[nh] #12 — Overcoming Imposter Syndrome





this edition of the [no hustle] huddle went out on Mon 4th September 2023

I felt low. Really goddam LOW. Just down and out kinda low, as though what I was doing and who I was and the “stuff” I brought to the table wasn’t enough ?

My therapist just sat there and looked at me, as therapists often do.

Then, she said, “You are a successful writer, though.”

I scoffed, spit splattering on the screen. “No, I am not!”

“Why do you think that?”

“Because I’m not successful. I haven’t achieved anything close to what I’d like to. I am at best, just an average writer who’s experienced average results.”

She continued to just sit there; look at me; allow the silence to take hold.

Then she said the thing that really hit home.

“But you are successful. Most writers aren’t able to make a living from it, but you have done for years. You look after your family. You are able to pay rent and go on holidays and give your kids a good life. You’re successful. You are a successful writer.”

I couldn’t argue. I wanted to. But she was right.

Sure, I had a million other dreams and things I wanted to achieve, but that was down to me comparing ME to other writers and people I placed on a pedestal.

The reality is that most writers aren’t able to do it for a living. That’s a fact.

I can and I do, through the good times and the tough patches ?

That means something, even though I often get stuck in my own head, feeling like a failure… an IMPOSTER.

I’ve often slipped into this way of thinking. The feeling that “I’m not enough”. That I don’t have the talent or what it takes because I’m too busy comparing myself to someone else; often, my chapter two to their chapter twenty-two ?

It’s one of the biggest reasons WHY so many of us get stuck in the hustle.

Because the hustle keeps us busy and working hard, and if we work hard—so we’re told—we get to “make it”. Yet this isn’t true. 

And a few days ago I watched a video that changed my entire perspective on “making it” and Imposter Syndrome.

I share it below and make sense of it toward the end of this email.

But first, there’s this ??

from the [no hustle] community

The Power of Small Steps for Personal Growthall growth (any type of growth) is a series of steps taken one after the other. When it comes to defeating Imposter Syndrome, this is important to remember.

From Boredom to Burnout: Is This YOUR Life’s Pendulum?I hate the feeling of inadequacy and I hate how it pushes me to work harder out of spite and fear. It places you in a vicious cycle, as this video demonstrates.

3 actions to take this week

? bookmark this → This article from Jeremy Hunter is a GEM, diving into the important differences between Transitions and Change.

? watch this → This video is the one I mentioned earlier… I talk more about it below, so I’ll just leave you with this right now: watch it!

? DO THISLook Yourself in The Mirror — do it straight away; go upstairs and stare at yourself, force eye contact, and hold it for at least one minute … look at the person looking back and just feel them; appreciate them; love them.

this week’s featured book

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday — I’ve read this book before, and I’m reading it a page at a time each day as I begin a new transition and step further into a new chapter. It’s a simple book that contemporizes ancient wisdom, simplifying your soul and allowing you to embrace your current state and self.

?️ pass the mic

I only recently found Van Neistat, but my-oh-my have I become a fan. 

It’s THIS VIDEO that slapped me around the face and changed my perspective of what it means to “make it”. Van describes how there are two stages to this:

  1. Making it in the sense you can sustain your life and family (that’s where I’m at, and it’s what my therapist helped me realize).
  2. Making it in the sense you can live like a successful dentist.

I won’t go into the dentist part as it would defeat the purpose of you watching the video — it’s twenty minutes I feel you’ll truly value ?

What I will say is how important it is to give your life… your current chapter… your hopes and your dreams… perspective

Because chances are you don’t give yourself the credit you deserve. You may not be who you want to be, but you are who you are and that person is likely doing a great deal more than you realize.

Van’s video has helped me in this regard, as has the rest of his channel ❤️

? drop the mic

I hate to admit it, but most days I feel like an IMPOSTER.

I second-guess myself and doubt my ability. I compare who I am to someone else, often worrying I’m not good enough, worthy enough, or talented enough ?

It’s a feeling (and cycle) that time and again pushes me back into the hustle.

I fear I’ll never shake it, too, and I sense I am not alone in that worry.

Maybe you feel it; feel like an imposter; someone who hasn’t “made it”.

Feel and fear you never will.

If that’s the case, take a breath and give your situation perspective.

  • Consider how far you’ve come in the last few years.
  • Think about the obstacles you’ve overcome.
  • Reflect on where you are today compared to a past version of you.

You may not be living like a successful dentist just yet, but that doesn’t mean you won’t and it does not mean who you are today is worth any less.

I think that’s what my therapist tried to help me see.

That it’s okay for me to have ambition and desire to grow, but that in and of itself should not take anything away from my accomplishments and sense of self.

It is not either/or and with this perspective, it helps keep Imposter Syndrome at bay because you get to be enough while you still pursue more.

Whatever “more” may look like.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of the huddle, and I hope you love Van’s video as much as I have. I also hope you give yourself the gift of staring in the mirror for a few minutes, breaking down some walls and reconnecting with who you are.

AND if you know someone who needs to read this, please forward it to them and encourage them to subscribe to the [no hustle] huddle.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for being you.


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