Imposter Syndrome? Or Low Self Esteem?

Imposter Syndrome? Or low Self-Esteem?

They are so similar and often confused. 

Kind of like how all rectangles are squares and not all squares are rectangles. 

Imposter syndrome is always low Self-Esteem. 

Low Self-Esteem is not always Imposter Syndrome. 

Here’s the difference:  

While they are both based in feeling Less Than,

Imposter syndrome is the belief, the FEAR, that everyone will figure out that you don’t know what you’re talking about. 

When you are in a place of Less Than, you know that you know what you’re talking about. 

You’re not afraid that other people won’t think that you know what you are talking about. 

You’re simply afraid that someone else could do it better. 

And here’s the other thing. . .  

Maybe they can.

The good news is it doesn’t matter. 

Because not only are people interested in what you have to say, they’re interested in YOU and the way YOU say it. 

Each person on this planet has their own unique voice, their own unique style, their own unique perspective, their own unique way of saying things. 

So let me repeat: 

Not only do people care about what you’re saying – they want to hear it from YOU. 

Let me tell you two different stories:

The first is pretty well known and I’m thinking you will now understand it from a different context. 

Oprah and Phil Donahue. 

I’m not sure if you’re old enough to remember that Phil Donahue had been hosting his talk show for years before Oprah Winfrey entered the landscape. 

What if she had decided:

“There’s no room for me. I can’t bring anything new. Phil Donahue is already doing this and doing it well.” 

The world would not have Oprah Winfrey. (Can you imagine?!)

Oprah. Winfrey.

The second story is more personal and not at all “known.”

Just last week I saw a post on Facebook that looked a lot like what I talk about in my coaching practice: 

Feeling Less Than those around you. 

Not valuing your own voice. 

Trouble making decisions. 

For a split second I felt Less Than. 

“She’s a better writer,” said the voice in my head. 

Going back to where I started, this was not Imposter Syndrome. 

I simply felt Less Than her. 

Why did I feel less than her? 

Because my boundaries failed. 

If my Protective Boundary had been in place at the time, I would not have absorbed her message and doubted myself.

I simply would have thought “We have different voices and that’s a good thing. She does not take away from my message.”

And I did eventually get there. 

To that exact perspective: 

We DO have different voices,

She DOESN’T take away from my message.

There IS room for both of us.

I had to do my own Self Esteem & Boundary work to remind myself of my Inherent Worth.

What does Inherent Worth look and sound like?

I stand equal to all: eye to eye and toe to toe.

I have worth because I was born and nothing I say or do adds to that nor detracts from that.

Contact me here to get started working on your own Self Esteem & Boundary Work