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But I’m not a pro athlete...
But I’m not a celebrity or big influencer...
But I don’t have some wild inspirational background story...
But but but...
Those are the excuses I tried using when I started my speaking career years ago. I struggled looking at other leadership & motivational speakers' stories and comparing it to my own. I was guilty of telling myself I wanted to share the Compete Every Day message from more stages and then listening to the "BUT you don't..." voice in the back of my head.
It caused me to procrastinate doing the work I needed to be doing in order to grow my new career.
Imposter syndrome will tell you that it’s cool to have a goal or a mission BUT you know, “those other people” are more qualified than you.
Imposter syndrome will LIE and say you can’t succeed because you don’t have ________.
One of the best pieces of advice I got early in my speaking career was from a coach who saw that I was feeling like an "imposter." He told me:
“You’re right Jake, you don’t have those things. But guess what? I bet 90% of your audience doesn’t either.
“I bet the majority of people you speak to can’t relate with being homeless or overcoming certain adversities. But you know what they can relate to?
“They can identify with being broken after a failed relationship. They can relate to being trapped in a job that lacked fulfillment. They can feel the pain of being dragged down by toxic friendships.
They know what it’s like to just want to succeed and do more with your life but not know how. They understand what it’s like to repeatedly fill their spirit with things that won’t fill it. They relate to the burden of financial, emotional, and career stress.
I bet 90% of people you pour into will know exactly what it’s like to lose motivation, struggle with loss, and wish things were better.
"...And you’ll get the chance to help change that 90% mindset, perspective, and life.”
Everyone working toward something important will hear the whispers that they don’t belong.
Everyone growing toward a higher level will hear the doubts and what they “lack” to succeed.
It doesn’t matter what those voices say - it matters what you DO.
It doesn’t matter what that BUT says you lack - it matters what you choose to build.
Imposter syndrome will lie to you and trick you into NOT taking the action you need to. Other people may be doing what you want to do - but that doesn’t mean you can’t too.
You've done something to get to this point - own it. Don't discredit your growth because it isn't the same as someone else. Acknowledge what you've done until now, admit that you still have more you want to do, and believe that have earned the right to be in this position. Because you have.
Comparing yourself to everyone else will only rob you of the joy of what you've done. Train yourself to take your eyes off of everyone else's lane and dial it in on your own race. A race horse wears blinders to prevent it from being distracted by other horses or what's going on around it. These blinders allow it to only focus on what's ahead and run at its true top speed toward the finish line. The same applies to you. Put your blinders on and focus on your race.
The journey to success takes time. Every day is an opportunity to improve and continually hone our skills - but only if we adopt the mindset that we care more about getting better than what everyone else thinks. Imposter syndrome tricks us into believing other people will think we're a fraud being here - but that thought process is shut down when learn to not care what other people think so we can focus on getting better.
You 100% always control your attitude, effort, and actions. Even if you question if you belong "here," behave as if you do. Choose a positive attitude and give your best effort. Take action as if you belong in this position, even if the voices tell you otherwise. Act like a Competitor until you start to believe it.
There are other people out there less qualified than you, doing exactly what you want to do, because they didn’t let imposter syndrome stop them. They refused to listen to the voices!
They stop comparing themselves to *those* people and just started competing against themselves.
So how about you do too?