Momentum Podcast: 372
Kill The Imposter
by Alex Charfen
What is the thing in your life that creates vulnerability and exposure for you that you're fighting doing? I have things in my life that make me nervous, things that cause the imposter syndrome to make an appearance. I've recorded over 350 podcast episodes yet every time I still try to talk myself out of it. Every time I record a podcast the voice in my head says things like “no-ones going to listen to this one”.
Every day it gets a bit better and the voice gets a bit quieter. I don't think the imposter just goes away on its own. I think you have to intentionally kill it one day at a time. As evolutionary hunters, we fight the feeling of being exposed. Sometimes the most difficult thing we do, the thing that's the hardest is actually a guide to what we should be doing!
You are strong, you are capable, and you will create the business, the life, and the reality that you want. Do not let that voice talk you out of it.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: Right before us, people like you and I are going to do something extraordinary. We have a voice in our head that does everything it can to get us to stop. To scare us away and to intimidate us. The only way to make is stop is, over time, to kill that voice and kill the imposter. Imposter syndrome affects everyone of us, but you can overcome him.
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how.
While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters. Clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution, and we always will be.
Yesterday and the day before, I had the privilege to speak at Jason Hall's [inaudible] live conference. It was awesome. There was over a hundred real estate professionals there, property mangers. They all entrepreneurs running their own businesses. It was really fun, and right before I spoke ... Anytime I do a keynote, I often get the question, "Hey, Alex, do you get nervous when you do this?" Because the person's standing next to me, and they're looking out at this sea of people, and the number one fear people having is public speaking. The second fear is death. So, that means most people would rather die than do what I'm about to do. So, I know that person's always comparing me to them, and I always say, "No, I don't anymore." And I'll explain that in a minute, but right away, I want to explain away what I just said to the person.
I always say, but every time I record a podcast, every time I go on Facebook Live, every time I do something other than public speak, where I expose myself, I absolutely get nervous. And the reason I explained it is because every single person in the world fights imposter syndrome and I don't know if the person next to me is just asking, or if they're saying, "Hey, could I ever do this?" And the reason I explain that I get nervous like crazy, doing other things, is that when it comes to public speaking, very people in the world have 10,000 hours but I believe I actually have 10,000 hours, because in one way or another, in my career, I've been speaking since I was 13 years and met Rick Lara. I started public speaking in his classes. He got me my first paid gig when I think I was 14 or 15 years. I can't remember what part of the year it was in but I was either 14 or 15 years old, so I got my check for actually speaking in public.
And then, even when I was running my own businesses, when I was a consultant, I always spoke. In fact, I've been on live TV, I've done tons of one day, two day, three day, even four day seminars. I've done hundreds of keynote speeches, maybe thousands. I've been on TV hundreds of times. Did over 10 years on and off the air at Home Shopping Network. So, all of that adds up to, I'm not nervous doing something that makes other people feel really vulnerable. I mean, I do get a little bit of a flutter here and there, and sometimes I get a little bit of butterflies but nowhere near like when I do this, when I record a podcast.
In fact, every single time I'm about to record a podcast, there's this voice in my head saying, "Ah, no one's going to listen to this one", and, "Do you really know enough about this subject and is this how you would really coach this? And are you clear on this? Are you straight or are you coaching people on something you're not doing?" And the voice just keeps going and going, and going, and it tells me to stop this. Here's what I found, every single day, it gets a tiny little bit easier. I get a little clearer. That voice gets a little bit quieter and I gain a higher level of commitment, a higher level of confidence around this because, see, I don't think the imposter just goes away. I think you have to kill it one day at a time.
Here's what's interesting, when I started speaking, when I actually got put in Rick Lara's speech class when I was 13 years old ... Today, the fees I get paid to speak are anywhere from $25,000 when it's close, and much higher than that when I have to travel far away. I've made millions of dollars speaking. In fact, I had a 24 hour period on Home Shopping Network where I put together a deal, where not only did I put together the deal, source everything for it, put the partners together who made the deal happen, we did 22 million dollars in the 24 hour period. And I was the guest who sold the product, so I had a 22 million dollar, 24 hour period.
So, I've done a lot speaking. It's gotten to the place where it's not easy for me, as it's relatively easy but when it comes to recording this podcast, and when it comes to doing Facebook Lives, I've done hundreds of them, and still, every time my head's talking myself out of it, and I'm battling with myself to hit the live button. And I'm telling myself, "Oh, I should change the subject or do something else, or maybe I shouldn't go live." And I think what happens is, this happens to all of us because we are evolutionary hunters. We fight vulnerability. We fight the feeling of being vulnerability. We fight the feeling of being vulnerable. We fight the feeling of being exposed. We fight the feeling of that lack of safety, that lack of cover and that makes sense for evolutionary hunters to feet that way.
It also, I believe, not only is that, I think in a lot of ways, when you listen to that voice, we're hearing the voice of people from our past who left an impression. We're hearing voices of people who said, "Can't you sit down? Slow down? Stop talking. Stop daydreaming. Pay attention. Try and do better or worse." And when we get into situations where we're going to expose ourselves, where we're going to be vulnerable, all of that comes rushing back. It happens to 100% of us. Johnny Carson, who ... You might not even know that name but he used to do The Tonight Show and he did it for I don't know how many years. I think it might've been two decades that he was live every single night on The Tonight Show. And right before he went on stage, his heart rate would actually go to heart attack levels, that's part of the reason he retired, was his doctors told him he was going to have a stroke backstage, one night.
So, his heart rate would go to heart attack levels, to where he might have a stroke or get an aneurysm, or something, and he would throw up every night. Every single night, he went through that physiological battle, even though he probably had 10,000 hours speaking to get out on stage and go in front of a live audience, and do a live one hour show. So, here's one of the most successful TV personalities of all time and he throws up at night, from nerves, every single time he goes on stage.it just tells us that sometimes the most difficult thing we do, sometimes the thing that makes us feel vulnerable, that's hardest, that we fight doing, where we don't want to push the live button, we don't want to expose ourselves, we don't want to tell people what's really going on, we don't want to ask for the help we need. That is a guide to us sometimes that, that is what we should be doing.
What is the thing, right now, that creates vulnerability and exposure that you're fighting doing. Do you need to be going on Facebook Live? Do you need to start up on Instagram? Do you need to start telling the world your story? Do you need to be more vulnerable? Do you need to have that real conversation with your spouse? Do you need to go start speaking, start creating a product, get on stage, get out there, expose yourself, create a following, sell at a higher level, do more of what you already do. But that voice in your head is saying, "You need to hold back." That's where you should be leaning in. The thing that scares you the most is probably where you should be right now and I want you to know that I'm here for you, and right before you do it, and you get that feeling, everything's saying you shouldn't do this, and you know how it peaks right before you finally decide to do it. I just want you to remember that that is exactly where you should.
When you are vulnerable and you feel small, and you feel exposed, and you feel that feeling of being unsafe, to the world, you actually look strong and you look capable, and you look transparent, and you look real. So, right when you feel that imposter syndrome creep up, I want you to know that that is you creating your future. That is you biting through to your destiny. That is you creating the business, the life, the reality you actually want, so do not let that voice talk you out of it. Kill the imposter one day at a time because that's how everyone of us got to where we are. When I started speaking with Rick, I was terrible. I was terrified every time I went on stage. When I found out that I was in a class called forensics, which I thought had something to do with crimes and I thought it was going to be interesting in high school, and when I found out it was speaking, I tried to quit.
I actually went to the office and tried to quit because I stuttered. I had a hard time getting in front of any type of a group. I didn't really enjoy being in front of people in public. I had done some acting but in acting, for some reason it was easier because I wasn't myself but still, I had had some issues and I had a play I didn't want to show up to. I had crazy stage freight, crazy phobia being in front of people. Working with Rick, I was able to get over it one day at a time because I had to. I actually went and tried to transfer classes, and there was no other classes available, so I was literally stuck in his class. But them, once I was in it and I met ... I listened to him and I started following what he said, I killed the imposter one day at a time but I want you to know I didn't start out that way.
I wasn't gifted in public speaking. I worked with one of the greatest coaches in the history of the world. Rick Lara is incredible. He takes people who have never spoken before and gets them to be able to speak within one day. And he's still doing this. He's been my coach for over 30 years, so speaking in public, I can do but any other time I feel vulnerable or exposed, I feel just like anyone else, and I have to say, "I'm going to do it anyway." Just like I did when I recorded this podcast for you.
So, if you get to that place where the peak of exposure hits, I want you to remember I am right there with you. If this podcast spoke to you tonight, if you identify with being a evolutionary hunter, I want you to stop right now and go to freemomentumbook.com. Order a copy of the entrepreneurial personality type. We'll get it shipped out to you immediately, and takes about 45 minutes to an hour and a half, to read, and that book will do three things. It will help you understand yourself better. Stop limiting behavior and know exactly how you can create momentum.