Do you feel like you’re enough to meet your calling?
People often reveal to me that what’s holding them back from their next level pursuit is a fear that they don’t have what it takes or are not good enough to pull it off.
What if we turned that fear on its head by accepting the truth of our not-enough-ness? Instead of being afraid that you don’t have what it takes, acknowledge that you actually don’t. Yet.
What are the assumptions embedded in this ‘not good enough’ fear?
I had a conversation with a friend recently who had heaps of experience, capacity, success and credentials who was cooking up something new. Not only did she feel fear, she felt like an imposter. After everything she’d done and learned and knew, this felt baffling to her.
On the one hand, this conversation shouldn’t be surprising, because the ‘who am I to’ comes up over and over again and not just for noobs. Even for people who are deeply established by many varying metrics, especially when looking to move or grow into a space that is edgy, risky or new, the unknown can be downright paralyzing.
Because here’s the thing with big dreams: There’s always a gap. There’s a gap between what we envision and our current reality and there’s a gap in our capacities and identities. New things are not certain. Abilities at these edges aren’t proven and the outcomes aren’t guaranteed. People who fulfill on visions do so not because they were ‘enough’ for those visions when they started, but because they grew into who they needed to be to meet and realize those visions in the future.
This friend and I were both curious why she felt like an imposter, versus say, a tentative student or beginner. When we have a dream or vision that feels new or big, what contributes to us feeling inadequate or like an imposter versus simply seeing the gap between our reality and dream as a space to move, learn and grow into?
I think Imposter Syndrome enters when we buy into the assumption that we should have already arrived at where we’re headed. We forget our humility. There seems to be an assumption that in order to succeed at something, we need to already have the skills, credentials and knowledge or that ‘enoughness’ is inherently tied to who we are.
I wonder if optics are a part of it. Others will find out that you’re not hot shit yet. Or that you’re in over your head. How much does the experience of the Imposter Syndrome have to do with us assuming we should be further or better in order to pursue and fulfill on a vision? How much does it have to do with unknowingly disconnecting from our vulnerability, from our tenderness and hope, from our sense of knowing and owning that we still have so much to learn?
What if the not-enough-ness wasn’t a value judgement on who you are, but simply an accurate assessment of what’s here and what isn’t? What if what isn’t here wasn’t a problem, but a compass?
The dreams I’m dreaming, the visions I have for my life and business and, most importantly, the contribution and impact I’d like to make? I don’t have a lot of what that takes. Yet. This feels deeply vulnerable. And exciting. I’m not an imposter. I’m human.
Not buying into the assumptions around enoughness, worthiness and arrival criteria means I don’t have to know how to do it or if it’ll work. It means that despite my current limitations, my dreams are still inviting me forward. I simply need to uncover layer after layer of the perspectives, skills and growth that’s needed in myself and my leadership and go about closing that gap. Not easy. Definitely enough.