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No matter how much we accomplish, how much money we make, how big the house or fast the car, if we don’t have a solid sense of our own worth – we will always feel like an impostor. I’ve worked with multi-millionaires who feel they have nothing to offer to the world. My clients have been highly successful people who still wrestle with the impostor syndrome.
Heck, *I* wrestle with it on a regular basis. I think most of us who are in the knowledge economy have regular episodes of doubt about our worth. It’s understandable because there’s always a constant stream of newer more successful people who are claiming to know more than everyone else, be more capable, have more skills, etc. But the reality is they are struggling just as much to keep up with the information and new technology as we are.
I was explaining to a coaching client this week that she didn’t have to know everything, that in fact she COULDN’T know everything, but the fact that she didn’t know everything wasn’t a failing on her part. She was still highly accomplished in her field, very well respected by the big dogs in her industry, and could certainly command a much higher hourly rate. She wasn’t having any of it.
Sometimes we want to hold on to our limiting self-beliefs, they’re comfortable. Even for those people who read self-help books, or attend seminars on empowerment, there’s oftentimes a piece of them that is scared to give up and change. To try something new.
But we must find ways to break down those beliefs. Using myself as an example, I know a lot about podcasting and YouTube and self-publishing. I’ve written and produced 5 books, over 50 different videos, and 50 episodes of my podcast. I know a great deal about how to make, market and produce digital media. I know more than 95% of my fellows. Do I get paid for that knowledge? Yes.
Do I look to the superstars in the podcasting world like Jared Easley, Cliff Ravenscraft and Pat Flynn and think I can’t keep up, and no one should pay me, because I’m not as good those guys? It’s happened. But I realize that in every industry, there are superstars and that comparing myself to them is not helpful. They’ve been at it years more than me.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have to something to share that is valuable. To someone who is just starting out, I have lots of experience and help to offer, and after a certain amount of time, I may need to send that client of mine off to a Jared, or Cliff or Pat.
Same goes for you in your industry. You may not be a superstar. But I bet you possess lots of valuable information to share with someone who is just starting out. And here’s another little trick, the more you teach, the more you learn. Because you’ll want to stay a few steps ahead of your student or client.
And so long as you’re ahead of them, you’re still providing a good service. So just remember that you can’t, and don’t, need to know everything to be valuable and helpful to others.