Are You an Imposter?


Usually my nightmares feature John Mayer and my failed attempts at seducing him.

But my latest nightmare starred Grammy winner Bruno Mars. And he did something much worse than reject my brown sugar charms.


In the dream I was in a cafeteria with friends, sitting at a table next to Bruno and his band. He made a sign that he taped to the back of my chair. It read: “Not creative”.

When I asked what this was all about, he stood up in front of the crowded room and shouted, “You work hard, but that doesn’t mean you’re creative. You’re not going to make it in this industry. ”

Then he pointed to a random girl behind me and said, “That girl? Now she’s creative. She was just born with it. She’s amazing. Not you, though.”

I was crushed. I took his statement to mean that no matter how hard I try, I cannot overcome the limits of my genes, my history, my personality, and my natural skill set. I won’t be able to keep up with the big boys in the new industry I’m trying to break into because I simply don’t belong.

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Like you’re out of your league? Like your heart was in the right place, but your skill set wasn’t?


I confess to feeling this way right now. It’s why I had the nightmare.

Some of you may know I’m starting a business in the creative industry with my husband– a real departure from all my years caring for others in the non-profit and social service world. So who will I be in this new role of creative entrepreneur?

Am I a mere wanna-be? Am I an imposter?

If you’re trying something new, like I am, you may be struggling with a similar insecurity. Maybe you lack experience or the right college degree. Maybe your personality and natural temperament are atypical of most people in that arena. Maybe you feel like a fish out of water. Maybe you secretly don’t know what the hell you’re doing.

Whatever your situation, here’s what I know for sure: you’re not an imposter if you have good intentions.

Imposters deceive others with a false identity. They’re motivation is selfish and their weapon is deceit.

But you? I’m guessing you are simply in transition. Learning and growing. Stepping out of your comfort zone and being brave.

You belong wherever your heart feels connected, liberated and joyful. This is not to be confused with performing perfectly, or being just like everyone else in that scene.

So where does this leave me and the new business venture? I don’t know. I remain a mix of unqualified, anxious, motivated, and totally excited– all the baggage that comes with courage. 

Of course, there’s always the possibility that the business will fail or I’ll simply hate running it. But if that happens, it will be because entrepreneurship doesn’t bring out the best of what I have to offer, not because I’m unworthy of a spot in the world of entrepreneurship. There’s a difference.

I am not imposter, and neither are you.

Your Turn: Have you ever tried something new and struggled to feel like you belong?

Sources: Photo #1, Photo #2, Photo #3

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2 Responses to Are You an Imposter?

  1. Your DIL says:

    39 years old, after years of running businesses and training managers, went to seminary.
    Are you kidding? That was 23 years ago and I’m still doing the God thing! Ain’t that rich though I’m not?

    • Kimberly says:

      Oh yeah, I forgot about your other life before “the God thing”! Did you ever feel like an imposter in the early part of your transition, or wonder if your natural skill set and personality were a better fit in the business world despite your calling? I certainly believe people can be good at more than one thing, but I also think there’s a difference between having a passion for something vs. being good at it vs. and being excellent at it (due to it coming naturally to you). It can be hard to discern where you belong.

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