An insidious syndrome that, should you suffer from it, grows proportionate to your success.
It lurks just outside your periphery. You know, that place just past where you can see? Where you can only sense a presence?
It’s from there imposter syndrome likes to whisper behind your ear, “You don’t actually know what you’re doing. It wasn’t that special. Anyone could have done it.”
And the more success you have the more sinister the whispers. “Just wait until everyone finds out you’re a fraud.”
And if you’re reading this, silently hoping I’m about to reveal a secret weapon that banishes the vile voices, then I’m so, so sorry.
I haven’t found it yet. Thus far, all I’ve uncovered is a quieting balm to tame its tone.
Here it is:
Remember that everyone is a free moral agent and that everything you’ve built is only opt in.
You haven’t coerced anyone to give you money or attention. They have chosen to do so. Which means it doesn’t matter how talented or qualified you think you are.
What matters is that someone saw your work and decided they wanted it. Full stop.
Some will say, “Yeah, I know they like it, but it’s not as good as I want it to be.”
To that I say, “Poppycock. Fiddle-faddle.”
You’re allowed to accept that someone liked your work while simultaneously acknowledging (to yourself silently) that you can improve. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.
Don’t let imposter syndrome rain on your parade.
You worked for it. Enjoy it. Body and mind.
– Zac Smith, VC