Imposter syndrome kicks in when we spend more time focusing on the things we don’t have an can’t do, instead of all of the things that we do have and can do. Here is a simple fact: it is IMPOSSIBLE to know EVERYTHING about a topic. There is so much information, science, data, opinions, studies, theories, ideas, discussions and more out there that it is an impossibility to keep up with and retain all of that information in our human heads.
As an educator and course creator, You have a wealth of valuable content and expertise to share – even if you don’t know what it is yet. People are not going to praise you or give you awards for all of the stuff you don’t know, or for keeping everything that you do know locked up in your heads.
So, what DO you know? Let’s start with that….
You are brimming with expertise that others need
When our course creation mojo is taking a hit, we can convince ourselves that we don’t have anything of value to give to others. But this of course is codswallop. EVERYONE has an abundance of valuable information packed into every cell of their body. You have expertise that other people don’t have yet. It could be cooking, communicating, a professional skill, academic skill, a passionate hobby or a unique talent.
You are so well equipped, you have so much on offer and there are so many people who need you to get over your fears, push away your imposter syndrome and step up with confidence.
We All Experience It
Imposter syndrome. The feeling of fraud. We’ve all had a visit from her at some point.
There are two key mojo-killers which contribute to feeling like a fraud:
1. Comparing yourself to others
2. Assuming that someone else must be in the ‘expert’ category in order to be worthy of having such a title
If we want to make ourselves seen as an expert, it starts with us calling ourselves one – not waiting around for others to start calling us one. YOU have to give it to yourself, and YOU then have to go about proving that you are by behaving and implementing as that expert. You build your own throne as the result of continued practise of your expertise, you never get given it.
You see, we are all an expert to somebody. We all have abilities that exceed someone else’s.
When you accept the fact that to many people you ARE an expert, all you need to do is tell people what you know. Teach them how they can know it and do it too. That’s it!
Here are 11 tips to help you manage imposter syndrome and self-doubt when creating courses:
1. Focus on what you know
Remember that you DO have a message. You already know SO much and this knowledge you have is invaluable to others; it has the power to transform lives, businesses and industries – as well as your own business and bottom line; if only you’d just unleash it!!
2. Your business depends on it
Be aware that downloading your knowledge from your brain, and sharing with others is THE highest converting method of building a strong and viable business. This is the true essence of ‘edupreneurship’; educating, in a commercially profitable manner. It’s business, where everyone’s a winner.
3. It doesn’t have to be perfect
Make the most of what you do have NOW – you can share what else you learn later on. Don’t think you have to wait until you have the perfect recipe, or have attained ALL of the knowledge on the planet in your topic. First of all, not only is that entirely impossible, but you couldn’t share it all in one blog post, workshop or tutorial video anyway. Start with sharing the bits that you’re most comfortable with in whatever way is the quickest and easiest for you.
4. You’re filled with abundance
Ask yourself whether you got to where you are in your life today, having not learnt ANYTHING? Of course you have. Start by listing 100 things that you think other people should know. It could be something you discovered yourself in practice; through formal or informal training, picked up in life experience, something you read about or saw on TV; it could be something you heard someone else talk about – anything; personal and/or professional. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll be able to share.
5. Make the most out of every piece of advice you have to give
You don’t have to have a bottomless it of content to share, you just have to learn to share what you do know in as many ways as possible to enable it to reach far and wide. Break your knowledge down into micro topics and share it in multiple forms (blogs, videos, articles, audios, webinars etc) piece by piece. If you missed something out, or learn something new about that topic later, then do a new or updated post later on. Never wait on stuff you have to share – just share it.
6. You don’t have to be big and famous to make a big difference
Know that you don’t have to be a globally proclaimed authority in something to have value, information and expertise to give, share and help others with. You simply have to share information about what you DO know how to do, to someone who doesn’t yet know how to do that. With 7.2 billion people in the world, your chances of finding a few are pretty high.
7. Lessons learned are lessons to give
Regularly remind yourself that you’ve learnt a lot in your life. Don’t think that you have to be the stereotypical success story to be able to guide and teach others – you will have endless lesson to share from your mishaps and the times things have gone wrong. There truly is as much as a market for ‘what not to do’ as there is for ‘what to do’. There are a ton of people out there that are yet to make those mistakes and are yet to learn the things you have learned, whether you learned them formally or through experience.
You are doing a selfish disservice to those people if you don’t share your lessons with others. Attain a sense of responsibility that it’s your job and your purpose in the world, to help people that don’t know it yet to know it; and to help them use that knowledge to make their lives and their businesses better.
8. They will love you when you help them
Educating and informing others in your industry topic automatically positions you as the good guy, the helper, the GURU in what you do. Disseminating helpful information makes people love you, like you, want more from you, become grateful to you – AND want to pay you for more. Everyone has a message. Everyone has some kind of expertise within them. All we have to do is see our own expertise as a valuable and saleable resource that is needed by others and will adore you when you give it to them.
9. Share your personal journey
If you have achieved success in something, if you have survived through a certain kind of experience or pulled through a particular situation, you can teach HOW you personally overcame that situation or got the results you got. Nobody can say you are wrong, incorrect or insufficient in your explanation, because you are basing your training on what YOU did, how YOU see it and what YOU have used yourself to get YOUR unique results.
10. Check you’re in alignment
There is a difference between being afraid and being totally out of alignment. Putting yourself out to the world, especially if this is your first time, is scary- and I’d even go as far as saying that if you don’t have the teeniest, tiniest bit of apprehension then maybe you don’t care enough. Fear is healthy. Fear makes you check and double check that you are delivering the best of your abilities. However, if we are feeling dread, if we are feeling like the whole process is a painful drag and something we simply don’t enjoy or have any excitement for whatsoever, then it’s likely we are going down the wrong path entirely and perhaps should reconsider where the source of our self-doubt is coming from.
11. Remember that you cannot fail if you keep sharing your lessons
There is no greater affirmation of your innate abilities than showing yourself that you have a tonne of answers to questions other people are asking, and for them to come back to you thanking you for the information and enlightenment. But sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes you fail.
If that ever happens, reflect on the following:
- Remember why you started
- Remember what you love
- Remember all of the people over the years that you have helped
- I DO know a metric tonne of stuff that is super helpful to others
- You can make a positive difference to more people
- You are a good person
If you’re ever in a situation of failure, look at what you have to give to your market. I always believe in ‘giving is getting’, and have always been a ‘speculate to accumulate’ kind of entrepreneur. The more you give, the more everyone gets.
While self-doubt can be crippling, it doesn’t have to control you. So say goodbye to self-doubt and start ‘edupreneuring’ today!