Voice & Impact

The Big Lie: Imposter Syndrome & Entrepreneurship

November 29, 2022 Adam Schneider Season 1 Episode 2
Voice & Impact
The Big Lie: Imposter Syndrome & Entrepreneurship
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we explore how we've been lied to about imposter syndrome. Let's break down why so many fear to be known and struggle to see their worth, while exploring some crucial mindset and emotional shifts to consistently make progress in the face of imposter syndrome. Together, we'll understand the intrinsic and systemic contributors of imposture syndrome, self-sabotage and the surprising yet accessible way to see light at the end of the tunnel. (Hint: vulnerability plays a huge role) Learn how to take off your masks and truly see and accept yourself to create better relationships (with others and yourself), business decisions, and the unwavering courage to be known! Pull up a seat and give yourself permission to be vulnerable, we thank you in advance for supporting us in doing the same. 

Adam:

When you build a business, you have to face your perspective of your self worth. It is hand in hand. You cannot. Start charging for your services and value without facing that, right. Hey friends, welcome to Voice and Impact, an honest podcast about the journey of entrepreneurship. We're not here to tell you how to live your life. We're here to have real conversations about real things. My name is Adam, and I'm so grateful you're

Alysha:

here with us. Today we're gonna talk a little bit about, you know, the courage to be known and. You know, we related on that , Adam, and I'm sure Jade, maybe you have, uh, some, some thoughts around that in your, your journey and, and around the courage to be known. And I think going from the fear. Of being known to, like, the courage to being known and activated in the world is largely about, you know, overcoming a lot of those barriers that keep us stuck and small in between. Right. So I think we can talk a little bit about what some of those barriers are, including things like imposter syndrome and. Self sabotage and just all the different things about being a creative in the world. And I'm sure there are probably some common experiences that we have, but also very personal experiences that we can dive deep into as deep as you guys are willing to go. So one of the first things that I wanted to. , I guess talk about, and like I said in in regards to a common experience that maybe a lot of people can relate to is this idea of imposter syndrome is of being an imposter in your own life and your own dreams, even though they're only yours. So I would love to know Adam, like how do you define imposter syndrome? What kind of experiences of imposter syndrome have kept you sort of in the. Of being known, and I know you have a really interesting perspective around this whole concept anyway, so would love to hear.

Adam:

Uh, yeah. Well that's, I think that's a great place to start and I'll, I'll start by just simply acknowledging that I'm at a point in my career where imposter syndrome is a day to day reality. It's a day to day experience and there are some days where I feel totally aligned and grateful for my sense of contribution and grateful for the, the value that I'm inspired to share. And there are other days where it's like, holy fuck, who do I think I am? Like I'm just another guy on the internet. I really don't want to be seen. Right? Cuz there are like, I think there are two types of content creators in the world. There's the content creator that is really all about, hear me, I wanna be heard. Listen to me. And then there's the content creator that is all about, I wanna help, I wanna be of service. Here are the things that I've learned. Maybe they can apply to you too. And I think there's a part of me. Is afraid of even accidentally being associated with the content creator that just wants to be heard. And I think there's, I think the need to, to to be heard is an important need to be met. , we all need to feel heard, like that is a basic human need. That's a little bit of a different response to your question directly. So let me directly address your question and then I have a lot of musings, a lot of sort of deep thinking about imposter syndrome that I think is, is different than the sort of status quo, because right now imposter syndrome is trend. There's a lot of people in the world right now because the entrepreneurial push is growing. People are facing imposter syndrome in a new way because when you build a business, you have to face your perspective of your self worth. It is hand in hand. You cannot. Start charging for your services and value without facing that. Right? And so because of the rise of entrepreneurialism, I see that imposter syndrome surfacing, maybe not the imposter syndrome itself being new, but the awareness of it being new because of the need to face that self-worth. So the kind of like under arch question here that you asked is, well, what is imposter syndrome essentially? Imposter syndrome. The sort of vague belief that you hold in yourself, that like you're phony, you're an imposter, something you're, you know, like, like the key word, the theme of when I was a kid, the word, the language you would use is like, you're a poer, right? Like, like you're pretending to be something you're not. And sometimes that's rooted in feelings of like, what I have isn't valuable. I have this aha moment this week, which is like, I'm just afraid of being known. I'm afraid of, of people knowing who I am. And you know, part of that is because I know I've made mistakes. I know I've done wrong things. But now that we know what imposter syndrome is, the sort of question is is like how do we deal with it? And I think a lot of people go to the perspective of how do I. How do I abolish it? And I would challenge that and I would, I would encourage you to realize you never can. You never will. It's an impossible feat to measure. Now you can feel grateful and confident and allow the radiance of your value to exist. But to say that, Voice in the back of your head will become nothing, I think is an impossible standard. And so my question becomes, how do I live with it? How do I allow imposter syndrome to be maybe not a part of my core identity, but how do I allow it to exist simultaneously to the part of me that believes in my inherent. To the part of me that believes that I make a difference. I'm working on a blog post right now called You Make a Fucking Difference. And I think the more we realize that we make a fucking difference, and it's hard for us to always see our value from our own vantage point, the more we do to allow these two perspectives to merge, to hug, to embrace, to allow. The more capable we're going to be to give permission to the current moment. And sometimes the current moment is just like, fuck, am I doing enough? Am I giving enough? Am I helping enough? Is what I'm saying actually making a difference? And other times it's, ah, look at all the amazing good things I'm doing. And there is no right and wrong. There is no right and wrong. So the more that we allow both sides of that coin to exist, the less shame we're going to experience within our human experience. And I think more suffering comes from the resistance of the imposter syndrome than it does from the actual imposter syndrome itself. And this is so real time for me. , you know, I'm at, I'm at a point in my career where I am just vulnerably sharing my journey. I'm getting rid of any sort of idea that I need to make content. I'm getting rid of any sort of idea that I need to be expressing things in a certain way, and I'm just allowing, and it's vulnerable and it's scary. But if you learn to be able to take the steps regardless of how you're feeling and set boundaries when you need. . You know, I think, I think you're going to serve yourself in magical ways,

Alysha:

you know, in regards to what it makes me think, two things, but in regards to what you're saying of not abolishing it, like the, the polarity is always gonna exist, right? That's like true about our world, but it's like new level, new devil, right? Like you're always gonna get to a new level and. You're gonna feel that imposter syndrome again, because you've never been there before and you're gonna have toal with the whole thing basically. And having that in the back of your mind of like, all right, like this is just something that comes along with me on this ride throughout life, is this feeling of being an imposter. Um, in a sense, right, of like, but it's like you learn how to cope with it a little bit better. And I, I'd love to know as well, and then from you Jade as well, like personally, I have had experiences in my life where I have this imposter syndrome, both in, um, like work, like professional, but also personal. And I feel like imposter syndrome is something that has talked about so much in terms of like your business and the things that you're wanting to achieve in doing your life. But sometimes the imposter syndrome can also come into. Personal life, and I don't feel like that's talked about very much. So I'd love to know what your, um, both your perspectives are. I'll start with you, Adam, on having it in both and what it, what, if you have specific examples each have looked like. Yeah. I

Adam:

think there's a bigger thing here to discuss. Um, so I'll set aside the imposter syndrome for a second and I'll, I'll address that head on after I, I make a couple of points. Mm-hmm. and, and, and so the first thing that I want to talk about, How we categorize our life. You know, there's our personal life, there's our business life, there's our family life, there's our, all of these different categories. And although I think a lot of times the intention is pure to understand all of these different categories, one thing that I need to make clear is you are always. Adam is always Adam. Whether I'm in an in business environment, whether I'm in a family environment, whether I'm in a friend environment, whether I'm in any of those things, Adam is always Adam. And so if I'm experiencing imposter syndrome, it's likely that that imposter syndrome affects my lens and how I view the world in all of those categories. So the first thing that I would encourage is to, to dissolve. The boundaries of what categories are dissolve them, allow yourself to be you no matter where you are, but in, in context of like, how do I navigate the feelings of doubt, the feelings of. Um, challenging my own self worth in sort of a personal life setting, right? Like that can look in a variety of ways that could look like I don't go to the gym because I'm never going to be that fitness all star that we see on television, right? And so a part of all of those experiences is letting go. The romanticized extremes of anything you're working on, right? Like we live in a world of perceived perfection. So any time that we ourselves are not accomplishing that sense of per perfection, we feel a lack of motivation to pursue. , right? So again, we can use the fitness as an example. The media is very, it's very common for the media to show these images of very robust built, you know, healthy individuals that penetrates what we perceive as health, right? So we began viewing health in that sort of bulky manner, which. solidify or be used as a mechanism to validate our feelings of not good enough. Mm. And because it validates our feelings of not good enough, we're less motivated to move forward. And the the sort of like, Flipping that script on its ass a little bit, we've gotta change the inner NA narrative, right? Like working out for the sake of being ripped is a very material experience. I want to feel comfortable and confident and strong in my body. If that is the motive, it doesn't matter what the media presents itself as because it's impossible to affect that motive, right? Like nobody works out saying, I want to go feel like shit , right? And in fact, if you're somebody who does have that inner dialogue of working out feels like shit, chances are your whole experience of going to work is full of resistance. Yeah. Or you're

Alysha:

not gonna

Adam:

do it, or you're not gonna do it because you'll think about it. You'll say, uh, I don't want to go feel like shit. Why should I punish myself? I'm done. Yeah. And so, you know, not to the Simon cynic level, uh, but, but understand why you're doing stuff, but, and you don't need to understand why you're doing stuff in order to act. , right? Like that's one of those really big questions of why am I doing this? And so the thing I see most common in the entrepreneurial space particularly is people thinking about, right, trying to solve that problem. I can't do anything cuz I don't know why yet. So like, think about, think about, think about, think about. So again, my, my perspective is, is all of it needs to coexist. We need to simultaneously understand our why while we're moving forward. These two forces need to coexist. We need to accept our imposter syndrome while we experience our confidence. These two forces need to coexist, and this idea, this basic principle of coexist. Can trickle into every area, can trickle into every philosophical conversation, can trickle into every entrepreneurial pursuit, can trickle into every area of self perspective and self value. Um, and I think it's particularly applicable to, to the, to the implications of imposter syndrome and, and having a harder time seeing your own value. And the last thing I'll see about that is like, it's impossible to see your own value from the lens of the eyes other than. . That's something I'm really realizing right now. I can't see my contribution to the world the same way the people I'm serving can. So there's a, there's like a, there's like a permission that I'm experiencing like a, giving a permission to the other people to acknowledge what they see about my pursuits because I can't see it the way they can. Um, and, and that's, that's an emerging thing for me. That's new. That's very. I have no idea how well I answered your question or if I answered it at all, but those are all the things that come to me.

Alysha:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's all divine and I think the, the non-com compartmentalization of our life, like you showing up as you in every single scenario or place or whatever you're gonna be in, is exactly it, right? Cause we think about, oh, I'm imposter here, I'm imposter here. But really it's an overall experience

Jade:

that segues perfectly into. where I feel inspired to express because I have had a massive confrontation and experience with imposter syndrome lately in like the fruition of this podcast. Like the day before we did episode one, I was freaked out because just the thought of having my voice broadcasted and I don't know what to say and do I really have value? What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Just all of those thoughts were spiraling and I was spinning out and just, I fully gave myself permission to go through that and to just like cry and hide under a blanket, . Cause that was genuinely how I was feeling. And even now, During this present podcast, I've had thoughts of like, but what am I really gonna say? I don't what? I don't know what I'm gonna say. It's like, well just say what's true for you in the moment You're experiencing it right now. Imposter syndrome, you know, and it's been cool. This week to navigate something that Adam touched on, which is giving yourself permission to go there and have your freak out and do the thing anyways, but also set boundaries. So like having the living question of, okay, I'm going to do this. Like, I knew I was gonna do the podcast and I was excited about it. That was present too, like the, the, the inner knowing that like this. A new seed that's being planted. And I don't know what it's gonna lead to, but I feel good about it. The fear and the freakout is there too. So like I had already made the decision like, I'm going to do this. This is something that's, that's a yes for me. Sometimes when I feel imposter syndrome, there's that question of like, Is this something that I'm afraid of that I need to pursue anyway? Or am I having like mixed feelings about this because it's really not for me and I do need to change something or set boundaries around it. And so having that question present was really important and actually bled into my personal life where like I had that freak out day. We did episode one, which was. I felt very, very calm and just kind of showed up and whatever unfolded. And I noticed there were a few moments in my relationships a couple days after where I said things that I was really scared to say and I just trusted fully,

Alysha:

like this is my truth right now. So here it is, and

Jade:

if it's a mistake that I said that, like that'll, I'll deal with that. But ultimately, like the. Momentum that accepting imposter syndrome and not resisting it and instead connecting to what your truth is the best that you can, and just trusting that is like so fruitful. So that's, that's my little piece about this.

Adam:

I think it's a part of human nature. Mm-hmm. to question our role in the world. And I think that's ultimately what imposter syndrome. Am I doing enough? Am I caring hard enough? Am I providing enough value? Am I being of service? Am I loving to the best of my capability? And I think we're arriving at a really important realization in that. And that realization is human beings at their core want to do good in the. They want to be helpful, right? And imposter syndrome is the byproduct of that desire. And again, in our current world, the, the sort of narrative is like humans are bad. Don't trust your strangers like humans cause a lot of harm. And I think that narrative is fucked up because what that does is it because humans are bad and we just accept that it has a sweeping under the rug. All the systematic contributor contributors that are creating human experiences that cause harm. We don't, we're not just born. That way. It's the byproduct of our experiences. So then how do we create a system that creates experiences that empowers the already existing human potential? That is the question.

Alysha:

Yeah. Like you said, it, it comes down to the fact that we are just a collection of our experiences and past conditioning and all of that. Right. And it's like, That deservingness of being known of being successful. Sometimes we can lose touch with the fact that like, that those are like people that are successful and really well known. Those are just other humans that are also just living based on and, and trying to heal and all of that. Um, one of the biggest things that came up for me, I guess in reflecting on this is of like, why do I fear being known and it's, it's around that same sort of theme of I'll never be washed clean enough of all the mistakes in the past through all this self-development work and exploration and self-awareness, I'll never be washed clean enough to be a good leader, to be a good role model like that. Sort of like undeserving this of like, I'm not all the way up there like them yet, but they are exactly like us. Some of them even. Further behind in their journey of self-awareness and healing and all of that. So that's something that really came up for me as I was thinking about what you were saying and I'd love to know from you, Jade, as well. Like what do you think and around sort of like the, the why that comes up

Jade:

for you. It's so broad. It's such a broad, yeah. I think I'll just say what is on my mind, which is when it comes to. Assuming that people who are perceived as successful and they have the limelight that they've always wanted and they have the picture perfect Instagram and all of that, like I've super struggled in my path with thinking that like that's it, that when you achieve the perfect body finances,

Alysha:

um, the

Jade:

creations, whatever thing externally, Just presently where you are in the moment, just being you, but like that's the thing that's, you've arrived. Right? And I think why people, and myself included, I've experienced this, why we can be triggered into wanting to pick people apart and find flaws is because we really want to know that like. You're human though, right? Like you have all of this perfect thing, but you're, you're like me though, right? Like, you, you have flaws too. Like, we want to feel that connection and that's why authenticity and just being in the moment and expressing ourselves as we are and learning to accept, uh, the, the, uh, the baggage of it all, for lack of a better word, is so important. Cuz I think when we realize, oh wait, we're all. Like scared little kids inside. We all have that part of us and we all have the part of us that's like, I'm a bad motherfucker. I came here to do really cool shit. Like marrying those two and realizing that we're all trying to navigate that balance is so empowering cuz then it feels like there's space in the world for you. And um, that's, that's been a game changer for me is, is realizing that everybody is human and. I, that's, that's just where I felt inspired to go.

Adam:

The interesting thing about vulnerability, I mean, real vulnerability, not the catchphrase vulnerability, but the raw vulnerability is the only way to learn to be vulnerable is to experience it. So if you have leaders that lead by example, not theoretically, not like talking about, Hey, let's be vulnerable, but are demonstrating what vulnerability looks like. I don't know about you guys, but when I'm around somebody who is vulnerable, I feel so much more permission to be vulnerable. Mm-hmm. . And so vulnerable leaders create environments where we learn to see ourselves. That's what vulnerability. Seeing yourself truly and authentically and genuinely. And that's why I think it's so called for. It's so called for it. Cause we got so many masks in our world. We're told to be so many things and we view life as this external. I need to arrive at this thing or I need to arrive at this thing, just like Jade was talking about. And it gets in our way. It gets in our. Amen. . Alysha: Yeah. Amen. Um, totally. And I think. You know, in building off of last week's conversation around that success not being linear or being non-linear, um, and you never really arrive. You're just sort of, you know, going and going through the rollercoaster. Like as you overcome these obstacles and break down the barriers, like as you ride with imposter syndrome your whole life, as you learn to be vulnerable and accept other people. Vulnerability. You start to see yourself as more inherently deserving. You know, humans, just being other humans, like we're all in this kind of together, right? As you're on the rise, and then suddenly you can get to instances I feel, when you come down that are perpetuated by nobody else but you. Right? The self sabotage like you are on the rise, sort of, all right, I'm riding with this imposter syndrome. I'm just being human, I'm being vulnerable. This is great. And then suddenly it's like, Self-sabotage and it comes outta nowhere sometimes. But bringing awareness to it on like, why am I actually sabotaging this feeling of success or this potential for success? Um, I'd love to know how that shows up for you and like how have you learned to move through it?

Jade:

I have a bit of a story about that. Absolutely. Um, in 2020, I moved back to Florida and I started painting seashells just for fun. Like I was just dillydallying in my little art studio and I posted them on Instagram and I had around 15 people message me saying exactly this. I would pay money for this. And I was like,

Alysha:

oh. Okay, . Jade: Wow. This is something that really resonates with me because I love doing this. It's relatively easy for me. I love being at the beach and collecting these shells and the experience that I have on the beach fuels the artwork, so it's very regenerative and sustainable. I love dealing with people in this personalized, custom, creative way, and I started a poll asking people what they would pay and which ones would they want, and would they want variety packs. Took steps towards acting on that opportunity and then completely shut it down. Cuz the second I realized that what I had to offer was desired. I was overwhelmed with the feeling of expectation. And when I went to create, my shoulders were so tense, I was sweating. I wasn't enjoying it at all. Cause I was just like, now it has to be good. Like I just freaked. And completely didn't do anything for a year with the seashells. I just put 'em in the closet and was like, Nope, I just can't do that Then, and I had a moment in 2021. I don't know what the catalyst to it was, but I think it was probably a phase like this talking and realizing, like having realizations about imposter syndrome, where I was like, oh man. I totally had a success, fear and just shut it down. And, you know, maybe, let's see if that opportunity is still open for me because I really want to test the belief that like, Hey, what's yours isn't gonna go away. You know, you can still open that door again. It's there. And uh, I started painting the shells again and posted them and I wound up selling. Bunch of them and created a little business and made them into ornaments for the holidays. And, uh, it was really cool to experiment with, um, the grace of having gone through the process of shutting down something. That was a wonderful opportunity for me, realizing that I did that and then opening it up again to be like, well, let's see if that is going to work. And, um, this year, I feel really inspired to implement the stuff that we talk about here in regards to entrepreneurship to like this year's batch of shells. Cause I still feel like a total fetus in the world of entrepreneurship and selling my art and dealing with people, and I just did it. Pretty loosey goosey. Last year, I just posted stuff on Instagram or I, uh, I work at a little retail shop that I had my shells in and just kind of word of mouth made it happen. But I would love to develop more structured way of doing it, and that really, really scares me. So that's a, that's where I'm at with the seashells right now. But, uh, it started with self-sabotage. self-compassion is so important. When you look back on like, oh, there's this big opportunity that I missed. It's such a pressurized way of looking at things and I remember there's been so many instances where I felt in that moment, well, I'm not really in the moment cuz I'm thinking about. Uh, life, like something bigger that, that something bigger that we've talked about is looking down on me. Like, if you don't challenge yourself and take this opportunity, then you are not worthy, not lovable, not gonna be successful, not gonna, that's like, and I feel like at times that lens, like the way that I respond to opportunity is, , it creates overwhelm. That makes me want to go, Ooh, ooh. Like, I'm just not ready for this. And sometimes that's true. Sometimes the, maybe with the seashells the first time it really was like, man, this is a lot. I don't know if I'm ready for this. Ah, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna go back here for a year,

Jade:

until I finally feel like. Okay. That was a little scary, but like, let's, let's dip our toe in the water again and see if we can get this going. Um,

Alysha:

so, you know, it's interesting, like, just in my own experience and perspective, uh, I feel like my entire entrepreneurial journey so far has been, um, navigating sabotage, , , um, Beau, whether it. Like physical or like tangible or intangible. Um, A big struggle for me has been substances like as I am nearing or as I have a good day or something like that, I immediately think like, oh, what would make this better? Let's get wasted. Let's get super baked. Like, and like let's have a cigarette. Something that I've never, I quit smoking like three years ago, but it's almost like my mind goes back to that of like, how can we sabotage this like new level that you're entering And that's what's

Adam:

something that's so wick. About what, how, how we're raised to engage in rewarding ourselves. We've anonymized, is that a word? We've anonymized, rewarding ourselves with self-sabotage. We are like, yes, I'm doing the right things. I deserve this. . Right. Uh, and that's fucking crazy. I mean, Julia Cameron talks about it all the time in her, in, in all of her work. That's one. Two, I really want to challenge the perspective on the idea of self-sabotage. Those thoughts aren't coming from you. Those aren't your original thoughts. They are amplification and echoing. Of the thoughts we've heard throughout our cultural experience. So the, the sooner we accept that, the sooner we realize this isn't me doing it now. It is a part of my experience. That I am fully responsible for. I am responsible for this experience, but it is not me inherently that is causing this to myself. It is not my fault to allow that thinking to exist, but to not claim it as my own because it's not. It's an echo. It's not your own thinking. You didn't come out of the womb going, wow, I'm terrible. Look how bad I'm, that Didn't happen. That didn't happen. You came out of the womb desiring love, and where there isn't love, other things replaced it. And then when we desire love, and we're unfamiliar how to receive it. Substances play a great role in that motherfucker because they're as close as we can get to it.

Alysha:

Yep. Ugh. 100%. And that's been the the biggest journey in self-awareness process the whole time too, right? Of like, I'm not an addict, I. Tendencies. I have experiences. I grew up in an environment where that was very normalized, right? So it's, uh, yeah, it's, it's really interesting to sort of zoom out in that way or disassociate, um, based on, based on those things. So, yeah, and I mean, In regards to all of this, all the topics that we talked about throughout this, I'd love to know what are some of, you know, your final thoughts around navigating your fear, navigating your Sabo self sabotage. You know, even though it's impossible to do so, even, you know, imposter syndrome. Um, That you know is like leading you slowly but surely to courage and motivation to be known.

Adam:

I think the first thing I'll say to this is accept. Accept your current experience. Don't resist it. Accept that right now you're shy to take credit, except that right now you're struggling to see your value. Once. Once you've accepted it, pay attention. Because if life is a duet, if life is a holistic experience, is your attention on all of the good? That's one sided. Cuz it's not all good in the world, it's not all good In your experience, or is your attention on all of the c. Well, that's not true because it's not all challenge and bring balance, bring harmony. If you're observing in yourself that right now, my attention is really on this feeling of doubt, make a list of all of the things you've accomplished in your life. You're more badass probably than you give yourself credit for, and you'll get to a point where you realize your emotions are valid and they. but they are not all that you are. The challenging thoughts that you're having right now, they are valid and they matter, but your thinking is not all that you are. The things that you're doing in the world and efforting to accomplish, they matter. But they are not all that you are. Well, that's a wrap. Again, this is Voice and Impact podcast. My name is Adam. Thanks for being here. Thanks for being you. Thanks for doing all the good things you do, and we'll see you next week.