Are you an impostor
Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in, maybe at a networking function or when I’m out of my comfort zone – it’s a weird feeling and it can cause a bit of anxiety but luckily I know how to deal with it these days.
When I was in the sales room and was swiping someone’s card for thousands of dollars, I would wonder to myself, ‘am I a fake’, ‘am I ripping these people off?’ Impostor syndrome is something I only found about a few years ago, I was talking to my mate Andy Ford and he said ‘oh yeah, it’s a thing’.
I had told him that I didn’t feel like I was the kind of person who deserved the success I was achieving, somehow in my mind, these people were captains of industry or business leaders and I never thought it could be me, but it is me, and a lot of other people, millions of them actually.
Impostor syndrome can affect people no matter who they are or how successful you they are, I still get it now after being in business for more than 40 years.
This feeling of inadequacy or self-doubt is something that you need to be acutely aware of. In my experience sharing, I talk about being prepared to have a go at this photography business and how most people won’t even take the first step, they’re the voyeurs, the ones who look on and want to do it, but won’t, but for those of you who do, the rewards are enormous.
When baby birds jump
You know when you watch baby birds taking their first flight from the nest? That’s a bit what it’s like, they’re all hesitant at first but when they jump, they fly, they might wobble around a bit at first but they’re flying, the others are still in the next wanting to do the same thing and some of them will but others will be taken by predators or die of starvation because there’s no-one to feed them anymore.
I’m Mark Lait and I was a baby bird once but I jumped and when I did, there was no instructions, I jumped into a cloudy sky so I flapped like mad, hoping I was not going to crash into something and guess what – I didn’t. I can teach you how to fly if you want me to.
If you’re a jumper, you’ll also be flapping like mad but gradually see your success start to happen, and people will look to you as an expert, the person who knows about ‘that photography stuff’ and suddenly, you have a new persona, you’re that person that became me.
I was terrified when I first realised that what I wanted to happen was actually happening, I didn’t know how to handle it.
Become the leader
I recognised it and stupidly thought, ‘what if someone exposes me’ I thought I was a fraud and it’s not uncommon to think like that but once you’ve reached this point – there’s a real shift in your reality. When you stop doing things like checking things for the tenth time to make sure they are perfect or discounting your successes by saying things like, ‘oh, anybody could have done it’ or ‘it’s okay but look at this mistake I made here’ you’ve made a quantum leap … own it, don’t be afraid, be the leader and people will follow
You will become that person you wanted to be because you started acting like them, and now, people think that’s who you are but the last one to find out is generally you.
Impostor Syndrome is a good thing, when you become aware of it – you have grown.
Our beginner’s guide to photography course can be found here so check it out, and if you want a different perspective on this most curious of conditions, here’s a link to an article by the ABC which explains it from their point of view, it’s quite a good read.
I would like you to share this with your friends and I look forward to seeing you next time when I‘m going to talk about those people who tell you it can’t be done, that you’ll never be successful. See you then.