Has the thought, “I’M A FRAUD…” ever crossed your mind?
Oof. This is so common, especially amongst women.
So many women think they’re “under-qualified” even if that’s not actually true.
Maybe you find yourself thinking things like…
I’m a fraud.
I’m not qualified enough.
I need a PhD.
I need a second PhD.
I need a third PhD and I need a coaching certificate and I need twenty years of experience and then MAYBE I can raise my hourly rate. Maybe.
I know that men deal with similar insecurities, but I think it’s MUCH more prevalent among women.
The “I’m a fraud” thought is a crippling thought. It’s a thought that can block from you doing all kinds of things.
Block you from pursuing a new client.
Block you from starting a blog and sharing your ideas
Block you from charging an appropriate hourly rate—or charging anything at all.
If you worry that you might be a fraud, my advice is to separate your THOUGHTS from THE FACTS. Because there’s a big difference between thoughts and facts.
THOUGHTS are words, phrases, and statements that temporarily pass into your brain. They pass in. They pass out. They’re fleeting. Sometimes they’re true. Sometimes they’re not. The tricky part is, sometimes they FEEL or SEEM true even when they’re not. That’s why you’ve got to be careful not to automatically believe everything that you think.
Now, FACTS… FACTS are words, phrases, and statements that are undeniably TRUE. Statements that can be backed up with evidence. Statements that can be proven in a court of law.
Let’s do an exercise together.
Grab your computer. Or get a piece of paper and a pen.
At the top of the page, write down:
“Sometimes I feel like a fraud.”
Below that, please write:
“However, this isn’t true. I am not a fraud. In fact, I am very qualified because…”
And then write down the facts about what you’ve done in the past… the facts about what you’ve achieved… the facts about the training you’ve gotten… about your credentials… your victories… your wins… make a list of the FACTS.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you just graduated from life coaching school. You’re a newly certified life coach. You want to work with clients and charge $150 an hour, but you feel insecure about officially launching your business… like, maybe you’re a fraud.
So, you would write down:
Sometimes I feel like a fraud.
However, this isn’t true. I am not a fraud. In fact, I am very qualified to offer life coaching services and charge $150 an hour, because…
And then you would write down a list of FACTS.
Maybe you will write down something like this:
I am very qualified to offer life coaching services and charge $150 an hour, because…
FACT: I have a BA in Psychology.
FACT: I have a life coaching certificate from a top school.
FACT: I have done 100 hours of practice coaching sessions.
FACT: My clients have given me great feedback. I’ve helped people to find new jobs. I’ve helped people to create happier relationships. Several people said that I changed their whole life.
FACT: I have done lots of brave things in my life, including traveling to 8 countries on my own. I don’t just preach about “courage” to my clients. I walk my talk.
OK, that’s a list of 5 facts. Solid facts. Those are facts that could be proven in a court of law. They’re undeniably true.
Reading back that list of facts… do you STILL feel like a fraud?
I sure hope not.
This is a great exercise to do whenever you’re feeling insecure.
When your thoughts are running wild… set aside your thoughts, and focus on the facts.
Write down the facts.
Read back the facts.
This can help you to remember, “Oh right, I forgot… I am totally qualified, and I am totally awesome!”
Remember: Just because you THINK something… that doesn’t mean it’s true.
You might think “That woman’s name is Sharon” and maybe you’re wrong about that. Maybe you misheard. Maybe her name is Megan.
You might think “It’s 2pm” and maybe you’re wrong about that. Maybe your clock is set to the wrong time and it’s actually 3pm.
You might think “I’m a fraud” and maybe you’re wrong about that, too. Look at the facts. The facts about your life. The facts about your career. The facts about what you’ve achieved. What do the facts have to say?
Ditch the bullshit thought, and instead…
Trust the facts.