Hey hey! Welcome to Friday Bullpen Sessions! Today, I’m going to talk to you about a problem that I know is not unique to me — Imposter Syndrome.
Are you familiar with Imposter Syndrome? Do you ever feel like you just don’t belong? Do you ever wonder what right you have to be doing what you’re doing? I see this all the time in my coaching clients, and sometimes I even struggle with it myself. I think, “I’m not the very best at what I do — What right do I have to coach other people?”
I even feel a little bit of Imposter Syndrome when I’m receiving coaching for myself, too. If I’m in a coaching session or a mastermind and I look around and notice that the people around me are having way more success than I am, I start to think, “Why should I get to be in the room with these guys? I don’t belong here — I’m not at their level. What right do I have to be here?”
Imposter Syndrome is all about comparison. When we compare ourselves to people we think are “better” or more successful than we are — whether they really are more successful or not — we start to doubt ourselves. We get discouraged, and we rob ourselves of the credit we actually deserve. And in the worst-case scenarios, Imposter Syndrome can cause us to back off our careers entirely, shut down our businesses, and stop striving for the success we desire.
But here’s the good news: First of all, it’s okay to experience Imposter Syndrome. We all feel it from time to time — It’s normal, and it doesn’t make any of us unique. But second of all, you can overcome it. You don’t have to let Imposter Syndrome keep you down! You can overcome that negative comparison, stop feeling discouraged, and keep striving for success.
That’s why today, I’m sharing my stories of experiences with Imposter Syndrome and the top three tips to overcoming it that I’ve picked up along the way. I’ve had moments — most notably in my professional baseball career — when I let Imposter Syndrome defeat me. But I’ve also learned how to overcome it, and that’s why I’m as successful as I am today. Are you ready to overcome your Imposter Syndrome and start building new confidence in yourself? Then let’s dive in!
My Story: From Defeat to Success
Those of you who have been here a little while know that on this show, I love to look at my past experiences in professional baseball, break them down, and see what lessons we can learn and apply to our business careers. And man, do I have a good one today!
Back when I was playing professional baseball, I played for the Milwaukee Brewers Organization. I played Division I ball in college but at one of the smaller schools. When I got into professional ball, I was up against guys who’d played at LSU, Texas, Ole’ Miss, Arizona State, you name it — Those guys were way bigger threats on the field than I was, or at least it felt that way.
Needless to say, I was nobody’s number one draft pick. I wasn’t a starter, and I wasn’t a closer. My job was to step out onto the field in the middle of a game if the starting pitcher was having a rough night just to keep the team playing. I wasn’t the most important guy on the team, and I wasn’t considered one of the best athletes in the world — I was just good enough to keep us afloat for a little while if necessary.
So I was already experiencing some Imposter Syndrome when my team — the Helena Brewers — played the Missoula Osprey at their stadium in Missoula. Now, the coaches had warned us that summer Friday night that the stands would likely be filled with college kids home on break who had had a little too much to drink, and that they had a reputation for trying to make the games a nightmare for the away team. And that night they did, and I made the mistake of letting them get to my head.
During that game, I was called in to pitch. I got up to the mound, and the guy at-bat for the Osprey was an elite athlete named Andres Torres. This guy was big and massively talented — and I was not. I’m not a particularly tall guy, and I was intimidated. And then the crowd started chanting: “How can you pitch when you’re five-foot-six?! How can you pitch when you’re five-foot-six?!” Over and over, I heard that line repeated, and I thought, “How can I pitch? What right do I have to be here?”
I let those drunk college kids totally discourage me that night. I didn’t pitch well — and I continued not pitching well for the remainder of my short career with the Milwaukee Brewers organization. I was let go shortly after, and that was the end of my professional baseball career.
Now, you might think that I learned my lesson after that. You might hope to hear that I never listened to another negative voice again and that every hard failure or mistake just fueled my motivation to go out there and succeed in business, but that’s not quite true. Even in moments when I was just getting started with my own business, I experienced self-doubt and Imposter Syndrome. I remember joining a Mastermind as a brand new entrepreneur and thinking, “What right do I have to be here? These guys are way bigger and better than me — I shouldn’t be in a room with them.”
To this day, I still struggle with Imposter Syndrome sometimes. I think, “What right do I have to charge people for my coaching and advice?” But let me tell you something: I do have that right, and so do you. As entrepreneurs, we have the right to put ourselves in rooms with people who can help us grow and improve, and we have the right to overcome Imposter Syndrome and go into battle against the Andres Torres-es in our businesses. Let’s dive into a few tips we can all use to stop feeling defeated and overcome Imposter Syndrome:
#1: You Are Valuable If You Aim for Impact
Let me start by saying this: You are valuable. You have unique skills, talents, and value you can offer other people. All you have to do is wake up every day with the goal of creating an impact with your gifts.
Now, if you’re more interested in using your talents just to make a lot of money, it’s a different story. There are far too many people out there who are willing to do anything, say anything, or be anything to get you to buy their products. That’s not bringing value — That’s just earning cash.
But if you’re hustling because you believe in your message and you’re committed to adding value to people’s lives, then you are worthy. You are valuable. You have a right to put yourself in the right rooms, make connections with the right people, invest in yourself, and make your business the biggest and best it can be.
#2: Are You helping People Who Are a Step or Two Behind You?
Here’s the thing: You’re always going to feel like you’re less-than in comparison with somebody. But think about the people you’re aiming to help with your business. Where are they? Are they playing on your level? Or are they a step or two behind you?
Let’s take business coaching, for example. Say you’ve built and scaled your business, and now you’re consistently making five-figures a month. That’s great! Now maybe you’re trying to coach entrepreneurs who are also hitting five-figures a month. You’re probably a little out of their league — Those people want to grow and scale, and you don’t have the expertise or experience yet to help them do it. But if your clients are making five-figure months only three or four times a year, they could definitely benefit from your help!
If you are a step or two ahead of your clients, then you have something to offer them. You have experience operating at a level higher than theirs, and you can teach them how to level-up.
#3: Clearly Define the Problem, Process, and Results
Here’s my last tip for you today: If you’re trying to overcome Imposter Syndrome, one of the best things you can do is follow this three-step process:
- Clearly define the problem you solve.
- Clearly define your process for solving it.
- And clearly define the result your clients will get after working with you.
If you can define and explain the problem you solve, how you solve it, and the results you can help people achieve, there is no reason to feel like an imposter. If you know exactly what value you offer others, you can have confidence, knowing that you’re actually creating an impact and not just wasting your clients’ time and money.
You Are Legit, and You Are Here for the Right Reasons
I hope these tips helped you out today! If I could offer you one last word of encouragement: You do have the power to overcome your Imposter Syndrome and start leading with confidence. If you are committed to making an impact, teaching people who are a step or two behind you, and able to clearly define your process and outcome, you are not an imposter. You add value to people’s lives, and you deserve all the abundance coming to you.
Thanks so much for checking out this episode! If you enjoyed it, please share a screenshot on Instagram and tag me, @andy_neary. I’d love to hear your biggest takeaways! And don’t forget to leave me a five-star review over on Apple Podcasts — that helps this podcast reach more people like you!
And just before I go, I want to remind you to check out my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it’s a great way to learn how to scale your business and make connections with other entrepreneurs. I’ll tell you, I’ve participated in masterminds myself, and they’ve totally changed my life and my business for the better. I hope you’ll consider signing up for mine!
You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.
Until next time, remember — You are valuable. You deserve abundance.
I’ll catch you later!