Imposter Syndrome is one of those mental health buzzwords that has been floating around a lot lately. If you’re not familiar with Imposter Syndrome, it has to do with the feeling of inadequacy when compared to your peers. Think about the last time you sat in a conference where a highly respected professional in your field gave a talk. You likely got the “oh, I’d love to be as successful as they are” feeling of awe. That feeling is typically followed by the doubt that you’ll ever be half as good as they are.
It doesn’t have to be that way though.
See, imposter syndrome is just our own self doubt creeping into our minds. It’s a mind trick we play on ourselves for some reason. Maybe we’re afraid of looking foolish because we bit off more than we could chew. Maybe we think that the only path to success is by following in the footsteps of other successful people. I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t know the reason we feel imposter syndrome.
What I do know is that it’s a bunch of B.S.
Think about one successful person you know. Maybe it’s Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or whoever. Do you think they became successful by following in other people’s footsteps? By walking down a path that’s been smoothed out by hundreds of people who walked it before them? Of course not. They became successful by blazing their own trail. They did things their own way.
Neither Gates or Zuckerberg had a formal business degree when they created their companies. Even their computer knowledge – what they built their businesses around – was largely learned outside of school, at least initially. If you heard about either of them at the start of their companies, you might write them off as a hack. Today, they’re some of the richest men in the world thanks to the businesses they founded.
Don’t worry about someone else’s path to success. Often times the most successful people make their own paths.