Kharissa Forte is a writer, certified health coach, and columnist for Startland News. For more of her self-care tips on how to keep your cup full, visit graceandgrind.co.
I’m not one to get caught up in the hoop-lah of celebrity crushes, but if there’s anyone who I #WCW it’s my Pisces twin Rihanna. (I mean, come on. She’s a total boss.) As much as I love Riri, I have to admit that I don’t quite agree with everything she says. This is especially true when it comes to her response to an E! News reporter’s question last fall about how she handles insecurity.
Reporter: What do you do on those days that you don’t feel that confident?
Rihanna: I pretend.
Reporter: Fake it?
Reporter: Until you make it?
Rihanna: I mean, why not?
The video went on to become a popular soundbite on TikTok and Instagram Reels, but treating her answer as advice isn’t the best idea — especially for entrepreneurs.
Throughout my first couple of years building a business, I learned rather quickly that faking it ’til I make it wasn’t getting me anywhere. Conversations I had with my friends on their own success journeys echoed this sentiment. If anything, faking it was leading to more stress, anxiety, and pressure to keep up. Even though we were all smart, creative, and capable in our own right, none of us felt, well, good enough.
What we were experiencing was imposter syndrome and we weren’t alone. Studies show that up to 82 percent of people experience imposter syndrome and women are hit the hardest. According to healthline, imposter syndrome “involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments.”
While anything from family to culture and other factors can be causes of imposter syndrome, I definitely believe falling into the fake-it-til-you-make-it trap is one of them.
So, how do we battle the beast? Here are a few tricks that helped me.
Seek fulfillment instead of validation
Society has taught us that fame and recognition are signs of success. There’s nothing wrong with being seen or rewarded but those things can’t be the focus. You have to decide to chase purpose over praise, even when no one else gets it but you. When you’re operating in alignment with your higher self and trust in divine timing, the applause will come soon enough. Until then, reminding yourself that there’s a deeper meaning behind what you do will help you stay focused on the fact that you’re right where you’re supposed to be.
Separate who you are from what you do
Quick: Tell me about yourself without telling me about what you do. Can you do it? Do you even know who you are? Hiding behind your title (and really any role or responsibility, for that matter) is a tell-tale sign of faking it that will naturally lead to imposter syndrome — but I get it. We all have an image to maintain. The bottom line is that what you do should be a reflection of who you are, not the other way around.
Value the fact that you don’t have to be the expert
Social media puts a lot of pressure on people to identify as experts with their master courses and authoritative stances. It’s as if there’s a subconscious fear that if we dare say, “You know what? I don’t know the answer to that,” we’ll put our whole career in jeopardy. In reality, that’s simply not the case when you’re just getting started.
Honor your humble beginnings. Being honest about what stage your business is in or what level of insight you have so far builds more credibility and trust than a fluffed-and-feathered answer ever will. When you hold grace space, you remove the pressure to perform and meet standards that you’re not equipped to handle, yet. You also open doors to expand and meet people who can help you further your growth. And all you have to do is keep it real.
The Big Aha
Faking it ‘til you make it an easy way to find yourself combatting imposter syndrome. This doesn’t have to be your story. By operating from a place of fulfillment, knowing who you are, and removing the pressure to be a know-it-all, you can kick imposter syndrome to the curb once and for all.
Fueled by her expertise as a writer, certified health coach, and local business owner, Kharissa Forte is passionate about helping entrepreneurs in Kansas City achieve their goals without sacrificing self-care. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.