But what if “it” isn’t even aligned with your highest good?
We’ve all read enough women-targeted articles about Impostor Syndrome to know that it’s a bitch. That nobody knows what they’re doing, that we’re all faking it until we, one day, miraculously “make it.” But here’s a question: What is “it” and how are we supposed to know when we’ve definitively “made it,” when we don’t even know the recipe? Call it a linguistic conspiracy theory, but here goes: Faking it ’til you make it is a trap.
If you doubt yourself, if you have a low sense of self-worth, you’ll never feel like you’ve made it. You could be chilling in the C-Suite, surrounded by wads of cash and your own personal meditation coach, chef, and multiple puppies, and still be miserable—looking to the next thing. If that thing is a goal you want to reach because you’re a visionary with a big heart and a posi attitude, amazing. But if the thing you’re looking for is the next piece of validation, the next emotional void to fill…well, that’s the thing about voids. They’re vacuums that can’t be filled. #physics
I myself (would you believe) have been guilty of looking for the wrong “it”—taking my doubt and self-loathing and layering “when I do X” with “I’ll finally be worth X,” like a messy layer cake of shame and desperation disguised as ambition.
An appetite for recognition is fine, but being able to slow down notice where the hunger is coming from—the voice inside that says “Who am I to make this podcast?” or “Who am I to give advice?”—is the missing ingredient.
What I mean is, by all means, fake it. I still do. But notice the doubt. Acknowledge the shame. Honor them. Forgive yourself for them. Charging ahead despite them doesn’t make for a neat resolution to anything. But making space for vulnerability and the kind of self-acceptance you can’t undo means you won’t need to search for “it.” You’ve already technically “made it,” because “it” is just you.
Originally published as a newsletter for Girlboss.