Have you been thinking about creating an online course, but you just don't feel like you've got enough expertise or credentials? It could be that you're experiencing a phenomenon called imposter syndrome.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is essentially when you feel like a fraud even though you have worked hard for your success. The Journal of Behavioral Science estimates 70 percent of the population to struggle with imposter syndrome at some point in their career.
And it's not exclusive to any particular group of people. Some people you would never think about being susceptible have experienced or struggle with imposter syndrome. Just take a look at these examples:
- Howard Shultz. This guy is literally Top Dog of the biggest coffee shop in the world--Starbucks. He told The New York Times, "Very few people, whether you've been in that job before or not, get into the seat and believe today that they are now qualified to be the CEO. They're not going to tell you that, but it's true."
- Maya Angelou. This beloved author made a significant impact on society and the fight for civil rights. She once said, "I have written 11 books, but each time I think, 'uh oh, they're going to find out now. I've run a game on everybody, and they're going to find me out.'"
- Lady Gaga. Insanely famous all over the world, this music artist states, "I still sometimes feel like a loser kid in high school, and I just have to pick myself up and tell myself that I'm a superstar every morning so that I can get through this day and be for my fans what they need for me to be."
So look... you're not an anomaly, and you're not a fake. Just because you feel like you're faking it till you make it doesn't mean that's true. If some of the most successful and famous people in the world feel that way sometimes, why should it be any different for you?
If you're thinking, "Who am I to create this course?," imposter syndrome doesn't have to stop you from sharing your expertise with the world. You absolutely have something valuable to share with the world. So let's get to it.
Here's How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Accept it. We can't change anything if we're not willing to accept where we are. Ok, so you feel like you're pretending to be something you're not. But are you actually? Accept that this fear and self-doubt is normal. Understand that emotions are just emotions. They aren't gospel truth. So acknowledge what you feel, but don't let it stop you from moving forward with what you know.
Focus on providing value. Don't make it about you. Make it about the people who will benefit from your knowledge and expertise. Are you trying to scam people? No, of course not! You're trying to help them. Think about the end game once people have access to the information you're sharing. Think about how much better equipped they are going to be. They're not interested in you and all of your self-perceived shortcomings. They're interested in the value you provide.
Develop a new script. We've been playing the same tapes in our heads over and over. The things that say we're not good enough. That you shouldn't be creating a course because you don't know everything. Well who does know everything? Ok then, so stop bad-mouthing yourself in your own head and start focusing on some positive truths. You do know enough to develop this course because you've lived and learned from experience. That is good and it is enough.
Establish a reliable support system. Whether it's a close friend, relative, or colleague, you need to have someone you trust to talk to. Even consider getting some professional help if you feel funny sharing these personal details with people you know. You're robbing the world of your knowledge while you sit under the burden of fear. Other people can encourage you and help you see how much you really do have to offer.
Look, it's good to want to produce high-quality work. Just don't let the fear that you can't be perfect stop you from doing that. You have already accomplished so much, so obviously, you're the real deal. You would have never come this far had you really been an imposter. What would you say to any of our famous examples from earlier? Try telling that to yourself instead.
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