February 2, 2024

Ep #4: Simple Tips for Ditching Imposter Syndrome

When you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, it can feel like life sucks all the time. However, life is 50% positive and 50% negative. Life is a collection of successes and failures, and what you choose to do with the information you learn from each experience along the way is up to you.

It’s time to discuss imposter syndrome and what it feels like to step into your most authentic, confident self. It might sound impossible right now, but there are simple steps you can take toward embodying that version of you, and I’m sharing them on the show today.

Tune in this week to discover how to start addressing your imposter syndrome, so you can show up as your most confident, authentic self as a performer. You’ll learn how to lean away from your imposter syndrome, and instead focus on your potential and what you do have to offer instead.

If you enjoyed today's show and don't want to worry about missing an episode, be sure to follow the show wherever you get your podcasts. Click here for step-by-step instructions to leave a rating and review, and don't forget to share with other people who might benefit!

What You will discover:

  • Why life is always a balance of 50% positive and 50% negative.
  • My own experience of imposter syndrome.
  • Why authenticity is what creates connection in this industry, not having all the answers.
  • What changes when you lean away from your imposter focus, and lean toward your potential instead.
  • How to tackle the root cause of your imposter syndrome so you can show up confidently and authentically.

Listen to the full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:


Welcome to The Confident Performer, the only podcast that guides ambitious, driven performers and entrepreneurs to show up authentically and confidently both on and off stage. If you are ready to make an impact in your life and community and start living your most amazing, empowered life, you are in the right place. You already have what it takes to make it, you just need to see it. And I’m here to show you how. You ready? Let’s go.

Hello and welcome back to episode four of The Confident Performer. I’m Amy Adams. Today, I want to talk about the aspect of imposter syndrome. And I want to talk about some of the requirements of what it feels like to walk into your authentic self and your most confident self and the steps in order to get to that place. I want to start with a quote, and I think something so necessary is, success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill said that.

And it’s one of those things that if you truly sit back and you think to yourself that every single moment if you were to measure your life truly in moments. Then you would get so many different experiences and so many different pieces of information that collectively built a life of a great 50/50. That it isn’t this 80% awesome, 20% suck or 80% no bad days and 20% that was a gloomy day or man, the day grandma died, that was a rough one. But it really is a collection, a series of no one moment breaking us, and no one moment making us. But it’s a collection of those events and what we choose to do with the information along the way.

Now, we all know stories of people who have just decided, I’m going to try something and that’s just not for me. So many different people have said, “I’m going to try and try and try and keep on trying until I just end up either giving up or just being too tired to try the thing anymore.” Or at the end of the day obviously it’s giving up. And then some people will say, “Well, I tried that, and it just wasn’t for me, or I wasn’t really having any luck doing that.”

And there’s just a number of things that if you knew, what if you knew today that if you started something today, you started listening to this podcast The Confident Performer and in one whole year you could change your life just by listening and doing the things that I say to do. And I always say to my clients, I’ll always say, “What I want you to do is I want you to try something, and I want you to try it for a week. Now, if it doesn’t work, don’t do it.”

So the things I’m going to tell you to try are going to make you feel better. And in my opinion, in the work that I’ve done in this career and in this lifetime, I have seen the majority of what we are running from is feelings. And it’s the feeling of not doing it the right way. It’s the feeling of embarrassment. It’s the feeling of rejection. It’s the feeling of not belonging. And it’s a matter of understanding, what if I could take this understanding of I want to fit in, I want to belong, I want to be seen, I want to, all of these feelings. And then we decided I’m going to make these small changes.

And in one year in making these small changes and practicing them on a constant everyday basis, it’s actually going to make me feel like a completely different person. Would you be willing to try that? Now, I say absolutely try it one week at a time. When I go to coaches and when I take classes and I choose to do anything in life, that is what I do. Because each one of us knows that if we have ever had the imposter syndrome at all, where you walk into something and you truly feel like, how did I get here? I don’t want them to find out that I’m not as good as they think I am.

I remember I used to have that when I was younger, kind of stepping into being a mentor and being a youth mentor especially, it was like, it’s not a matter of me being an actual expert in this field or having these accolades of academic achievements and being able to say, “Listen to me, kids, I’m going to show you the way.” It wasn’t a matter of that. So it was, I kind of came from the angle of, I’m just going to be my real self with these people and as real as I am and tell my story. And that’s how I begin to make those connections.

And then I began to realize, my idea of what being a youth mentor meant is actually very different from what I think it is. And the idea that I had in my mind was that I had to have it all figured out. And instead, when I realized that that’s not the case, that’s not the truth. They want guidance. They want to be able to feel heard. They want to feel listened to. They want to be seen, all the same things that I think we want as humans. Then what happens is we end up making connections and those lifelong connections where I’ve had people in camps that I did 15 years ago, and I still am in contact with.

A fun thing, I’ll actually have a few of them on the show, on the podcast. So them telling their stories and talks about their journey and their journey as a performer and then what they do and what they currently do now and it’s so exciting. So with that impostor syndrome, I know if you’ve ever cared about doing something and doing something well, you could have an idea of what something is. But then I think sometimes in that, I always want you to think about what if you were to lean away from that impostor syndrome or that impostor focus and lean toward the potential.

And kind of lean toward the angle of what is my actual overall potential? If I were to think of myself in a great capacity in a full capacity of a human being, what would my capacity be to share information on this human experience, my part of the human experience? And you’ll hear me say the word scientific study of one and that’s typically me just sharing my story from my angle. Now, getting into the practice of stepping into your potential, your mindset is so important.

And I always ask each person I’m working with, “Does that thought serve you? Would it serve you to have the thought, I am not qualified for this, people are better than me? She is a way better singer than I am. They are a much stronger dancer than I am. They’re an amazing performer and I look like an amateur compared to them. Would any of those thoughts actually serve you if you are going into an audition?” No, absolutely not. So I ask, why would you opt to think them?

It’s very interesting, I find when you’re in groups of people, it’s become very common and very popular to sit and complain. And I was doing a show and I remember, people would come into the dressing room, and they would talk about just how hard their day was. This is so hard and this person and this parking spot and this guy and oh, my gosh, and everything was just such a big, big deal. And people would then kind of look at me, “And how are you, Amy, how are you?” “I’m great. I’m great.” And I genuinely was great.

My focus on my day was great. I get to do what I want to do. I coach the clients I want to coach, I make my own schedule. I’m in a really cool show. I feel good about myself as a human being and an individual in this world. I genuinely was great, and I didn’t really have anything to complain about in the moment. I mean, I’m sure I could if we were talking about food choices or different things like that or whatever it may be. But in truth, I had nothing to complain about, and so I just didn’t.

And I’m not interested in the energy that comes along with that because I don’t think that energy serves us, I don’t think it does. Now, when you’re thinking of all of the things that lead you into this confident performer, this positive space of stepping into your potential versus this mindset of the impostor syndrome. What are you doing to make steps to actually get to where you need to be? What are you choosing to do when you wake up? Are you training the way you should be training? Are you thinking the thoughts that consistently serve you?

Are you making sure that you are not comparing yourself to people on Instagram when they’re doing things completely different than you are or they’re a completely different type of a performer than you are? I know that so many people will say, “Oh, gosh, they’re so, so, so good.” And it’s funny because I’ll sit in auditions at times and watch people and just kind of see their confidence level when they come up and even when they just say hello. And it’s so intriguing to see almost how they feel about themselves in an instant. And you can see the ones that are very well practiced and that do this all the time. They audition all the time.

So an audition is just part of what they do. You can see those who are a little rusty. There was a show that I was working on kind of out of 2020, and it was one of the first major auditions back and people were really, really uncomfortable, physically uncomfortable, visibly uncomfortable, and vocally uncomfortable, and dynamics to human relations, uncomfortable. And so when you think of wearing that almost kind of like a very visible cloak, I want you to ask yourself if that ends up serving you. And if it doesn’t, don’t do it.

All the things that you think to yourself on a regular basis, does this serve me? Does this showcase the best, most confident performer in me? Because that’s who you want to be. That’s how you want to feel. You want to feel like you have it all under control. And what if you don’t have it all under control? There was a time when I auditioned, and I cracked and then I cracked, and I cracked again, and I cracked again. And it was almost like, is this lady joking around? And this lady was not joking around? I don’t even know actually what was happening that day.

And I remember they asked me to sing a song that I had never really sung before. And they said, “Yeah, this is a belt song. Can you sing the song? Do you know it?” I knew this song. I know lots of songs, so I knew this song, but I went for it, and it was like a Garbage Pail Kid. It was not good. And yeah, I don’t know, it was just one of those moments that obviously as a performer sticks with you. And you do get a chuckle every now and again about, oh, sweet heavens to Betsy, that was a dangerous one. It’s one of those, if they had video of that, you would have looked back at that and you would absolutely be embarrassed.

But I think that’s all part of it, too. That’s all part of this whole journey as a performer, watching the videos of when you’re younger or even on, I was, I think it was in my 20s still, so it wasn’t super young, but it was still one of those, what is going on here? And the truth is, that I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t been auditioning in a long time. A friend of mine called and said, “Hey, will you come in and be seen for this?” And I said, “Yeah for sure.” So came in and then, yeah, again, didn’t know the song.

And it’s one of those things that I think often, if I can help performers not have to have that feeling. Sometimes I think having that feeling is actually really good for you. I think it really shapes you. I think it really prepares you. If you are going to go in and you’re going to be a true professional, that you step into the angle of what a true professional does. And sometimes I love this take that Seth Godin has in his new book, This is Marketing. He has this take on authenticity and basically professionalism where being your authentic self is one thing.

But he kind of looked at it as if we were to truly just be our authentic self in every single moment, that’s kind of the easy route. And it’s funny because if you think about that, most of that is pretty true. But when you think about being a professional, a consummate professional and he referenced it as the emotional labor that comes along with being in these uncomfortable situations when you want to say, “Hey, look, that was embarrassing. I would love to start that again and I wish this never happened to me.” Obviously, you can do that.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s actually been rooms that I’ve done that in because that’s my authentic style and that’s actually how I am as a professional as well. And I don’t mind that. I have grown into that being, I’m a little bit of a performer, singer/comedian in my heart type thing. So I encourage you to ask yourself, are you ready for what is next for yourself? Are you training to feel strong and feel great in your potential? Are you knowing, hey, I’m not a super dancer? If you were to put yourself on a resumé and you were to put singer, actress, dancer, or singer and then actor and then moves well, being honest, can you put dancer on there?

Yeah, if you take some dance classes, if you actively pursue being a better dancer, then yes. If not, you’ll be called for a dance audition and it will be very, very visible that you are not a dancer. So I mean side note, side tip obviously never lie on your resumé. Never lie on your resumé. People, this industry is small, and people will see, I see this.

I was actually at an audition one time, and someone did lie on their resumé. It was so uncomfortable. It was actually an open call. And the person that they called out had a specific tour on their resumé and someone called them out and they had worked on that tour and helped cast for the tour and different things like that. And the person got the boot, they got kicked out in front of all of us while we were standing there. And they were like, “Never lie on your resumé, people.”

And I just remember that moment, it was like getting just totally checked in a classroom where you were like, “I have the answer.” And then you answer, and you do not have the answer. You put your hand down. That was so uncomfortable. So when you think about those moments of great potential, don’t fake potential. Don’t say things that aren’t true. Don’t think, okay, well, I’m going to put this on my resumé, so I don’t feel uncomfortable doing this. Because that’s where you’re going to lean into that impostor versus the actual potential. So am I doing these things and trained in these things?

Do I feel great and confident in them? And if you don’t, get yourself to a place where you do. So you can change the feelings that you have when you show up for the thing, because that is the most important. These are all moments, our life is comprised of moments. And there are so many things that I could tell you and stories I could tell you. And I know that each performer has their own specific, amazing, and brilliant journey. I never, ever want an artist to think this is not for me or I’m not cut out for this because I don’t look like this person, or I am not running the same trajectory as this person.

Or even like I said, when I was younger I didn’t have the funds to do certain things. I want you to just decide if this is what you want to do, that your dreams are absolutely worth it. And then find a way to start training. If you know I want to be better, I want to be more, just capable every audition I go into, I want to be truly ready.

We had a mentor come out for some programs that I created, and I partnered with a non-profit about 15 years ago and created performance camps for kids. And people in the industry come back and mentor them through the arts, and there was a beautiful singer. Her name is Nayanna Holley. And she came out and you see her on The Voice. You see her on Kelly Clarkson’s show, let’s see, American Idol. And she’s always one of the backup singers and just a brilliant performer and a beautiful woman.

And she was talking about the aspect of, in the industry, finding that way to be ready. And knowing your music, knowing your sheet music, being so familiar with your pieces, being so ready. And in that capacity, I love that. It’s such a magical kind of take on what you should do to prepare consistently in the industry. And to that point, we actually had another artist say the same thing, Judith Hill. She came out and mentored early on with an amazing, brilliant mentor, Dennis Hamm.

So by doing all of that, I just encourage you, if you want to make sure that you eliminate those feelings as much as possible of that impostor syndrome, of not knowing what you’re doing or if you should be doing this. Lean into your potential. Lean into what you’re capable of. And if you are not capable and you are not ready, then get ready and get into that place.

One of my best friends, I talked about earlier, Kelly. He always says, “I’m already ready already.” And so in my brain I ask myself, am I ready? Am I ready for this? And in my mind, I will typically pop into that same old phrase that I’m already ready already, I am good and ready on this. All I need is the call. All I need is the job and I’m already ready already.

So ask yourself if you are already ready already. And if you’re not, get ready. And take each moment to build upon your craft, build upon your self-concept, build upon your understanding of belonging, build upon I belong in this room. Build upon you know what, I was invited to this audition or I’m showing up at this audition because I am ready and I’m capable. Decide that you belong. Decide that you are ready. Walk into your next moment, your next adventure, again, that success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to keep going to continue that counts. Never forget that.

Alright, beautiful people, thank you so much for listening today. It’s truly my pleasure. I hope you’re liking it. And for more information, feel free to reach out to me and share topics that you’d love to hear about as I would absolutely love to talk on anything that you want to talk about. As for that, take care and be well.

If you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to worry about missing an episode, you can follow the show wherever you listen to your podcasts. And if you haven’t already, I would really appreciate it if you could share the podcast with others who you think would benefit from it, and leave a rating and review to let me know what you think.

It doesn’t have to be a 5-star rating, although I sure hope you love the show. I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome podcast that provides tons of value. Visit amyadamscoaching.com/podcastlaunch for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate and review.

Thank you for listening to today’s episode of The Confident Performer. If you want to learn more about living your truth and showing up as your most authentic, beautiful self, visit www.amyadamscoaching.com. See you next week!

Enjoy the Show?