Do you have impostor syndrome? Do you worry that you don’t know enough, don’t do enough, and don’t have enough knowledge to share what you feel passionate about yet? Do you feel that you have to get more training, more experience, read more books, listen to more people, and attend more courses, etc before you can finally offer some of your own knowledge to others?

If this resonates, I empathize, because I used to feel the same way.

When I stepped out of science and into the world of pregnancy, birth and postpartum, I had huge impostor syndrome.

I can still picture how I felt when I went to do my first babywearing consultation in 2010. I went to visit a new mum at her house with my bunch of slings and weighted doll and helped her find a baby carrier that worked for her and her baby. I succeeded in doing this, with kindness and grace. I spent over an hour with her (not counting the time to travel) and only charged £15. Yet I worried that it was wrong to charge for it, that I wasn’t good enough, etc.

It didn’t cross my mind that I had spent well over £1000 in training, equipment and insurance. It didn’t occur to me that I had carried both of my children for over 4 years in tens of different styles of baby carriers. It didn’t occur to me that I’d been immersed in groups of babywearing people both locally and online for years. All I could think about was that I was an impostor.

I felt the same when I taught my first NCT antenatal course that year, despite 4 years of training and a university diploma in antenatal education!

I felt the same when I attend my first birth as a doula.

I’ve been on quite a journey since I wrote my first blog about impostor syndrome back in 2017.

My underlying fear about not being good enough when offering something new was still there. I felt it in February 2020 when I ran my first drum circle. I charged £10 per person and I worried that they would think it was too much or that the circle wasn’t good and that it was a rip off. I spent hours overpreparing for it. I bought books and read about how to run drum circles; I contacted friends who ran them for advice etc. Yet, as before, the circles were a success and people were delighted with it.

The biggest journey happened over the last 18 months because I discovered trainings by empowering teachers such as Leonie Dawson (I took her course about creating online courses), but most of all, by working with Authentic marketing coach George Kao. (for transparency’s sake I want to be honest about the fact that I know have affiliate links with both of them).

What I learnt from working with them is that I know enough, right now, with my experience as it is, to help others on their journey and make a difference, and that I don’t need to read more, learn more, etc before I offer what I want to offer to others. You do too.

How far I’d come became starkingly obvious when I decided to teach a course on how to run mother blessings about 6 weeks ago. I booked the date for the live workshop and then wrote the entire course content within the 2 weeks before the course. I was very tempted but I resisted checking out what other people had done or written on the topic (including reading any books).  Every time I felt tempted to check other people’s work, I heard George’s voice in my head saying “You already know enough to really help a lot of people”. Here is an excerpt from his blog post about this topic:

“Are you hesitant about putting your work out there? 
What if you get clients that you can’t help? 
What if there’s another course that will finally give you the tools you need?
If you’re saying Yes to any of the above, you are under the illusion that there is an end or final destination to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and experience.  There isn’t. Forever, there will be more knowledge out there that feels like it could be “the key”. Even if you get multiple Ph.D.’s, you’ll still feel like you don’t know enough. ”

So, for the first time in my life I wrote an entire course based on my knowledge and experience alone, as opposed to inspiring myself from other people. And you know what? It felt great! I felt inspired, and amazed by all the knowledge I didn’t know I had until I wrote it all down. There was too much to fit within a one day course! I not only created the course content but also a course handout. I felt proud of what I had produced. And, for the first time in my life, I tamed my inner impostor.

I taught the course at the end of September, and every single one of the 7 birth workers who attended gave me brilliant feedback. They also said they found it hard to believe that it was the first time I taught this course.

This felt very validating, but most importantly, it taught me a very valuable lesson. As it was the first time in my life I had created teaching content without anybody else’s input, I also realized that I want to do this more. I realized that I want to encourage others to do the same, and I structured the course so people could pick and choose from the material what they resonated with, and drop the rest, rather than following a prescriptive recipe, or do it like me.

As I reflected and looked back I realized that I always felt more comfortable teaching people to add they own special sauce to anything I shared.

It helped me understand that I want everything I teach, going forward, to be this way. For instance I want to teach an intuitive drum healing course rather than a Reiki Drum course, because teaching from my own unique experience, and sharing this in a way that empowers others to do the same, is what gives me the most joy, and it is also more empowering to my students, as they won’t fear that they are doing it wrong.

Recently I ran some impostor syndrome mentoring sessions (feel free to contact me if you’d like to try one), and I realized that most people are where I used to be, and I want to help them overcome this.

You know enough, right now, as you are, with your life experience, to help others along their path.

If you do not share it, create your course or write your book, of whatever it is you want to share with people, people will be missing out of the transformation that your knowledge might give them.

Share it now.

 

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!