Pause On The Play Ep 24
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Hello, hello and welcome back to Pause On The Play. As always, it is amazing to see you here, where you are challenged to examine your beliefs, question your predisposed notions, and consider realities you may be unfamiliar with in order to understand that they too are real. I am your host and conversation emcee for the day, Erica Courdae, here to get the dialogue going.
Erica Courdae: So, I have my cohost, she has owned the title. Oop-oop, she found it. So I again have India Jackson of Flaunt Your Fire back with me. Hey, Indie.
India Jackson: Hey, Erica.
Erica Courdae: So, ladies and gentlemen out there, we are going to have a conversation today about a topic that I talk about a lot. We've talked about it here a little while ago and it comes off from time to time in conversation. But we're going to focus on it today and that is imposter syndrome. I have a very unique take on it if you have not heard the "Is It Imposter Syndrome" episode from close to when we first started. It's a good one to listen in and it really gives you some backstory on kind of what my take is with it. Imposter syndrome for me is definitely something that it looks very different than what a lot of people would have you believe.
Erica Courdae: This concept of, "Oh, you're trying to be something that you're not and that being imposter syndrome." I don't truly believe that. I believe that the concept is you stepping into more of who you are and stepping out of who you thought you had or needed to be at that particular point in order to be okay, do the thing, get through whatever it is. And that as you're stepping into more of your authenticity, this is where the imposter syndrome sets in. Because you're afraid or nervous or just kind of unsettled at becoming more of who you are and it feels foreign. So, I actually want to have a conversation today with India for you guys about what it is, what it isn't, and why it's not what you think it is if you think that maybe that's what you're experiencing.
India Jackson: Yeah. I'm excited to have this conversation because I think that imposter syndrome is something that is kind of a buzz thing that many business and life coaches are talking about. But I don't see a lot of them having the perspective that we have on it. And I think that that perspective, which actually came up in a conversation with each other randomly one day, is quite empowering. It can totally reframe the way that you see yourself and also your past, I think.
India Jackson: Correct me if I'm wrong here, Erica. We were talking about how I may have been experiencing imposter syndrome about something that I was walking into. And you really pose the question of like, "Are you actually being an imposter right now? Or is it the fact that you're finally stepping into being yourself and letting people see the real you instead of being this person that you thought you had to be to get by?" And I was like, "My mind is blown." It can translate into so many areas of life from what you wear to the type of opportunities you apply for, the type of person you date. I mean, just so many things can be affected by being this person that you thought you literally had to be for survival.
Erica Courdae: Agree. Absolutely. And that's what's interesting to me because it's very easy to think that we are somehow jumping out of our lane or doing something that we're not supposed to do or shouldn't do or aren't ready to do. When sometimes the concept of being ready to be ready is just another form of procrastination. It's just putting you in this place of somehow not being ready to do something that you are fully capable of doing. And I think it comes up a lot and it intersects with the concept of imperfect allyship. Because somehow, some people will do DEI work and have you believe that you can't be an ally if you're not ready. And I think that yes, there is work that we all have to do to be able to step in certain places. But the reality is, is that what the hell are you waiting for? There is no such thing.
Erica Courdae: And most of the people that you likely are saying that you want to be an ally for don't have the luxury of you saying, "Well, I'm not ready to support you in being in an equitable place with things that I take for granted." That sounds stupid. You can't do that. That's foolishness. So, to think like, "I can't do this because I'm not ready" or somehow being afraid of being something that you are completely capable of being. It's something that can just undermine you and keep you playing small and it's not helpful in the big scheme of things.
India Jackson: Yeah, I mean, I think about the concept of not-enoughness too and how it's like, "Who am I to do this thing?" Or "I'm not enough just yet". I also think about... Trying to find the right words for it but... Just kind of all the things in that area where it's not necessarily the allyship but it's also like, "I'm not this person yet who stands up for people." And I want to call bullshit on that because I think that a lot of people, you're already there. You've been there and you just haven't acknowledged how there you are. How much change and evolution and all these things that go into being ready have already happened.
Erica Courdae: And somehow that not-enoughness that you mentioned, which I definitely think that that's accurate, it's this like, "Oh, well I'm not enough to do this because I see it being done by this person or in this area in this way and I'm not ready to do that. I can't do that." Yes, you can. Yes, you can. And it's not about doing it perfectly. So, releasing that need to do this perfectly, I think, gives you permission to step into that place and let that idea of it, being an imposter go. Because now you're saying like, "I can be this person and be imperfect." Because that whole concept of being an imposter, I think, has a lot of roots in perfection, which we all know is bullshit.
India Jackson: Can I also say, I think sometimes it has something to do with comparison as well for some people. We're comparing ourselves to the person that we look up to who is the amazingly great ally for diversity and has built this diverse space and all these other beautiful things. And now, we're comparing ourselves to something that we've convinced ourselves about them that we feel like we're not, which isn't necessarily true. That person has their own challenges and their own imperfections. It's like perfection is a lie. It is a myth. No one is perfect.
Erica Courdae: Correct. And I'm going to double back on what I said in that we all know that it's a lie. We all know that it's a lie. We don't always remember that it's a lie and we don't always act as if it's a lie. So, I think yes, comparison steps in and all of these things basically are just keeping you in a place to where you don't step into your true purpose and power because somehow or another, "Oh, that's not me, I can't do that." And whether or not it's because somebody else can or is or did. Somehow, you think that there's a reason why you can't even attempt is all a lie. All of it is a lie. And just the fact that the concept of, again, imposter syndrome, it's built on a lie. It's built on a lie because it's telling you that you're becoming something that you're not. When it's really that, no. You're becoming who you already are, who you're stepping into more of, who you are inherently, and you're simply finally being in a place of claiming it.
India Jackson: Well, and I think that it can, if we're not careful, be rooted in this concept that once you are something, you're always that. But humans, businesses, brands, it doesn't matter what you're talking about, it is constantly evolving. Life is transformation and evolution. Nothing is stagnant. So, why would you want to be the person you were five years ago today?
Erica Courdae: That is a part of releasing again, that perfection. Because you'll see a lot of things now where it's like somebody did something. And you did it years ago, decades ago, and it's like, "Oh, but you did it and that's not okay." It's based in you can't ever make a mistake or have made a choice based on the best choice you had at that time. And that if you feel differently now it's like, "Oh, but you didn't do that then." That basically says that you're not able to reconsider. You're not able to grow. You're not able to expand what your normal is or what you're okay with. Because, "Oh, you did this and you're stuck with this for life." Oh my God, please stop. Don't do that to yourself and please don't do it to other people because you don't want to receive it.
India Jackson: You know? It also makes me think about the phrase that I feel like it's coming up a lot in business spaces, which is "stay in your lane". And while I think it is important to know your zone of genius and to thrive in that area instead of feeling like you have to know all the things and do all the different areas that maybe even you're not good at, I think that if we're not careful, that phrase can become something that is not helpful to where it can go back. And some imposter syndrome to make someone feel like, "Well, because I stepped out and started talking about something, now I'm not in my lane anymore. Now I am stepping into somebody else's arena that's not for me. Oh, well, I'm an imposter." That's not necessarily true. I think sometimes that we may have these things inside of us that were once important or have been important for years that we just chose not to talk about. Now we're talking about them. That doesn't mean you're stepping out of your lane.
Erica Courdae: No, I agree 100%. Because I think that it is very easy to take the "stay in your lane" as a reason to not expand maybe what your platform is or what's important to you or just simply have a conversation about something. I think that that phrase "stay in your lane", it is one thing to not be like, "Hey, I'm a realtor and I build houses and I dig ditches and I bake cakes too." It's like, "Oh, you do all the shit. Okay." I think that's a little different, especially if I'm not a relationship coach. But if I were to say from a place of mentorship, this is what I've experienced and this has been my takeaways and what I have experienced. And if you want me to share that with you, I can.
Erica Courdae: I think that is very different to step in and say, "This has been my experience" versus "I'm going to sell you a course and tell you how you too." That's something different to me. And I think that sometimes you can be made to feel afraid of sharing what your experiences are because you're afraid of somebody being like, "You can't talk about that." I damn sure can talk about my life because there's nobody else who's going to be an expert on it but my ass, I say.
India Jackson: Yes. Mic drop.
Erica Courdae: Yes. So, I think, yes, it is important to have that concept of what staying in your lane means. But also not letting that whole imposter syndrome kind of creep in with that in where you feel uncomfortable to own your experiences. You're not telling anyone they have to do that. You're not telling them that this is the way to do it and you are now trying to push them to do that. But I think you do need to have that space to be able to share your experiences. Because the reality is that more of us would feel comfortable in doing that if we were allowed the space to see that we weren't the only ones going through it.
India Jackson: I think that's huge. I think that there's a lot of people out there portraying a perfect life. That's not necessarily true. And so when we constantly see that, they say you're comparing your entire life and all of its bloopers to someone's highlight reels. More people need to tell true stories and speak from their experiences. And I don't see that as being out of your lane. I actually see that as being very empowering and building a stronger relationship and connection to the people that do follow you or do hear your podcast or do come to your public speaking engagements. It can completely impact and transform their lives as saying like, "Even this person who I aspire to maybe be more like has had their moments where life may have been challenging or imperfect or they had to relearn some things or unlearn some things." That's a whole nother story.
Erica Courdae: And I agree and I think that it is very important to allow yourself to step into your authenticity, to own whatever your story is. Now, I'm definitely not an advocate of sharing your story before you've healed. But even if it's nothing but being able to own it within yourself to work through whatever feelings you have with it so that you can personally own it, even if you don't share it. Or you share it in places that you feel safe. I don't think that everybody needs to go bust their shit out on the Internet all the time. Because there are times when you need to hold it. People out there, you know who I'm talking to. And it's not anyone in particular, it's just this whole culture of like... I didn't need to know that thing. I didn't need to know any of that.
Erica Courdae: But I think that it is empowering to own your reality and your experiences. And when you are ready to share that in hopes of supporting and empowering someone else that maybe thought that they were alone. "Is this just me? Is this normal?" And you feel very alone. So, giving that to someone is a very important thing. And it is also a thankless thing in that you likely may not know but you also don't have to know in order to validate it. So simply knowing that there's a possibility that you could impact someone is a worthwhile reason to be honest about what your reality is outside of the curation of the online space. So, my question that I'm posing to you where I'd like you to get your takeaway is where can you throw out imposter syndrome and step into more of your authenticity that you're okay with being visible with it?
India Jackson: I love that question.
Erica Courdae: So, I want you to just kind of feel into what that means for you and what can you say, "Nope, I'm doing this because I want to." And that's more than enough reason to do it. Screw it, whoever doesn't like it. They can kick rocks.
India Jackson: Hmm.
Erica Courdae: Just saying. So, I want you to take that, consider it, toss it around, journal over it, whatever is going to get you the awareness that you need. And as always, I love having India here, so thank you for that. And Pause On The Play audience, we shall return. Thanks, Indie.
India Jackson: See you guys.
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