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Everything Imposter Syndrome Tells You Is A Big, Fat Lie

The benefits of changing your perspective

Ellen Goodwin
4 min readMar 11, 2021

Change to survive. Isn’t that one of the things humans are supposed to do?

To make changes as we go through life to be happier, make more money, enjoy our time, and, yes, become a better version of ourselves.

One of the joys (and I say that with all of the sarcasm that I can muster) that accompanies making said changes is the arrival of an annoying, uninvited guest, Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome settles in like a judgmental relative, declaring if you try to change things, people will figure out that you are a fake and a fraud.

It repeatedly asks, “who do you think you are” to be changing anything in your life.

It excels at making you feel awkward or uncomfortable, often to the point where you just want to stay where you are in life, even if that place seriously sucks.

We believe everything Imposter Syndrome tells us, but the truth is: it’s a big, fat lie.

Change is supposed to feel different and a little uncomfortable. The discomfort isn’t a sign that you are doing something wrong. It’s actually a sign that you are on the right track, and you aren’t really an imposter at all.

If you’re trying to eat better, replacing your afternoon soda and cookies with a piece of fruit and some mineral water will feel uncomfortable at first. Who are you to be eating like that?

You miss the taste of the chocolate chips and the buzz of the soda. The healthy food track is not where you want to be. And yet, if you’re going to eat better, you have to be the person who eats a piece of fruit for a snack.

You have to visit the land of the people who make healthy food choices.

I recently read a blog post from Ash Ambirge of “The Middle Finger Project,” where she compared making changes and working towards new goals to visiting a new country. (In my example, it’s the country of People Who Eat Fruit.) She talked about how Imposter Syndrome shows up as the “nauseating feeling that we all get when we’re exploring new lands.”

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Ellen Goodwin

Productivity Consultant, TEDx Speaker, Podcast Co-host, Author of DONE: How To Work When No One Is Watching. Learn more at Ellen@EllenGoodwin.com