Day 19 of the ’30 Ways To Play With Your Imposter Syndrome’ Challenge.
Sorry for being slightly loopy with yesterday’s email.
I’m feeling better now. That’ll probably reduce the strangeness.
Proof of your abilities is not single-use. One failure does NOT mean you can never use that proof again.
Elon Musk’s Earth-changing plan
“SpaceX has some of the most advanced rocket technology in the world and its pioneering reusable rockets will prove crucial to the Starlink plan. The rocket system allows the boosters, which are usually discarded after a single use, to land safely back on land and be reused for other launches.”
When get a boost of validation, do you treat it as all or nothing?
If someone recognises your abilities…
Or if you earn that qualification or promotion…
Or if you accomplish something remarkable…
… do you treat it as a precarious house of cards waiting to fall at any moment?
And if you fail ONCE in some way… do you fear all you’ve achieved is out the window…
… and you’ll be discovered as a fraud?
Remember that those forms of validation are NOT single use.
One failure doesn’t make YOU a failure.
Understanding that (and believing it), I’ve found to be VERY helpful.
One failure doesn’t discard all the other proof of your capabilities.
And thinking that way puts all that validation and proof to waste.
Treat proof of your abilities like Elon Musk’s SpaceX treats rocket boosters.
As you read above, traditionally rockets boosters are treated as single use.
They push the rocket up… then become useless. Discarded.
Don’t treat your own ‘boosters’ that way.
Don’t think that once you fail, you’re not allowed to be boosted back up by your previous accomplishments.
Be like SpaceX… find ways to REUSE these boosters.
As I said before, proof of failure doesn’t mean proof YOU are a failure.
Especially when you compare that to your track record of successes.
Now, I imagine many of us are fearful of clinging to the shadows of our old successes.
We might be scared to become people so caught in past successes, that we lose the ability to succeed in the present.
And you know what? There’s truth there. Old successes alone WON’T make you succeed today.
But it’s fine to let old successes give you a boost. And remind you that you ARE capable of achieving things now and in future too.
Famous American author Maya Angelou had a popular quote about her own imposter syndrome:
“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.”
The thing is… even if she DID somehow write a substandard book that disappointed everyone…
… she had plenty of other books she could use as proof she was NOT running a ‘game’ on everybody.
Maya Angelou could have still used those past successes as proof she was NOT a fraud.
That she was a good writer.
Even if her next book completely failed.
Instead of being a fraud, Maya Angelou would still be the real thing.
Just the real thing who happened to fail once.
If you’re reading this now, chances are you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in past glories.
Your imposter syndrome keeps that risk low.
(Thanks imposter syndrome!)
Because of that, feel free to celebrate your past successes sometimes, even during your failures.
If they are the boost you need to get up, aim high, and start doing good things again…
… then it’s a waste NOT to use them!
And I’ll need to keep that in mind too…
… that when I fail, I shouldn’t waste my successes as a result.
Lucus “You raise boost me up” Allerton
Screenshot proof below:
(You’ll see it only if you have images enabled.)
Taken 2018-11-19 at 11.18.23 am