I am not an imposter…

Growing up I always had an underlying feeling that I was going to be caught out. That sounds like a really weird phrase to use and without an explanation very confusing, but what I mean if I am brutally honest is, I never recognised my skills/talents/things I was good, I just thought I was lucky, which is silly as I don’t really believe in luck! I think I better rewind…

Growing up in the 80’s (yes I owned leg warmers and a perm!!) my mum was a hairdresser, she would have a steady stream of people coming to the house and I would always help out. By the time I reached double figures I could perm, I could blow dry, I could colour and I could style, people always told me I had a real talent for hair but I just thought I could do it because I had to, to help my mum, I thought that one day someone would find out that I was just lucky so never pursued it as a career. At school I was in the netball team, the athletics team, the rounders’ team, the swimming team, everyone used to tell me how talented I was but I just used to think I was there because I was the best of a bad bunch and one day I would be found out.

When I reached The Nationals at gymnastics (yes, I did that as well!) I just thought I was there through luck and hard work and the talented gymnasts would catch me out and then I would be sent home. Obviously that didn’t happen because while I didn’t realise it then, I AM talented and what I was suffering from was a case of imposter syndrome. I hate admitting this now but I have lived most of my life feeling like this, I graduated from Uni because I was lucky with the exam questions, I was really good at my job when I was employed (my team were the second highest performing in the country under our area of expertise) because I had a great team behind me, I was accepted on a board of trustees because they were short on numbers. I never once ever believed that it was because I am actually talented, how sad it is for me to write this now, I never even really enjoyed my successes.

That changed however in 2010 when I was qualifying as a teacher. I was reading an article in a health magazine and I came across imposter syndrome, it was like the article was written for me, it described my whole life, the amazing achievements, the praise from others, the admiration of parents and peers, suddenly my whole life clicked into place. That day I decided that enough was enough, I wrote down all of the things that I had achieved, all the dreams and aspirations that I had but didn’t have the courage to pursue as I thought I wasn’t good enough and decided there and then that I was not going to let imposter syndrome ruin my life anymore. After I graduated in 2011 I set up The National Training Academy with my business partner and have never looked back. I am not saying that it is easy and I don’t have bad days, bad weeks even, I do, but I know exactly what is happening and how to deal with it.

If you ever feel as a business owner that you are not good enough, or you ever feel that you have got where you are on luck, I am here to tell you that is not the case, your business is where it is because of you and the amazing talent and determination that you have, don’t live like I did, live like I do now.