Naturopath? All I knew was that I needed something more, something to show the world that I was more than just an AT. Why could I just not be happy with all of the hard work I had accomplished? (I mean I had a Master’s degree and becoming an AT is no easy feat either!).
By luck, within one year of graduating I received a job at York teaching within the AT program. This was it. This was the job I could tell everyone about. This was the job that showed the world that I was smart enough.
However, in the years that followed I had thrown myself into so many positions at the university (AT jobs and volunteer organizations) that I ended up burning out. My constant to need to show everyone and prove to myself that I was important and could do it all was really starting to wear me down.
I started to realize that I was overworking myself for 2 reasons:
- For my ego. Having multiple jobs and being on volunteer boards was something I was proud to tell people and made me feel important and more intelligent.
- For the financial security. Having multiple revenue streams allowed me to feel safer knowing that if one fell through, I would have another.
However, being pulled in so many different directions made me feel like I was failing at everything. I couldn’t give anything 100% because I was spread too thin and as a result, I felt like I had to prove myself even more. This vicious cycle eventually lead to my health deteriorating (you can read more about that here) and I had no choice but to start letting things go.
After moving to Peterborough and now working on growing my blog and Pilates business, these thoughts are beginning to surface again…
- I’m not good enough to start a business
- No one is going to buy from me
- There are so many better Pilates instructors out there than me
- I am putting our family in debt for something I’m not sure is even going to work out
- I can’t sustain an income only teaching Pilates classes
- Should I continue working at York for the money alone?
- I should be trying harder to find a real job
- Am I going to be a terrible parent and neglect my child for my business?
For anyone just starting out, you know that you do not make a lot (or really any) money in the first year or two. Building a business takes a lot of risk, and a lot of sacrifice. And not just financial sacrifice, but ego sacrifice as well.
Coming to terms with the fact that I might need to work at positions that I am overqualified for while I am growing my business is something I have a really hard time with. And it’s not because I’ll hate the work, it’s because it will hurt my ego.
Regardless, I really want to start listening to what my soul is telling me. I want to listen to that gut reaction, and say NO when I really need to say NO, even if it hurts my ego. I want to save my time and energy for the really important YESSES, because I know those are what are going to allow me to grow and thrive, even if they aren’t going to be bring in the most money or come with that “prestigious” title.
Part of me now is grateful that I did not get into Physio school because there’s a chance I wouldn’t have ended up where I am now.
What I really want to get across with this post is to tell you that I have felt like a fraud at every single job I’ve held. I have always had thoughts that I am not good enough no matter how big or small a job has been. This feeling doesn’t go away on its own and you are definitely not alone if you have similar feelings.
The only way to get rid of that imposter syndrome is to quiet your ego (your inner critic) and turn up the volume on your soul (that little voice you don’t listen to enough).
What is your gut telling you? What would you regret if you didn’t do it? How do invision your life in 3-5 years?
Once you get really clear on where you want to be going, take a good hard look at where you are and how far you have come. Does your current job and lifestyle support where you see yourself? Why or why not?
Maybe part of the reason you feel like a fraud is because you are doing something you aren’t meant to be doing? Do you dread going to work each day or do you wake up in the morning and feel grateful that you GET to go to work?
When you are doing something that is in alignment with your true self, you will still have moments of self-doubt but you will be able to move past them because you understand that you are doing something that is so much bigger than yourself. You are doing something that will benefit the greater good and you won’t your inner critic stand in your way.
I hope that my story and this message resonated with you in some way and I hope that after reading this you realize that
You are not a FRAUD. You are enough, you always have been. Listen to yourself and don’t let external pressures dictate your self-worth.
You do you, and never feel like a fraud again.
Until next time,