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Who the Hell Do You Think You Are?

By Brandon Alter:

Are you familiar with imposter syndrome? It’s a pretty common affliction for us highly sensitive adults in the world. It’s where you have anxiety over being found out as a phony. You panic that someone will discover you are just faking. Even though the truth is:

ALL OF US ARE FAKING IT . . . all the time.

Brenè Brown, a brilliant human being with whom I'm obsessed, reveals that her imposter syndrome manifests as an internal voice that questions her at every turn. “Who do you think you are?” it bellows. “Who the hell do you think you are?” Haven’t we all experienced this?

I’m sure Einstein experienced it. I’m sure Frida Kahlo did too. Even Meryl Streep, Meryl Fucking Streep—the High Priestess of Everything—has admitted that even she feels like an imposter: “Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?" Streep told Ken Burns in a 2002 interview for USA Weekend. So there you go, we are all imposters. But by the same token, we are all authorities as well.

I was having lunch with a very gifted coach and healer yesterday, and she revealed to me that sometimes she wondered who she was to be facilitating such work. And I told her, flat out, “You are someone that has healed your significant trauma with your own skills. That’s who you are. And that’s why you are the perfect person to help others.” If you were sitting across from me right now, I would tell you the same damn thing.

Your life and your experiences are your credentials. And that’s all you need.

You are an authority. Yes, you are still learning, but you will always be learning. Now. Right now. As you are. You are ready to be sharing your gifts. To be stepping up and claiming your place in the world. And the more fear and resistance you feel to this call, the more important it is that you answer it!

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