I looked around the full classroom. Well, it wasn’t really a classroom. It was more of a conference room that was serving as the meeting space for my very first grad school class. I had applied for the MBA program and been accepted. This wasn’t too much of a surprise. My grades were decent enough. However, as I looked around the room, I thought to myself, “What were you thinking”. Why had I applied for grad school? Was I qualified to be in this room full of “professionals”? I am just a girl from the West Dallas projects. I don’t belong here. I can’t compete with this group of well-dressed corporate clones. Get me out of here!
But I stayed even though I just knew that everyone was wondering the same thing about me. Oh yes, I could feel their energy silently judging me. I just knew that they were placing me in a box. The stereotypical “ghetto” box. And AS you know, some seem to think that ghetto and ignorant go hand in hand. Nonetheless, I stayed.
When grades for the first paper came out, I had earned an A! I looked around at lower grades around me and said, “oh yeah, I belong”. I went on to impress my apprehensive group members when we were put into teams. I quickly became an asset to the group. I ended my MBA program with a 3.89 (Damn B in managerial finance!) and a lot of pride. The girl from the projects held her own!
This was not my first nor my last run-in with imposter syndrome. Google says that imposter syndrome is “the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills.” I also experienced it when I got my first Carla James Interiors design client and again when I got my first Bossingly Business Coaching client. Why are these people paying me? Do I even know what I’m doing? What if I fail? These thoughts would cross my mind with each new major goal I achieved. The key is, I never let these thoughts stop me. Like with fear, I moved ahead despite the negative thoughts.
Do you ever have these thoughts or feelings? Well, let’s get rid of them!
1. First girlfriend, the first step of solving any problem is accepting that there is a problem. Acknowledge the feelings and then dismiss them. Understand that these feelings are normal and that you are all of that!
2. Secondly, think about what you're thinking. Replace your negative thoughts with positive affirmations. You may think it's cliché but this stuff works. Find an affirmation that resonates with you. Tape it to your mirror. Tape it to your computer monitor. Tape it to your refrigerator. Wherever you need to see it, put it there.
3. Lastly, the most overlooked resources we have is our circle. When things get tough, talk to your girls. Your friends and family are there to remind you of all the great things you have accomplished. If your crew is not pumping you up when you're need it, get a new crew!
You are ALL that! You know this. No one does you better than you. When the doubts come, and they will come, don't allow it to stop you from moving forward. Keep doing amazing things and remember to DO IT BOSSING!