Running through Imposter Syndrome
I’m a runner.
I’ve been running since 2010 after a lifetime of saying things like, “I’m not an athlete” or “Running is too hard”.
Still, I often find myself clarifying my running achievements to others. I’ve completed 6 half marathons, several shorter races, and tons of Sunday fun runs. Imposter syndrome often sounds like this:
“I ran 6 miles on Sunday. Well, I ran some and walked some. I’m a really slow runner.”
“ I’m looking forward to the mini this year. I mean, I’m looking forward to the margaritas and nachos afterward.”
I decided to try running in 2010 when my daughter was 4 and I found myself with no hobbies or non-Mom activities other than Candy Crush. I went to a running class. Yes, I’m that kind of nerd. I couldn’t just lace up and get out there, I needed to research it first.
I’ll never forget that first class. I was terrified and sure I’d be the fattest, slowest, and most hopeless person there. I wasn’t. None of us were. We were taking a step to try something new or to get better at something we loved. The instructor demonstrated a run across a hotel conference room. “Running is nothing more than lifting your feet up one at a time and then repeating the motion.” My running mantra became ‘Left Foot, Right Foot’ and it still gets me through a tough workout or that darn .1 at the end of a 5K.
Every runner I know has some form of this imposter syndrome. I met an 84 year-old man in my first ever 10K. We were within a few paces of each other alternating running and walking for most of the time. I simply had to go find him after the race. He was with his family and introduced me as ‘the girl who kept me going out there’. We never spoke during the race. We were too focused on finishing for small talk. What I learned after the race is that he had been running for over 40 years and while I thought he was my inspiration, he was chasing me!
Now as I begin my entrepreneur journey, I find myself looking for a class to attend, reading another blog, listening to one more podcast, and trying to outrun the feeling that I might not finish the race. I have all the tools and I’m incredibly passionate about building this talent consultancy. I’m building every day to bring my vision to life – training the next generation of in-house talent professionals. As I meet more and more entrepreneurs, I find that we’re not in competition – we’re running the same race. We all have insecurities, good days, bad days, and a touch of imposter syndrome. We choose to show up for ourselves and for our clients and teammates each day.
Imposter syndrome is real. I will continue to face it head on. I’m choosing to push through with positivity and the knowledge that everyone feels it at one time or another. Just when you think you’re leading the race, you’ll see someone ahead. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. That sentiment has never felt more true than at this moment. Every day that I’m given to chase this dream is just a series of steps. Left Foot, Right Foot.