The Impostor Syndrome

by Véronique Eberhart

July 2007. Saskatoon, SK, Canada. My youngest son enters kindergarten.

That’s when I decided it was time for me to have a ‘real job’ (besides singing, conducting a choir and teaching voice of course!).

So, I applied for the position of Director of the Federation des Francophone de Saskatoon, a French-Canadian non-profit community organization for which I had volunteered for the past few years.

During an informal meeting, the elected president told me what the work was about – rather big budgets, tons of projects and events, oversight of 3 to 5 employees and project coordinators, plus about 300 volunteers to work with, a building to manage, 11 smaller organizations to support, over 15 bigger organizations and governmental agencies to deal with ... She looked at me sheepishly and told me: “Your salary will be $35,000.00 per year.”

See, she knew that with my MA from France, being fluent in 3 languages, and my previous experiences in community leadership I would be crazy to accept her offer.

She knew, but I didn’t. 

In fact, I felt relieved that the pay would be so low. At least, if I failed, it would not be too bad. After all, how good could I be since I didn't have a degree in business?

I didn’t know at that time, but in reality, I was in the throes of the impostor syndrome.

The impostor syndrome is a feeling of inadequacy in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary; a belief that we have succeeded by sheer luck or some kind of mistake. 
It comes with the constant fear that someone, somewhere, someday will discover that we are a fraud.

It leads to perfectionism and procrastination.

It is the biggest reason why people get stuck in workplaces and situations that don’t match their potential, spending years getting ready and accumulating qualifications, but never making the big leap.

It’s also the reason why people hide and can’t bring themselves to tell their story or share their message. 

Self-doubt and the impostor syndrome have nothing to do with how capable we are. They don’t affect our ability to be great at what we do. But it is a sense of unworthiness that affects how high we are willing to aim. It tells us to aim low, to take the easiest path, to stay safe. 

Does this speak to you? 

We all fight self-doubt on a daily basis, and we can defeat it. For some people, it comes naturally. For other, it's overwhelming. And some of us, like me back then, aren't even aware of it.

I did a great job in this organization, a job I’m really proud of. I got to know the new world of French-Canadian communities in minority settings. I met amazing people. I learned a lot in my 5 years as director … in particular, I learned that I had to respect myself and know my value.

I'm now a success coach. I work with creative entrepreneurs who want to speak their truth and share their message with confidence, so they can have a big impact around them, be visible, have influence, and increase their bottom line.

In my experience, there are 3 main blocs feeding this pesky impostor syndrome.

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  1. The fear of disappointing your tribe - with its consequences fitting in at all cost.
  2. The fear of making a fool of yourself - with its consequences perfectionism, and procrastination.
  3. The fear of Hidden Downsides - with its consequences staying small, and never making the big leap.

Those fears are keeping you stuck, they are keeping your small, and they are keeping you from shining your light.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

In my course "Speak Your Truth in this Time of Turbulence", we tackle and release all of those fears.

So, if you think part of you might be suffering from the impostor syndrome, Speak Your Truth is this Time of Turbulence is for you.

If you want to finally find your voice and speak your truth with confidence... and make the impact you're craving for, this course is for you too.

And if you're tired of procrastinating your FB live, and you don't even know why you do that - then Speak Your Truth is this Time of Turbulence is for you too.

Don't let the impostor syndrome have the best of you, let your light shine freely ... You are good enough!

With Joy and Gratitude,

Véronique Eberhart, Success Coach


Veronique Eberhart
JoyousLiving, LLC