Podcast Notes: Imposter Syndrome

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I just listened to The Friend Zone Podcast episode featuring Franchesca Ramsey (MTV Decoded, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore) where they discuss dealing with “Imposter Syndrome.” I highly, highly recommend it.


Here are some of the notes I jotted down while listening: 

  • Imposter Syndrome
    • Speak on the subject you’re qualified to speak on: your experience, your art. Get comfortable saying things like:
      • “I’m not qualified to speak on that subject”
      • “I don’t know the answer to that question”
      • “Getting back to… (original subject of the conversation)”
    • There’s a difference between confidence and cockiness. Confidence comes from doing the work. Ask questions, always be willing to learn.
    • Success creates an illusion of perfection, when in reality there was so much hard work, struggle, and failure behind it
    • No one’s a guru or expert, we all feel like we don’t know what we’re doing
    • Placing people on pedestals is problematic
    • Recognizing the self-sabotage feelings (belittling your own work and accomplishments).
  • Concrete things that help with Imposter Syndrome
    • Track your progress instead of focusing on where you haven’t gotten / successes you haven’t achieved yet
    • Make lists
    • Keep a planner/schedule (hand-written one rather than digital)
    • Write down what you have to do to feel happy/productive this day/week
    • Write down 5 good things – things you did to get here. Remind yourself of what you did to get here. Be proud of yourself. You’re reconfirming for yourself what your purpose is. Sometimes you forget the hard work you did to get here/there.
  • Defining success for yourself
    • My path is my path. Looking around means you’re not looking forward.
    • Finding and embracing your definition of success
      • I’m not anyone else
      • You’re not gonna make me feel bad because I have different goals
      • Being particular about what I chase
      • Be okay with your successes
    • Social media makes it seem like people are so busy, but busy doesn’t mean productive or paid
    • Comparing self to people, but you never know what those people are going through. You can spend that time doing something for yourself instead of comparing yourself to them. Plus, we measure against their successes and not the whole picture that includes their failures and struggles.
      • Also, somebody could be sitting and comparing themselves to you!
      • You might be goals for someone else!
      • It’s not an all-encompassing view and it’s not help to compare
    • It’s said that success changes people. Success changes peoples perceptions of you, and you react to that, and that’s perceived as change.
    • There’s always that family or friend that says, “How’s your little” project going, belittling what you do, and yet they’re excited to claim you.
      • React with the power of the close-mouthed smile and slow nod
    • Success: The difference is not that you’re not afraid. You’re super scared, but you’re working through your fear.
  • Building a support network 
    • Being inspired by people you admire instead of feeling in competition with them.
    • Have friends grinding like you. Be united. Be there for each other. Hold the door open for each other.
    • We are all nervous about what we are doing. We’re all like little kids, “How’d I do?” What makes you think status allows people to bypass human emotions
    • Speak life into your friends!
  • More
    • Be the change you want to see. Ex. Don’t like people arguing on Twitter? Don’t argue on Twitter.
    • Cheer yourself on. Be your own cheerleader.
    • Relatability is so important for human beings
    • Pain can be a gift. Pain births great art. Use your pain (doesn’t mean to nurture and create pain and be destructive to oneself)
    • It’s about creating the art we were meant to create.

Overall, I appreciate the hosts and Franchesca being raw and open about their experiences with anxiety and Imposter Syndrome. I hope you benefit from the episode as much as I did!

One response to “Podcast Notes: Imposter Syndrome”

  1. you are so wise & creative. at my age (74) I am learning so much from your insights and brave initiatives. bless you

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