What if you find out I’m a fraud?

Who’s heard of the imposter syndrome?

It’s very common, if you’ve never heard of it you’ll probably be just as relieved as I was when a friend shared it with me.

Look it up on Google and here is what will pop up:

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Can you relate? If not you are one of the lucky ones.
You might be surprised to discover these famous women who suffer from it.
Penélope Cruz – fears she will be fired in the first week from every movie she’s in.

Amy Schumer – feels like Hollywood is playing a big trick on her.  She wanted to punch Judd Apatow in the face when he told her she was prettier than she understands and asked her to be in a movie that he would make and direct.

Emma Watson -She feels the better she does, the more her feelings of inadequacy actually increase.  She thinks at any moment someone is going to find out she’s a total fraud and that she doesn’t deserve what she’s achieved.

Sigourney Weaver– She claims she has never not doubted herself, whether she’s doing something hard or easy.

Jodie Foster -When she won an Oscar for her role in The Accused she thought it was a big fluke. She also felt that way when she walked on the campus at Yale, she thought everybody would find out, and then they’d take the Oscar back.

See, I told you this would give some relief.

I struggle with this daily too.

My imposter syndrome rears it’s ugly head when I’m asked to speak about the success of my business or share my experiences with other entrepreneurs.

You know what sucks about this?  This is what I want to do!!!

Please come join me in my daydream for a moment,will you?  Cue – the twinkly music . . .

They’ve just called my name, I’m about to walk on a stage, the light show is fabulous, confetti is falling from the ceiling and they’re playing the Immigrant Song (it’s my fave), I’m air guitaring like a maniac and I have the best hair ever, by golly there’s a fan blowing my hair on stage!!! The audience goes crazy, they cheer, they laugh and they’re swinging their hair back and forth like rock stars.  They all take a seat and I give them the best 2 hours of their lives!  They listen and they leave feeling so amazing that they finally realize they too can change the world!

I see it and I want it! One small problem . . .

Who the heck am I?  What makes me think that the experiences I’ve had in my life will change someone else’s life for the better?  I can’t show them I have a million dollars in the bank, properties all over the world and 100,000 followers on Social Media.  What on earth do I think I am doing?

This kind of thinking is exactly why, after the handful of public speaking engagements I have done, I have second guessed myself.  When I’m up on stage my heart is racing, the words are flowing out of me and I’m having the time of my life.  When it’s all over, no matter how many people chat with me after and thank me for helping them I sadly but surely feel like a fraud.  Just like the famous women I spoke of, I’m afraid they will discover my advice did not help them.  What if they decide afterwards that while I might have been entertaining, I never really gave them any valuable information because I’m just not that successful?

As I’m writing this I realize how self-defeating and horrible it sounds.

There is an upside though.

If you can relate to this type of self-sabotage/imposter syndrome, studies have shown it occurs most often with over-achievers.  Pheeew!

So, let’s all get in this together shall we?  I’d LOVE for you to leave in the comments what makes you feel like a fraud.

I want to make a deal with you!  Let’s overcome this crap together!  It might be time to watch What About Bob again and get really good at taking baby steps.

Let’s reach for the stars and recognize that as far as we know, we are all walking this earth for the first time and figuring stuff out.  People who refer to themselves as experts or gurus are just people like us, talking about their life experiences and hoping to make positive change for others.

Personally, I never want to be an expert or a guru, I just want to be me!

Join me won’t you?  There’s only one YOU as well, and it’s time to show the world your sparkle!

Monica XO



Great blog, Monica, and so true! I’ve certainly experienced this syndrome. It’s a real confidence killer if you’re not careful. But like you said, everyone has had to figure things out for the first time. It often feels like others do have it all figured out! But we all have wisdom and knowledge gained from experience that can help others and I think we are compelled to share with others. Keep writing!

Monica Graves

Thanks Teresa!! I’ve always appreciated your support and I love watching what you’ve figured out! Your work for Snap’d Burlington and your writing inspires me big time! XO

Jacqueline Court

I remember when you and I did a podcast on this. There were so many examples from my own life to offer and the more I voiced them out loud to you and our listeners – the more I realized that that’s all they really were – voices…. in my head. It’s often impossible to feel that we have earned the thing we have worked so hard for. It’s hard to believe in this massively huge world that our one small contribution can make a difference – but every drop in the bucket is worth it and leads to something fuller and greater. Your blogs are just one small d xorop in that bucket but it speaks volumes about you and I’m one of countless women who feel inspired every time I read it. You’re not an imposter- you’re worth every single accolade and honour you’ve ever received – and the ones that are still coming your way!

Monica Graves

Jacqueline!!! How lucky am I that we got to follow up this conversation over a meal last week! You inspire me too sister!! The ideas are always flowing and I can never get enough!! XO


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