Imposter Syndrome Bites Again

I’ve forgotten everything I know. I literally cannot remember how to do this.

Oh my god I can’t do this.

I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this.

Around and around, this echo in my head, until a wall comes up.

:: Stop it, Laura.

You’ve done this a dozen times.

More than a dozen times. You’ve written hundreds of thousands of words in your life. Maybe millions at this point, so just sit down and write something. Delete it later if it sucks, once you’ve got something you can work with.

Deep breath. One more. Go. ::

This is, verbatim, what happens at the start of every single new project I do. It happened this week.

The client sends back the paperwork, pays their deposit, and my mind goes blank.

There’s a moment that feels like falling, and then my head fills up with this empty white cloud and I am pinned to the spot by disbelief at my own lunacy. I just sold something I have no idea how to deliver. For a lot of money.

Then the echo starts.

Then the echo slams into the wall.

Then comes the pep talk, and then, finally, the words come.

Imposter syndrome is no joke.

It’s widely documented around the world in almost every academic field, and — fun fact — it’s more common among people with above-average IQs.

The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know.

This is why you need a clique. Below is my girl gang on a call, lovingly kicking my butt.

I know I can count on them if my echo-interrupt wall doesn’t come up fast enough. They know they can count on me for the same.

They’re probably all going to yell at me for the screenshot on this post.

Point is, everyone who runs their own business, works freelance or deals with clients need a crew like that.

And sometimes you need it more when you’ve become successful, because then there’s the pressure of a reputation to uphold. This is what turns my head into a cloud — and there’s no way I would have worked that out without those four lovely ladies poking me into dealing with it.

You need a crew that will cheer you on like raging hooligans at a football match when you are winding up to take a big shot, and who will clean you up and push you out the door again when life dumps a trash can over you… because those are the moments you’re most vulnerable to imposter syndrome.

The moments you have a huge opportunity in front of you, or where something has gone horribly wrong, are the moments that your confidence evaporates and you start to wonder why the hell you ever thought you could do any of this.

Those are the moments your business takes the biggest steps forward.

Imposter syndrome is your body telling you that you’re on the verge of something big. We think of it as a purely negative thought pattern, but actually it’s a major gift — it lets you know that this thing in front of you, this opportunity or challenge, is the gateway to the next stage of your life and career.

So don’t try to stamp out the imposter syndrome. Get a good crew around you, and let it be. Let yourself see what’s ahead as a gateway, not a roadblock.

And if you’re in the echo chamber right now?

Let me be your wall: You can do this. You can do this. You can absolutely do this.

Deep breath. One more. Go.

Laura.

P.S. Come January, I’m building a crew of writers. Ghost Protocol is going to be an 8-week program sharing everything I know about the craft and business of ghostwriting books for clients.

Every part of my process — from over a decade of experience in the business, publishing over 12 books, and running a six-figure business with no staff while doing it — is going to be covered.

Everything from how to put down words that grab your reader to how to navigate copyright law will be in there. We’ll even cover imposter syndrome.

I’ve been coaching this program one-on-one for several years now, and I charge a lot for that individual attention. But the pilot round of this program will be just $697, and because I’m limiting it to 10 spots, you’ll still get that intensive experience at about a third of what I would usually charge for it.

Here’s what I’m looking for in my ghostwriting gang:

– You want to write books professionally, either on behalf of clients or for your own business
– You can commit to 90 minutes per week for eight weeks, starting mid January 2020
– You are friendly and coachable
– You can keep a secret

Several of those 10 spots have already been claimed and paid for, so if you know you want in, hit reply with ‘I’m in!’ and I’ll get you set up. (laura [dot] gale [at] lauraiswriting.com)