The Imposter Syndrome Two-Step

Mitch Schneider
October 22, 2019

First, a shout-out to Peter Shepherd (my altMBA Coach) and Jen Waldman for their incredible podcast (The Long and The Short of It) whose topic today was the Imposter Two-Step.

I’ve spent the past hour trying to duct tape my head back together!

It wasn’t that Peter’s explanation of the Imposter Syndrome was so painfully accurate. It was the simple coping mechanism he offered to deal with it that caused my head to explode. You see, my name is Mitch Schneider, and I’ve suffered from the Imposter Syndrome my entire life.

I think we all have, haven’t we? Haven’t you?

How many times has that small voice constantly whispering in your ear questioned why you were asked to do something of consequence? How many times has it challenged your credentials?

Who Are You?

“Who are you to speak on this subject? Why would anyone listen?”

Sound familiar? It certainly does to me! I experienced this while I wrote and then delivered my “Give Me Your Tired and Broken Cars” speech. I fight that demon every time I write a column, an address, a presentation or even this blog post.

It is the ultimate obstacle. A self-imposed restraint. A perpetual brake when you need more horsepower, not something to slow you down or get in the way. There are always going to be more than enough challenges to overcome.

How do you deal with that devil? The devil that accompanies anything and everything of consequence asked of us?

You recognize that buzz in your ear for what it is, and you write down what it is trying to tell you: you write it down or record it. That’s the first step.

The second step? You respond, telling that voice in your head why you are qualified to do whatever you’ve been asked to do, whether by yourself or anyone else. You articulate what makes you capable: the one to speak, write, manage or lead. Or, you simply shrug and say you’re going to do it anyway!

That voice is not likely to go away. It’s a function of evolution. Something that’s kept us alive on the planet for millennia. But it can be managed, and you and I can learn to manage it!

Related Stories