Issue #158

I’m a fake

Few years ago, bloggers had a really big conference. It used to be called Blogworld, then it was renamed to the New Media Expo.

It was a pretty good conference. And, at the time, I got involved with helping them. I spoke there a few times, and I also organized their monetization track for a couple years.

It was actually a really cool experience in many ways. However, one feeling that popped up with me sometimes was…

I’m a fake.

When I was in the room speaking to a crowd of close to 300 people in this big conference room, they were all interested. It was quite a popular session. Yet, I was nervous. Part of me was wondering… “why are they listening to me?” I’m just a regular dude.

When I was organizing the tracks and lining up speaking gigs with a lot of “big names” you definitely would have heard of, there was that little voice that said “I’m a fake.” I’m not good enough.

Even weirder were all those times attendees would go out of their way to meet me. They’d wait in lines after my talk to meet me. They’d ask to take their pictures with me. Like I’m some kind of freakin’ celeb or something. I mean, just bring on the “I’m such a fake!” crap now! Cuz, man, there’s nothing weirder than that.

I’m just a dude from Florida. I happen to make a living blogging. I barely ever even wear pants. 😉 And, there I was in Las Vegas and people were asking to take photos with me like I was some kind of bad ass.

It was some serious imposter syndrome.

Because… I knew my “behind the scenes”. And all of us have this weird habit of thinking that everybody else has it figured out while you don’t.

The more I’ve talked to others, the more I have found that this imposter syndrome isn’t exactly exclusive.

Even people running multi-million dollar businesses feel inadequate sometimes. Much the same as somebody first starting out feels big-time imposter syndrome merely being perceived as an “expert”.

It’s not a bad thing. In fact, it can be motivating. I think it is just part of being human.

You know your behind the scenes. You know every little thought you’ve ever had. Others are seeing just the exterior, and they will almost always err on the side of thinking that YOU’VE got things more figured out than they do.

And that imposter syndrome is also amplified when YOU feel you’re not living up to your own potential. But, I see that more as a matter of execution. You can do something about that.

Here’s what I do…

I’m more or less pretty good at not comparing myself to other people. I’ve gotten much better at it over time.

In my field of online business, a lot of people talk about income levels. There’s this funny hierarchy of “six figure businesses”, “7 figure businesses”. In this business, everybody talks about it. Which is funny, because in the real world businesses don’t go around talking about their income levels. So, in MY field specifically, it would be pretty easy to feel like a fake. I know many people in this business who make more money than I do.

Thing is…

They are not living the life I want to live. Period.

I’m not reaching for their goals. I’m reaching for my own. And for me, I would rather be sitting next to my motorhome in some awesome location, hanging out by the campfire smoking a cigar or something. That’s me.

So, what are YOUR goals? What does success look like for you?

Compare to that. Not to others.

And in terms of feeling like a fake or an imposter…

They all feel like that. So, you’re not a fake at all. You’re human. 🙂 And there’s nothing wrong with being humble and realizing you have room for improvement. It’s the people who think they’re all that and a bag of chips that are the weird ones. 😉

– David

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