Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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What do JLo, Michelle Obama, Jodie Foster and Maya Angelou have in common? At some point or another, they’ve all felt like impostors. That’s right. Fakes. Frauds.

If you’ve ever felt like a fraud — like every accomplishment you’ve ever made is just a fluke and someday people are going to find out — clearly, you’re in good company.

“Impostor Syndrome” affects a whopping 70% of us, according to research. While this fraud feeling is universal, it tends to hit women the hardest. Why?

Shame always shrivels when you share it out loud. Click To Tweet

Because as women, and members of other traditionally underrepresented groups, it’s easy to look around and feel out of place or like we don’t belong. Socially, we’ve been conditioned to self-deprecate and downplay our abilities. Which can lead to low self-esteem and self-sabotage that adversely affects every sphere of our lives.

Because when we internalize that message—that we’re not the “real deal”—we suffer major consequences. Not just emotionally, mentally or creatively. But financially. I’m talking smaller careers and smaller bank accounts.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to overcome Impostor Syndrome before it stops you. You’ll discover six strategies to help you heal chronic self-doubt and low self-esteem while building genuine confidence.

It’s time for you to make the contribution you were born to make.

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

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Now, I’d love to hear from you. In the comments, tell me:

  1. Have you ever felt like a fraud? If so, shout it out in the comments below — we need to strip the shame that comes with feeling like a fraud and realize how universal it is.
  2. What strategies have helped you overcome Impostor Syndrome? For bonus points — what’s a fun, go-to mantra you can use in those clutch “I’m feeling like a fraud” moments?

Share as much detail as you can. Countless souls come here each week for insight and inspiration. Your story about impostor syndrome may be just what someone else needs to have a breakthrough.

Please share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. may be removed.

Got a friend, client or colleague that suffers from impostor syndrome? Share this post. Not only will they thank you for it, but you’ll have one more person to add to your fraud squad.

Thank you so much for reading, watching and adding your voice to this important conversation.

Your thoughtfulness and energy make this one of the most supportive and encouraging communities in the world!

All my love,


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  1. JAS

    As a woman in tech, imposture syndrome is something that I am VERY familiar with!! One thing that has helped me is to remind myself that while there may be better engineers out there, they are not here right now in front of my computer screen. I tell myself that the problem I’m solving or new feature I’m building is depending on me to fix it or build it. There are always better people out there in the world, but if they are not in the room taking care of the task at hand, then it doesn’t matter how good their code is.

    • This is amazing, JAS!!! Such a good perspective! 🙂

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Jas this is such wonderful perspective. You are absolutely right. There may be other great people in the world, but only you can provide your service in your own unique way!

    • Wonderful perspective JAS!! Clapping on this 🙂

    • Melanie Torti

      I LOVE this! No matter how good they are they are not here now. THAT is helpful.

    • Wow this is the most amazing mind hack! Thanks for sharing!!

    • HANKA

      What a wonderful insight :-). I printed it in bold letters and put copies in my wallet, bathroom mirror (the one where I check my wrinkles each morning ánd night :-)) and next to the steering wheel in my car.

      “I AM THE CHOSEN ONE !!”

      That’s RIGHT: there may be even better life-coaches out there, but they are not here right now in front of these clients. I am here because they chose ME. Yayayayayayayayay :-).

      Thank you Jas!!

    • Gabriela Raquel Ruiz Sánchez

      Love your contribution 🙂

  2. I started a coaching business earlier this year and feel like a total fraud. Eventhough the clients I’ve worked with so far have given me incredibly positive feedback, and I know a lot of people make a living coaching, I’m struggling with feeling worthy offering my services and receiving money in exchange! my strategy to keep going is to think “what’s the next step here?” and keep the focus forward and action-driven. I don’t have a mantra but I’ll make one up right now! “Curniss, you know you’re good. Don’t pretend like you’re not – own it!”

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Boom! That’s a great mantra. Write it down so that you can see it everyday if you need to. There can be a billion other coaches in the world, but none of them are you. You’ve got this!

  3. Naomi

    I have felt like an imposter and still feel like one at the moment. ?
    I am strongly inspired by you and I have been giving free personal branding talks not as a main speaker but I get very good feed back??, I recently got invited to co write a book with a great man here in Kenya and been feeling like I will be found out. I have also shot a trial podcast episode and I found myself introducing myself as “you are watching NaomiThinksThat the place to be to create a fearless life”. ? I know this is how you start your show. Should I stop? How can I open mine.? I want simple catchy memorable and fun/cool.
    Love your show and fashion style. You are so funny and a huuuuge inspiration.

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Hey Naomi – Kudos to you for putting yourself out there with your branding expertise (yes, expertise!). The book opportunity sounds amazing as well. Marie’s tip about shining the light on your customers and what they need would be an excellent tool to help you overcome your self-doubt and create an introduction for your podcast that truly reflects who you are and how you want to impact the world. You have a unique gift that is truly your own and that should shine through in every aspect of your business and life. Best of luck!

      • Naomi

        Thank you so much team Marie.
        I will implement all you have told me.

  4. J

    Yes, yes, yes! Transitioning from a traditional career to a spiritually based business has created a similar feeling. While working full time I provided my services for free for so long, I still struggle with worthiness to receive compensation for it now that it is my full time job. Despite how much people may say I help them, I’m often left with a feeling of not meeting my own expectations of myself. Thank you for this! Made me feel not alone! On it in 2019!

  5. haha hi y’all!!

    you got it Marie. It’s not easy to write a comment on this site, because I’m a dude, and surrounded by dangerous women haha, but I’ll try anyway. (never got a comment back though 🙂

    I have the same syndrome: I am an artist, a cook, a musician. I would like to build a home restaurant but all the time this ‘fraud syndrome’ comes up. Who am I to start a home restaurant.. I’m no five star chef de haute quisine.

    I had to think of this: that is why people go to a certain school and get a diploma so the diploma backs them up. I have a diploma as an artist but not as a cook. I have no diploma as a musician, but I can FEEL the music and I have so many ideas, it flows through my veins like a lifestream.

    But when I start cooking, then this fraud syndrome comes up like hammer, knocking me down. But I had a dream, a real dream during my sleep, and it was a sort of predicting dream. I saw a big fat Buddha holding a bag of gold coins, saying: Andrew, you got to cook. This personal dream means more to me at this moment at this moment.

    I don’t have answers, I just wanted to share my story,

    blessings and a Happy Newyear,


    • Hanka

      Thank you Andrew! I think you are right: people do get diploma’s, to have the system validate them :-). I know that I do! I have quite an impressive stack of them too, but it never seems to be quite enough.
      I wish you a wonderful new year & go for it 🙂


      • Andrew Zeegers

        So I recognize a few things:

        • as a child, our parents should have given us the love to build up a rocksteady selfconfidence. Sometimes that failed. Then… this can linger on in our later lives.
        • it is important to also compassionate support our own friends when they start out on a project or business and not to hammer them down (which happens a lot on social media)
        • it is important to get the knowledge and skills to do a certain trade. So, there are tons and tons of online courses on any subject. I sit daily following one or two courses, and write everything down and chew on it. I might not get a certificate or diploma, but at least I got new skills and knowledge.
        • nowadays we can get confidence also through referrals, people who positively comment on your work. It’s important that we also write positive referrals on our friends projects.

        just some thoughts….

        bless you,


    • You’re not the only guy here. Here’s a story about a successful restauranteur who started small with a soft launch and eventually grew his business into an insanely popular restaurant in his city: The aspiring chef decided to reach out to his local rotary clubs and offer to provide them with complimentary catering for one of their monthly meetings. Not only did he use fine linens on his serving tables, but also served the entrees on regal serving trays (which he may have found at local secondhand stores, but no one was the wiser), and he was adorned in a professional head chef coat and wore a quintessential chef’s hat, but being the “strategic” chef that he is, he also brought purple (the color of royalty) and gold-lettered flyers to the event which promoted his “private chef” catering services for intimate dinners – where he bought the best ingredients and prepared an exquisite “fine dining” ambience for his client-guests. Leveraging technology, he upped his ante into this alternative “restaurant without walls” business by advertising on LivingSocial, Groupon, and even offered group culinary classes on Eventually, the demand outgrew is availability, so he hired two assistant chefs to meet this growing demand. It wasn’t long after that he found the perfect mid-sized retail space that was ideal for a bistro. He built a simple, yet aesthetically appealing website on to advertise his menu and pre-book dinner reservations. That’s right! Guests had to make an appointment (and prepay) to even eat at this speciality fine dining establishment! The local papers raved at the impresario of this amazing chef!
      Andrew, that could be YOUR story!

      The late Dr. Steven Covey said in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to (1) Begin With the End in Mind and (2) Plan Your Work, Then Work Your Plan. I’ve given you a simple business model that can be your story. All you have to do is “plan” and “work.” Best of luck to you in your journey!

      • Andrew Zeegers

        hi John,

        thank you so much for your encouraging words! I read every word of it. I believe you’re right. Furthermore, I will put it into action, like you told me DEAL!



      • John – your encouragement crosses all dreams and goals. You’ve inspired me and reminded me of what I truly do — I’m a Realtor by professional. My niche is that I help my residential real estate investor clients to create a map of where there want to land in terms of passive income from their rental business and help them accomplish it over time. Together we establish their monthly passive income goal, and then make a list of each step to get there. Then they determine the first right step, and arrange each step after with a clear plan. Once the map is complete, they focus on taking one solid step at a time. We reassess the map annually to make sure they’re on target toward their goal and adjust as needed. Without exception, the goal they thought was insurmountable is accomplished ahead of time, and our review meetings become about expanding the goal map or adding other dimensions/goals to it.
        I love what I do, and particularly treasure working with first time buyers — my goal is for them to have an extraordinary experience and be set up for success. The most frustrating thing about being a Realtor (to me) has been the consistent in and out of those new clients. It’s a personal interaction that creates instant, pseudo-deep connections with clients that exist during the transaction, but fade after. I’m not one to send out reminders that I’m here (recipe cards, newsletters, appreciation parties.) I prefer referrals that come from truly valuing what I’ve done for them, and fortunately, my business is 100% organic referral from past clients. Some clients remain friends, but most become acquaintances — so it feels very transitional and emotionally tiring. I’ve found this aspect of my business with lifelong clients builds connections that do last, and has created some close friendships that I treasure. I never realized the connection to obtaining ongoing relationships and providing goal mapping for my investor clients, but reading your post somehow triggered the thought trail. Thank you!

    • Nika

      I can totally relate. Switching careers now and wanted to go back to school as it seemed like the only way to transition but then I started talking to people in the industry, and everyone started saying that I have such a rich experience and I just couldn’t believe I could offer something valuable. I’m still learning a lot and have to remind myself everyday that I can do it, but I’m moving in the right direction I believe. I’m sure you can do it, Andrew, and your best validation will be your clients’ praise rather than some diploma that no one cares about.

    • Hey Andrew,

      here a comment from a woman 😉

      I really like the comment from JAS: “As a woman in tech, imposture syndrome is something that I am VERY familiar with!! One thing that has helped me is to remind myself that while there may be better engineers out there, they are not here right now in front of my computer screen.”

      They get an amazing idea with good cooking skills, and that is what is there at the moment. So go for it!

      People can still go to star restaurants. But those don’t have what you have to offer.

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Hi Andrew – Thanks for sharing your story. I can feel the passion you have for cooking and your artistic endeavors through your words. That means you’re right where you should be. Marie has said many times that if you have something wonderful to share with the world and you don’t, you’re stealing from the people you could impact with your talent. Keep going after your dreams!

      • Andrew Zeegers

        hi Meika,

        thank you so much! Haha, I never got so many reply’s!!
        I feel and see now, that the whole thought of ‘must have a diploma or certificate’ in fact means that I am giving away the authority to approve or disapprove my projects or business to other people. A teacher, a government official, a critic, a friend, who-ever … and if he/she, approves of my project, then I’m good.
        But if he/she does not, I feel like a fraud.
        I now understand, the basic rule that the ‘center of gravity’ of the approval must not come from outside of me. But I must allow myself. Approve myself. I got this idea for this project, what am I waiting for? For someone else to say “yay or nay”. Pffft.
        I approve me. I allow me. My own judgement inside of me is the center of gravity.



        • I said ‘my own judgement’, but I meant to say: ‘my own approval inside of me’

    • Happy New Year to you Andrew and as you can see — everyone is welcome here 🙂 XO

      • hi Thank you Marie,

        women are on the rise and they are unstoppable. Or in other words, the feminine is on the rise and us men better connect with our feminine side inside us so we might join the party… haha (no-one can see that I secretly wear pink underwear haha)
        I can find that side of life in me, thank God Halleluya,



    • andrea

      Going to school and getting a diploma/certificate is only ONE method of learning. More and more companies are realizing the importance of real world learning. Book learning only carries you so far. When I graduated with my Computer Science Diploma, our instructors said “Now the real learning begins. You will meet people with no degrees but 10 years experience. If you are smart, you will keep your mouth shut and listen and learn.”
      So be a cook, run your own restaurant, hang your art on the walls and once a week you have a jam night…. sounds like a great place to hang out.

    • Hi Andrew,
      I’m a personal chef and have been cooking for clients for 10 years. I can still feel like a fraud at times. It’s coming out more lately because I’m writing a cookbook!
      I did not go to formal culinary school but did an awesome online course a couple years back, even after I had been cooking for others for 5.
      When the bad feelings come, just think of how you are going to help people. How people have to eat 3 times a day and how you can help them enjoy delicious homemade food filled with your love. Also when I started working on an abundance mindset and believing that there is enough $$$, ideas, friends, love for everyone, then I can worry less about comparison or competition. All the best and happy cooking!!!

      • hi Cristina,

        thank you for your comment :-). That is awesome: writing a cookbook! That’s quite a challenge.
        I’m also inspired by abundance… and try to connect that to my heartflame to actually pouring that abundance to others. that might sound strange. But once the abundance travels from the mind to the heart, in enters the realm of feelings, of love. Love is something that you can pour into people into situations, into projects and so on… the word emotion come from e-motion energy in motion. Love pours from one place to another, it is moving energy. And moving energy pours from you to the universe and multiplies and comes back through the Law of Attraction. So … when a decision is made to embrace something, to start pouring, to push my button, then I move energies in motion and the universe must move with me. So.. here’s my deal. I’ll push my button, right ? And do it.



  6. haha,

    I feel like a fraud, commenting as a dude on a mostly women website…

    • Hahaha, …. Andrew, I liked your comment being a fraud on mainly a women’s website.
      No, definitely you are not. I do understand that it seems scary to start your home restaurant when you do not feel qualified for it because you are not “stamped” by an official institute or training class.

      Okay, so just think a little… All who went to your home restaurant would go to you because of you and not because you have a “stamp” on your head like a “cook”. And, they will return to you because of your fantastic food and the special treat and company you give them and not because of you being an “official cook”. 🙂
      Make sense? 🙂 Hope it helps you to start.
      Wish you luck and happiness in your home restaurant!
      Love, Erika

      • hi Erika,

        thank you so much for your comment. I admit these inner subconsious blocks are there. I had to think a lot about it. It is important to get rid of them. And build up confidence myself….. without any diploma or something…
        I will check out your website off course but I can’t make a promiss at the moment that I will engage in a course.

        Thanks Erika,


    • Aaron

      Hi Andrew. You’re not the only guy here. I’ve been a fan of Marie for years. Thanks Marie, you’ve helped me when I was working in real estate for the boss and more recently in my own car detailing business. Regardless of gender, all good business sense is good business. I’m now about to start out doing marketing consultations for small business owners and this topic today has really hit home. Despite decades of experience in marketing, both in my own businesses and other people’s, I still feel like I’m not good enough to consult to others. I still feel like this even though I’ve been a marketing manager for a million dollar a month company and helped that real estate firm double their business! Thanks Marie, because “Aaron does have this $#*! figured out and can certainly help others smash it out the ball park too”
      G’day from Western Australia ?

      • Andrew Zeegers

        hi Aaron,

        thanks Aaron, appreciate that! I’m a fan too,



  7. Hanka

    This message comes at the best moment. Thanks Marie!

    My strategies are:
    Call one of my friends, sisters, children and share that I feel unworthy. They will shine the light on me :-).
    Read my three superpowers-file. That works like magic.
    Go to the gym, no matter how awful I feel and work out, till those endorfines make me feel good again.
    Get myself started in the morning and overcome that sluggish feeling of self-doubt with a good dopamine hit: a double espresso!

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Yes Hanka! Your plan of attack is powerful because you’ve included addressing your thoughts, words and actions. You’ve got this!

  8. Alice

    Interesting enough I have heard of this term before but didn’t pay much attention. After watching Marie’s video then I realised that I felt like an imposter most of the time!! (Any pill to cure this? Lol!) Now I have gained better understanding on this which means I could work on it better…fingers crossed. I also forwarded the video to my buddies so that we would remind each other when this syndrome shows up time to time!

    • Thanks for sharing this Alice — I so appreciate it 🙂

  9. Thanks for sharing everyone. Yep, I’m an imposter feeler, too 🙂 I always have, from as far back as I can remember. Most recently, I was awarded student of the year for my photography studies. In my mind, the staff simply felt sorry for me, as I had so many personal things happening behind the scenes; it had nothing to do with my work ethic or quality of my work (distinction for my end of year folio!). I’ve done a lot of thinking on this in the past few years though, and am learning that it’s when I start to compare my journey with that of others that it feels worse. I need to just keep on running my race, my way; I need to learn from others, but not be scared of their progress. I have come such a long way from where I started, and people are happy with my work; their comments are my go-to when I start to doubt. 🙂

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Congratulations on your award Helen! You’re so right – comparison will only make imposter feelings worse. You’ve got the ticket though – keep running your race. You’re right where you need to be.

  10. Kim

    I love love love your message Marie. And while I don’t have my own business yet, I will. Currently though, I get “good mommy” imposter syndrome. I feel shame all the time and worry that I’m going to mess up my kids and people will find me out. It feels weird even sharing this. When I remember, I tell myself that being a mother doesn’t mean being perfect. I’m doing the best I can and when I inevitably make mistakes, it’s OK. And my kids can benefit too from seeing that it’s ok to make mistakes.

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Hey Kim! Mom Imposter Syndrome can feel like an enormous weight, but you’re giving your children such a gift by showing them that it’s perfectly OK to make mistakes. You’re doing great!

    • Lyn

      As the mother of four, all adults now, I can tell you that although you make plenty of mistakes along the way, your kids won’t remember them. You might, but they won’t. My kids remember their childhoods with fondness. They talk about camping holidays, playing sport on Saturdays, being on the farm, making trips to town and how we always went to the playground after we had finished all the jobs… they don’t remember that I slammed doors, or yelled sometimes or was unfair because I felt like shit that day. They know that their dad and I loved them, tried to be consistent and modeled our values in the way we lived. They remember the routines and family traditions that we have built up over the years. Now they are extending and building on them in their own families. That’s how your kids will be too. Don’t beat yourself up with mom imposter syndrome. Kids are tough and very forgiving when they feel loved but not smothered.

      • Kim

        Thank you so much Lyn for your encouragement! I love your perspective of looking at the big picture, the long term. It’s so easy to get caught up in the minute to minute detail of life with kids. My goal this year is to keep the big picture perspective and let the little stuff just roll on by without having to put so much focus on it.

  11. LOVED this one! And yes, yes, yes….while my business has grown year over year I always have this nagging feeling that I should be WAY further along after 10 years. It’s never enough, and everyone else is better at this ‘running a business’ thing than me. It’s ridonkulous. Love the tips, and will put them into play beginning NOW!

    • Hi Joanne — what you’re describing is so, so common! In fact, we did an episode all about this “I should be further ahead by now” thought.

      Thanks for watching and sharing!

    • Joanne, this is something I struggle with, too. I need to be so strict with myself, and not compare my journey to others’ journeys. There’s no deadline! And when I look at where I was 5 years ago compared to now, that’s when I see just how far I have come; and given my “extras” that I am carrying with my family, health, etc, I need to be proud of all I have achieved, and use this to propel me forward. I also need to look to those further ahead, and perhaps see them as mentors, and guides to where I am aiming. (I’m typing this as a reminder to myself as much as anyone else!). All the best with your business, Joanne! I bet I could learn so much from you! (And I can’t wait to watch the video link!)

  12. Lou

    First up, LOVE the skirt!
    And yes, I feel like a total fraud most of the time. The only thing that really helps (but its only temp), is to start a new project. Those inbetween times are the worst…when the cheers are waning and you have yet to make a success of the next one. You are hiding under the duvet and contemplating taking a job as a tomato picker.
    This is SUPER helpful since I am currently in a major inbetweener cycle.
    Thank you very much

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Lou, we’re so glad this was helpful for your tomato picking decision making!

      • Anannya

        Hahaha it’s amazing in how many ways Marie’s videos impact people ?

  13. Thank you, Marie, this was really a great one, well done!

    I try to do videos, so I must tell you that I love your natural speaking and enthusiasm. Actually, I do not know how you do it… For me, it is so difficult to talk to “nobody” if you know what I mean! So, congrats because you are doing it marvellously!

    And about being a fraud… Oh my, yes, we all feel as impostors sometimes. And as you mentioned, even celebrities feel it from time to time. This is normal, we are human beings with changing feelings…
    I have also felt it already and most probably I will feel it again. I suppose nobody is immune to it.

    And my method to deal with it?
    Well, I was so fed up with the many advice that sometimes helped and sometimes did not, and that I did not have a structured system or tool to change my negativity to positivity that at the end I have created my own system! 🙂
    Yes, my whole life suffering, learning and experiences are now in a comprehensive, integrated and intuitive coaching system.

    Who would ever think that I will create a chart-based system like this? Well, definitely not me! But I did it and this is what I use when I feel down and with any negativity, like being a fraud. 🙂

    Thank you, again for the great video and reading my comment!
    With love,

  14. Somer

    Dear Marie,

    I am so grateful for you and your work and share it whenever I can, especially with my teenage daughters! I have been lucky to find myself in a career that I love with people who value what I do. As I begin to transition my love of teaching and helping young children and their parents into a business of parent coaching, with your help I have begun to see that my luck is actually talent. It has been a hard revelation to swallow and I still can’t embrace it wholeheartedly because of self doubt. Moving from a job that comes easy to me into a solo business that puts my authority in the forefront is scary! Fear has kept me from fully jumping in but Marie you are helping me and I will keep on making the leap!

    • Somer — this is wonderful and thank you so much for sharing these videos with your daughters! I started coaching partly because I just couldn’t believe how many awesome ideas/tools/perspectives and practices there were out there that I’d NEVER heard. Life-changing stuff!! Then I and thought to myself, “Why aren’t we teaching these concepts to kids!?!?”

      Practice the flashlight method I spoke of in this video. Whenever your attention, energy and focus is simply on helping, loving, being with, serving others — there is no space for self-doubt. The (chatty/conditioned) mind quiets and the heart takes over.

      It’s a much more fun and joyful space to live and work from! XO

      • Somer

        That is exactly why I want to coach parents! I have learned so many magical tools over the years that nurture young children’s spirit and soul as well as their mind and bodies and I want to share how they make guiding children joyful and effortless – yes effortless! Sometimes I just can’t believe how so few people know about these magic tools and I want everyone to experience what I experience every day!
        Children are our future and the deserve confident, intuitive parents by their sides! Thank you Marie. B school last year was what kicked me into gear and I loved every minute of it!
        I have

  15. youm

    Thx a million Marie… Right here, right now that’s exactly what’s happening for me… just about to open a golden door on a project I created 3 years ago, just following my creative instincts, a project about Words and Humans… having been a calligrapher for over 25 years, I now NEED to use this talent of mine and Serve… I’ve been raised like too many of us, feeling unworthy and being told I was certainly not worthy of success, love or anything shiny and warm… so, now that I’m just about to transform this dream of mine into GOLD… the Impostor is standing at my door and doing its usual Blablabla… still creates anxiety and fear, but like you, I’m a HUGE fan of Teacher Brenee Brown, her work literally saved my life at some point… so gremlins and all… tapping on my shoulders, I’m just reminded now that I “just” need to send them on the backseat, that they can be part of the journey but they should NOT say a word, breathing and playing my on mantra internally “WHEN YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS… THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE”… and yes… WHY NOT M E after all????
    Love you loads Marie,


    • Meika - Team Forleo

      We’re cheering you on and wishing you so much success Youm!

  16. Alexandra Sousa

    Finally, I have a diagnosis for what I’ve always felt! 🙂
    I’ve always admitted I’m insecure, in many aspects of my life. Although I achived a lot of things, I’ve always felt it, actually, as a fluke! Anyone could do what I did! With some sense of responsability, some work and, of course, with a few cleverness, anyone can do anything, so, I’m nothing special!!
    For instance, I’m portuguese and to write this comment in english, you have no idea the research I’ve made and …is always like this…lot of research every time I have a to do something new… and it takes me a long time to get started!
    Unfortunately, I think this affected my career, I’m almost 50 and my boss is now 35…
    Anyway, I strugle with this everyday, in small or big things…and I proscratinate a lot!
    Write this comment… maybe is a start of a change! Knowing that this is a common syndrome, gave me the courage!
    Now I have to think in my mantra, make my hype file and gather my fraudsquad!!
    Thank you!

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Yes Alexandra! Taking on a new language is such a major undertaking and you rose to the challenge beautifully. We love that by just writing your comment, you felt a shift. Once you’ve created your mantra and hype file and identified your #fraudsquad, you’ll be on your way to making major shifts in your life.

      • Alexandra Sousa

        Thank you! 🙂

  17. Marie, the more I watch you the more I love and respect you and what you stand for (happy Copy Cure student too ?). Last year was an enormous shift point in my life and business which inspired me to create the mantra “I know how to do this!” It’s been helpful around my marketing, my networking and even my health (got off sugar — major step! — and it’s making a noticeable difference in chronic allergies and sensitivities). Yup…Sharon, you know how to do this stuff!

    • Hi Sharon! Thank you SO much for your kind words — they mean the world to me. YAY on being in The Copy Cure too.

      YES to your mantra woman and congrats on making those changes with your health. All love XOO

  18. Perfect timing! I was talking about this subject last night with my business coach. It’s something I’ve felt for some years, I think it’s linked to my anxiety which I’m working on. I love using Marie’s phrase “Everything is figure-out-able” .

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Hi Sarah,
      I might be biased, but I think that’s a great mantra to fall back on! Keep going after your dreams!

  19. Charlotte

    This video was just what I needed today, thank you! I started my first business in the summer of last year, but I am about to send my first pitch off and I am avoiding it because I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing! Every time I feel like this, I get productive in every way possible, except for the work that actually needs to be done because the fear feels so strong!
    After watching this I am feeling more confident and can’t wait to try out the tips, thank you!

    • Send it!!! You are ready. I completely understand how you feel, but JUMP!

  20. Thanks so much for this Marie! I think most of us do go through this. You are right! I too feel it and lately even more due to the fact that I’ve realized I need to relaunch my first online program. Originally rushed my August launch (that I invested over $12,000) last year because I was short on cash. I now know it was counter productive. I did help a lot of people with my online body transformation program & made some of my money back. But not even close to what I spent. ??Lesson learned. With that said, of course now I question myself thinking I am not good enough. Even though I have 20 years experience as a fitness coach & personal trainer, postnatal expert. Over 10 years running my own fitness business in Toronto. I’ve changed hundreds of lives. Yet I still suffer from imposter syndrome. ??
    How I deal with it is a try to ignore my self doubt by either getting a workout in or calling a trusted friend for a few minutes. I also do positive self talk & incorporating some humour helps too. Lol…what is it I tell myself!? ? Sorry it’s a bit vulgar!? I say ‘Bitch! Stop it! You are awesome at what you do! Snap out of it!’ ??
    Thanks Marie for your positive vibes and helping so many of us. I am truly grateful!!!❤❤❤

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Hey Eszter! Running a business is a constant cycle of putting yourself out there and learning lessons, so don’t feel bad. We love your mantra and your routine for getting unstuck. Adding humor is awesome!

  21. I have felt like a fraud early on in my therapeutic cuddling and coaching career. I thought people were going to see that I did not hold a degree and wonder who I thought I was. It was because of all of the feed back I got from people telling me I’m so relatable when they watch my videos to clients saying they’ve learned to enjoy life again. The positive feedback os what kept me going. When I used to work in commercial construction before walking into a conference room full of older males I would say
    “It’s show time!”
    …and go in, head held high, raging confidence and ready for anything they threw at me. I also made sure to always say
    “I don’t know but I will find out and get back to you.”
    Clients don’t care if you don’t have the answer. Just make sure you find out and get back to them. This creates confidence in your word and in turn creates a trusting business relationship.

  22. Kim

    Happy New Year all you superstars!
    Marie – you are such an inspiration for me and your weekly episodes always seem to land in my inbox at just the right time. Thank you for being you and for all you do!

    This episode especially resonated with me…so much so that I felt the impulse to comment. I have had imposter syndrome my entire life. When I did well in school (I was a straight-A student for many years), I thought it was just because the teachers liked me. When I did well at work and was given new opportunities that others didn’t get, I thought my boss thought I was sweet. In fact, to this day, every time a great opportunity is offered to me (for example, I was recently invited to give a TEDx talk, which I did, but felt like a total fraud doing it), I think it’s because the person giving me the opportunity doesn’t know much or isn’t very successful or intelligent – I immediately discredit them and myself.
    Now that I am taking my business in a new direction, creating new concepts, experiences, workshops, inspired from my own imagination, I often find it difficult to believe that I really know what I’m doing, even though I’m getting positive feedback for what I’ve done so far. I know this imposter syndrome is preventing me from living my true potential and reaching the level of success I want and it’s time to do something about it. So, for 2019, I’m determined to change this, and am using the mantra “I am more than enough…I am awesome!” I also chose the word TRUST for my word of the year and am working on just trusting my gut and the universe to lead me in the right direction.
    You are ALL more than enough and truly awesome!! Don’t ever forget it!

  23. Thanks Marie! Right on. If I was an outsider looking down upon me as a physician and core excellence coach I could acknowledge that I have the education, motivation, and expertise to REALLY help people. Inside my own head though….I feel under-skilled and worry that I am not good enough and if people REALLY knew how insecure I can be they would never come to me. I am a damn good doctor and core excellence guide and my clients and patients appear to get life changing value from their connection with me. I, though, still struggle with my impostor thoughts. When this occurs I go and read my gratitude and my brag journal I write in daily to keep that dastardly impostor AT BAY.

    • Hey Julia — you nailed it when you said “Inside your own head.” That’s where 99% of our problems begin and can end. I love that you have a gratitude journal and a brag journal!

      As you know, our minds did not evolve for happiness — they evolved for survival. Negativity bias means that when we’re in our heads, it’s often bad news. (We did a MarieTV on this —

      Sending you a huge hug and loads of love!

    • Dr. Kate

      Dastardly imposter! Ha! Love that. I’m in health care field too. Why is it with loads of schooling, degrees, and special letters after our names we still feel less than? The struggle is real.

  24. lydia Maria Eichiner

    Everything is already written somewhere and from someone. Why should I do all this again?

    Because everbody has their specific Customers and conntacts, who like the way I do it.

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      You’ve got it Lydia! Just because it has been done, that doesn’t mean that everyone resonates with that person. Each of us is unique, so if you have the talent and passion, go for it!

  25. Amy

    Wow! I never knew there was a name for it (imposter syndrome) – thought I was just in a constant state of self-doubt. I needed this more than I realized!! It’s also weirdly comforting to know I’m not alone. Ready to keep my flashlight shined OUTward! Thanks, Marie – you da f*cking bomb (as usual)!

  26. This so hit home. I can’t tell you how many times a day I question myself and whether I’m a “real” artist. I have been painting as a professional artist since 2015 and I keep questioning if that’s long enough to be considered “good”. I have sold my art, I’m in 2 galleries and have exhibited in juried exhibitions. I always get the most amazing compliments and testimonials, yet I still feel that “CSD” (Crippling Self Doubt) which is so common among most artists. I think our sensitivity chip was probably upped a notch upon our creation.

    This year I am going to focus on creating from my heart instead of creating to please others or trying to be different and stand out. My best work is from those “love me” moments where I pour my soul into my work. I have a mantra that is actually a quote from Joel Osteen. “The first place we lose the battle is in our own thinking.” This sits above my coffee pot along with “Decide to feel good today”. This year is my year. So much good to focus on. Fear be gone! Thank you Marie for your infinite wisdom and always encouraging and motivating posts and videos. I appreciate you!❤️

  27. I am a copywriter, social media manager and photographer who dabbles in graphic design as well and because I do so many of these things I feel I am not good enough at anything I do, despite my accomplishments. Over the last couple of months I have felt like I am an impostor at every single thing I do and that it is only a matter of time until somebody finds out and calls me out for it. I am praised by friends and family as well as clients for all I do, but despite this I still feel like I am not good enough.

    I try to continue learning every single day and make up for my perceived shortcomings by simply being curious and understanding what I know and don’t know. I also make a list of all my accomplishments so I can go back to them and say “This was pretty impressive of you”, no matter what issues might’ve happened, I still got it done and I did it well.

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Thanks for sharing Felix! I love the “This was pretty impressive of you” comment. That’s an awesome add to the Hype journal Marie mentioned.

  28. John Moody

    Thank you Marie, felt like this a lot in past thank you for reminding me to chance my focus on person i want to help.

  29. Karin

    I, too, feel like a fraud in my profession, and have done so for as long as I can remember. I work in teams and sometimes feel totally freaked out when I share my point of view, because I’ll think ”This is the moment they find out I actually don’t know what I’m talking about and will call me out on it”. What has helped me is to share my feelings with some of the team members that I trust, only to find out they also suffer from impostor syndrome! I feel safer and more calm knowing that we’re all human and we all doubt ourselves from time to time, even the people I appreciate and admire.

  30. Hey Marie!
    I SO needed this episode, Marie! Since the new year rolled around I’ve been completely deflated, unmotivated and feeling like… yup, someone who has no clue what I’m talking about or doing! OMGeee! To make it worse, I’m growing my buis this year having to make decisions that I’m kinda freaked out about! Your tips and encouragement completely made my morning. Sharing with my #fraudsquad asap! THANK YOU MARIE! xo

  31. Nina Nais

    This video though, assumes that the person is really great. Not everyone is great. Some people really do suck at what they do. Suppose you are one of those people? Suppose you can’t call a “fraud squad” or collate a “hype file” because no one would compliment the quality of your work?

    I have achieved academic success and even a couple of prestigious job posts. However, in terms of how well I do my job and my impact on the world, I definitely am an underachiever. I procrastinate. I am not doing what I really would want to do, and that affects quality of my output. I’m still better than a lot of people, but that’s not good enough for *me*. I go by my own standards – I think about all the dreams I had as a child and a young adult, and I’m falling short.

    Can’t hype myself out of that feeling.

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Hey Nina,
      We can completely empathize. This is what Imposter Syndrome is all about – not feeling like we’re living up to an ideal or standard we’ve set. The next question is, what can you do to start moving yourself closer to doing work you love or pursuing the dreams you’ve put on the shelf? You can do it – just take one step at a time!

  32. Bruno Babic

    Yes, feeling like a fraud is known to me…ranging from experiences where I suppressed my true emotional and sexual feelings and desires towards women who obviously felt strongly attracted to me and who I initially felt naturally attracted to….to recent experiences where that inner chatter was trying to talk me out of my intention to share my gift of benefiting from using intuition with others through a form of an online business. Now, living in line with my intuition — that’s, in fact, living in line with higher consciousness that’s nothing but you being you true inner self spontaneously and naturally…and yes, confidently, too — is my golden strategy to combat any negative thoughts and feelings. And the way of how I have been able to magically develop my intuition — that’s now my most powerful tool for creating my desired dream life…a kind of life that goes way beyond ‘the impossible’ — is through regularly drinking a hot drink made of one teaspoon of turmeric and a little bit of black pepper — plus, eating DHA or omega 3 fatty acids rich foods –…practicing transcendental meditation in combination with other meditation and breathing techniques…and practicing yoga, including the Five Tibetans ritual that’s proven in helping one gain optimal health and feel and look rejuvenated. As a result, I am now able to magically remember and act on my dreams on a daily basis…and that’s, in fact, now a good proof of me efficiently using my intuition to blend my inner world with my outer world and being able to experience those moments of bliss — the bliss of being…being my true self — all thanks to actively — both consciously and subconsciously — creating my dream life. So, I now practically see my mantra in all the bliss moments of everything I do and everywhere I go that’s in turn helping me ignore any kind of negative inner chatter and smoothly go for and do what my intuition is telling me to go for and do at any place and any time.
    P.S. Speaking of my ability to remember and act on my dreams, it’s interesting for me to share with you that I have intuitively decided to click-open Marie Forleo’s email message spontaneously leading me to read the above article and watch the above video based on a mysterious meeting and conversation with a J. Lo lookalike in my latest dream. 🙂

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Thanks for sharing Bruno! It sounds like you’ve created a wonderful system to help you optimize your life and really dig into your talents and dreams. We’re wishing you so much success!

      • Bruno Babic

        Thanks Meika for kindly replying. Yes, the system is as simple as deep breaths in combo with turning all into eyes and ears so that you’re able to see or hear — to be fully aware of — all the relevant cues that come from within you…from your behavior and your energy… and from your closest environment made of both living creatures and things subtly “telling” you what to do or what to focus on at any given point in time.
        For example, very often just based on paying close attention to my pencil and the very direction it’s pointing to immediately after I’ve put it down to make a pause when writing something, I’ve experienced so many bliss moments purely as the result of unconditionally following the “instructions” of my pencil…even if it meant that I should immediately stop writing and do something else that at first might seem contrary to any common sense.
        Best wishes!

  33. Galya

    You are a ray of sunshine! will try to use your strategies, but it can take a while, as mine are deep-seated!
    Thank you Marie!

  34. Hey Marie and the amazing MF team!
    I don’t usually comment, but this video hit home with me right now!!! All the comments above were so helpful!!! I have 25 years of clinical experience as a music therapist and started my private practice in 2011. I now run a small agency and have several therapists that work for me. I wrote and submitted a proposal in November for an innovative new project that is bigger than anything we’ve ever done. I’m sitting here trying to write the follow up email and feeling like a complete fraud… I feel like a 13 year old, pimply fat kid, that “says all the wrong things at exactly the wrong times” (yes that’s a song lyric quote!) and I’m masquerading as a musician, masquerading as a therapist and truly my lack of business expertise must be obvious to the entire world!!!
    So when I feel this way, I watch an episode of Marie TV – TRUE FACT!!! This technique has gotten me through days of depression where I had no business and no idea how to make a living!
    Some days I reach out to friends that helps a lot because we are in the same boat! Most days I get my butt out of the office and go to our facilities and work with my staff and clients and realize how amazing they all are – I get lots of music and energy and love and realize that none of this would be happening if I hadn’t done what I do!
    Finally, I tell myself that “I’m MusicDebi! AND I ROCK!!!!
    Thanks for all the support from your amazing community! I have been truly blessed by all of your resources and content!

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Hey Debi,
      It means the world to us that Marie’s words have helped you when you most needed support. Keep going Music Debi, you ROCK!

  35. Oh yes, no matter how old or accomplished, the Imposter Goddess comes calling.
    Yet, I am finding when I welcome her in and ask her what she really has to say, I hear her more clearly.

    Beneath what seems to be criticism, I believe she calls us to action in a tough love kind of way. Every goddess serves a purpose. The Imposter Goddess has a hard gig bearing the lead that needs to be turned to gold.

    Invite her in. Ask her what she really wants you to know beneath the words. What might she be really saying?

    “You’re a fraud.” Perhaps she is suggesting “You don’t believe in yourself regardless of what others think. Believe in your gifts. Go and share them.”

    “Others know more, can do better, than you.” Perhaps she is suggesting “There will always be others with whom you may compare. Yet, each is unique. The value is relative. Believe in your gifts. Go and share them.”

    Listen. What else might she be whispering? Or shouting?

    My goal is to learn from this “Mean” Goddess. I believe deep down she wants us to be Seen, not Mean.

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Catherine, this is a wonderful perspective. Thank you for sharing! Feelings of doubt can certainly be calls from our innermost self to strengthen our beliefs and do more.

    • Nina Nais

      Interesting perspective. Coming at it from an unusual angle.

  36. Sheila

    Hey Marie,
    I hope you never feel like an imposter again, even though you may. You are helping many people through your videos. When ever I need help or advice, I always go to your website to keep me on track. Here is a reminder: You and your team are doing an EXCELLENT job, please don’t ever stop creating. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or to be perfect. Sometimes being REAL is a breath of fresh air nowadays.

    • What a loving comment Sheila — thank you! I’m so grateful that our videos are helpful for you. I do my very best to share my ups and downs and *all* of the great twists and turns of this adventure called life — and will continue too 🙂 XOO

  37. Since day one (like age 10), people always wanted me to be in charge or came to me for advice. As much as I loved the flattery, I always wondered what the heck are they thinking? Can’t they see I am not what they think? And it kept coming and I kept pushing back – Opportunities, promotions, great jobs, great relationships. I managed to avoid tons of good things. Why did they want me?
    Even now I hear that I am great at this or that, and I am like, really? So I definitely need to work at that problem.
    Thanks Marie and her team for this episode.

  38. Thanks Meika! Marie and your entire team Rocks the World!

  39. SachseFierce

    I work as an apartment manager, a field where older men tend to run the show. When I, a 23-year old female, stepped up to the plate, I received a lot of backlash from my tenants and contractors.
    The first couple years were FILLED with:
    “No no, I’m here to speak with the manager.”
    “YOU’RE helping me with my broken light switch!?”
    “Sure, what is the manager’s name?”
    (Hint, people, I AM the manager!!!)

    Between the external questioning and some of my own internal questioning, imposter syndrome definitely tried at me.

    I went to my business partner and boyfriend several times about it which helped, and I also developed a mantra of, “if they don’t like me, then someone else will take over. If that happens then I’ll just go kick butt somewhere else. Until then, I’m going to SLAY here!! No matter what happens I will WIN and be the best damn manager possible.” On top of that I created a board where I posted handwritten notes and printed emails from happy tenants, and I developed a working system that helped me stay firm and grounded whenever someone tried to test my ideas. I think that by speaking to myself positively, going to someone who I know would cheer me on, and staying firm in my decisions all really helped me grow into the confident woman I am today.

    Now, the majority of my thoughts are, “I deserve success.”

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      We love how you’ve shifted your energy! That will serve you so well as you move into bigger things! Go for it!

  40. I’m going through the Impostor Syndrome right now! Timing was great. I reached out to 2 colleagues/sistas and asked them why I don’t suck. Thanks for this.

    • Meika - Team Forleo

      Woohoo! Way to take immediate action Nancy!

  41. The timing of this episode is impeccable! I’m preparing for a huge speaking gig for ~100 accomplished, professional women, and I’ve been feeling the Imposter Syndrome deeply. It’s been surprisingly debilitating, but I’m pulling myself out by reminding myself that they’re humans too! With emotions and fears and dreams…just like me. And I remind myself to simply be me, because that’s when I shine brightest: full of fun, and no BS. I also call up friends who remind me that I’ve got this!
    My motto: “You were born to do this, Amanda. Just f*cking do it!”
    Thank you for this episode! I am very grateful for you and your team Marie!

  42. Maryssa

    I´ve been feeling such an impostor that I´s so stuck on writting my book. It has been a major challenge to me as I´m like a hurricane´s eye and faithfuly confortable on staying there, but feeling pulled and pushed by others to leave that place and finally shine, it has been my own struggle that stucks me there.
    I´ll follow the suggested steps and I’m sure I’ll finally move.

  43. As a solopreneur (and self proclaimed perfectionist) I suffer from Imposter Syndrome ALL THE TIME! Way more often than I care to admit. I don’t really have a mantra or effective strategy to combat it so I loved Marie’s ideas! Particularly the “Hype File”, because as a solopreneur I don’t have a “partner in crime” or someone to share my sorrows with. I think I need to adopt Mindy Kaling’s kick ass quote of “Why the $#% NOT me?” I work in social media, which often makes the problem worse because I’m led to compare to everyone else who’s (seemingly) doing better than me, or are younger than me etc. Thanks Marie, let’s kick imposter syndrome for good because there are WAY too many amazing women that feel this way and shouldn’t. Most women I know that feel this way are absolute superheroes and deserve to feel that way.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Heck YES, Darcy! We’re glad you’re feeling so fired up after watching this episode. We’re grateful to have you in our amazing community!

  44. I have absolutely felt like an imposter in my business. As much as I have helped 100s of people in my career who have been happy. There is always a handful of people that try to defame my character. This keeps me insecure and vulnerable always! How do I overcome these awful people who continue to gossip about things that aren’t true. This has caused me to fail and start over in my business a couple times. Exhausting!


  45. Oh yes, I know the impostor syndrome very well. My mantra is “don’t take it too seriously and remember your true Self”. I find it funny how we all think we’re being judged by imaginary perfect people who deserve true success as if they were the chosen ones. There is no such thing!

  46. Jasmine

    This was super helpful. I often get those imposter syndrome feelings and never really knew how to get them to go away. I’ll definitely be trying these tips. Thanks Marie

    • AWESOME Jasmine! Thank you so much for being here and have fun experimenting with the ideas — you’ll find (or create) a mix that really work for you 🙂

  47. I am a novelist and when my first book got published in 2017, I felt sure the publisher hadn’t really read my novel, or that she just needed to fill a space on her list, or that she published me because I’m a nice person, not because the book was actually worthy of being published. When the book first came out I was horrified, and felt that people were going to see how bad I really am as a novelist. The way I try to combat this rollercoaster of emotions is to ask myself, “Would you write these books anyway, no matter what the outcome?” The answer is always, “Yes, this is my passion, it is worth the risk.”
    Thanks for this video today! I have a book signing this evening, and I will be chanting the mantra, “You’ve worked hard for this, you are deserving and worthy!” all day.

  48. Sofie

    I’m feeling like an impostor most of the time. Feeling it right now.

    I came across a job opportunity a few days ago and it would be my dream job if I’d get it. Even though I feel that I don’t even have a little chance for getting it, I’ve been working on my resume and cover letter for days, but it’s not easy.

    On my worst moments I even laugh at myself and think (in 3rd person :D) “Who are you kidding, Sofie? You know nothing, you’re not good enough…they never gonna hire you…. there are many other people way better than you” and things like that…

    But you know what? I think I’ll make “Why the f*ck not me?” my new mantra.
    Even though I’m scared as hell I have nothing to lose.

    This episode came at just the right time. It helped me a lot.
    Thank you Marie! <3

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      We’re so happy to hear that, Sofie! Trust yourself and know that you already have everything it takes to achieve your dreams. We’re sending along our best wishes that you’ll find a job opportunity to feels like a great fit for you soon!

  49. Amy

    Marie, I love your episodes and often share the words of wisdom with my staff (I’m a long time career Executive Director of nonprofits). It’s so easy to feel like a fraud…I remember telling the Founder of a nonprofit over a decade ago after I secured a very very large grant, “I hope they don’t find out that I don’t know what I’m doing!”
    I love the shining the light outward image, and will use that for sure. I often look at myself in the mirror and say, “Amy, we got this!” chest bump, but maybe I’ll add that LOL…
    Thanks for being such a wonderful mentor and light in this world, Marie! You may not always feel it, but your changing lives every day 🙂

  50. I love your flashlight analogy 🙂 It very much rang true.
    Thank you for sharing your gift to the world.

  51. OH YES! I have certainly struggled with this.
    Back in 2011 I lost everything (child, car, money, relationship, home), yet completely turned my life around in a few months at the beginning of 2012. I manifested everything I set out to and it was pretty amazing. I even wrote a book about it.
    However, at the end of 2012 I suffered a severe back injury and fell back into old patterns and lost my home again. I spent 12 months total homeless and it was such a horrible feeling. After all, I had a Masters degree and tons of experience, and a huge network. Yet somehow I felt like a fraud and found myself in this place of lack and poverty.

    Fast forward to 2018 and I’ve been living the dream. I ended up publishing nine bestselling books. My photography has hung in galleries across the country and I’m now a filmmaker. Yet, deep down I still felt inadequate. 2018 I call, the “year of clearing” what no longer serves me, and it was a tough year. Yet it was also a beautiful gift in that I began to really admire how strong I am. Although my passions are my creative endeavors, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be financially, sooooo I applied for JOBS, and MANY jobs. At times I felt like I had applied for everything job in West LA, yet nothing. No one gave me the opportunity to share my skills and talents and I thought, perhaps I’m destined to be alone and out on the streets?

    However, deep down in my soul, I somehow held onto the dream of starting my own production company. When I wasn’t looking for a job, I was putting together the PLAN to create my own company where I can collaborate with and support other creatives in the areas of publishing, photography and filmmaking. In December I had made it to the third round of a great job I really thought I wanted, and then told NO. I was devastated and in tears. Yet right after Christmas I received a MIRACLE – the start-up funding for my production company.

    I kicked of 2019 by officially launching my company and currently working on the new website so I can share with the world. Unwavering faith is what gets me through. My mantra is CALI! YOU’VE GOT THIS!………and so do YOU!

    Never stop believing in your dreams. Miracles do happen. You just need to do your part.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Congratulations, Cali! That’s incredibly exciting. We hope even more beautiful things are on the horizon for you and your business this year!

    • Nina Nais

      Cali, I loved hearing your story. You are so very brave to start over and over again, and to not give up on your dreams.
      Wishing you all the success and blessings in the world.

      • Thanks Nina. The key is belief in oneself and never giving up.

  52. As a consultant, any time I met with a potential new client I felt like an imposter even though I had great work and references to share. Now, building my own organization, I feel less judged by others, but way more judged by my self. That little ego looooves to run wild sometimes and I get a case of the “I don’t knows”… things that are actually super simple seem hard/ like I don’t know. SO my new mantra will be “You already know this!” or maybe “Lindsay already knows this sh*t!” 🙂

  53. Fraud is not part of my feeling about being a jewelry maker. But my other life is as a musician (French Horn). And the really hard part is the horn sounds different to my ears (plus I just got hearing aids and they rattle when I play) than to others. So I absolutely count on others to help me believe that I’ve got this. That and religious practice sessions constantly pushing myself to achieve more with my music.
    If all else fails, I lean back on my husband’s favorite saying as he’s sitting in the audience at orchestra concerts. He reminds me, “Never underestimate the ignorance of your audience.” And I might add, the fact that the blend of instruments in the orchestra covers a multitude of missed notes.

  54. I ALWAYS feel like an imposter and I decided this year that I’m really done with that. So this episode was perfect timing! I have an artisan jam company and despite the fact that I’ve sold thousands of jars of jam, and have a fan base that I adore, I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time and people are going to realize that and stop buying from me. What a silly thing!
    My new mantra is going to be something like,”Girl, you’ve single-handedly sold thousands of jars of jam. THOUSANDS! You got this!”

    Thanks Marie — you are a gift.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Heck YES, Heidi! You’ve totally got this. Cheers to even more sweet successes ahead!


    I spent a large portion of my life making ridiculously BAD decisions, hanging out with sketchy-negative people……just stumbling through existence without a plan, passion or cause. I was raised by a mentally challenged Grandmother whose toxic behavior created a dysfunctional adult. After years of therapy and hundreds of self improvement books, workshops and so forth…. in conjunction with daily meditation, yoga, journaling and consistent self evaluation I am becoming the person I was meant to be…….maybe……I think…..or am I a fraud???
    I can completely relate to “Impostor Syndrome” and feeling like a fraud. At the age of 44 I am attempting to create a business and pursue passions that most people start in their 20’s. I consistently second guess EVERYTHING and find myself paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision. The voices in my head repeat things like “Who in the world do you think you are trying to create a business??” “You are to old to accomplish that goal (fill in the blank), that belongs to people half your age” “Everyone secretly knows you have NO IDEA what your doing”. And the list goes on….
    Most days I can combat these voices by reviewing an on-going list of wisdom I’ve been creating from people I admire such as Marie Forleo, Oprah, Michelle OBama, Abraham Hicks, Brene Brown, Pema Chodron, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss…… And/or watching their videos….. When I am starting to feel as though this is all ridiculous and I should just give up, I have to stop, step out of my world so I can get a better view of what is really going on and seek clarity. It’s only then I can connect to a source beyond me who can speak truth into my reality. And that truth is: I am on a journey full of learning, creating, success and failure. My past can hold me back or propel me forward depending on how I choose to use the experience. I will succeed and I will fail, but the true determinate of achievement is measured by the way I navigate the hills and valleys set before me. Life isn’t a race, it’s an experience to be explored and enjoyed.

  56. Sabine

    I’m a senior at high school and a lot of times in my life I’ve felt like the things I do don’t matter. But I realized I was wrong because my teachers, family, peers and friends always rewarded me and gave me compliments for doing the right thing. When I was younger I didn’t have a lot of confidence because of my parents arguing all the time and saying who will want me when my parents are like that. I used to believe in fairytales and a prince saving me from my horrible school and my family’s situation also my sister being incredibly rude and selfish to me and my parents. School was horrible since people used to bully me a lot but I’ve learned how to deal with it and ignore them. By being myself I’ve been the happiest in life and not changing to fit into places for other people makes me so proud of the road I took to get here and will still take for college and the rest of my life. I’m also thankful for god and being a christian catholic since he was able to help me get through the worst things in life that I went through. As I got older I discovered a lot of things and how to not let anything anyone says to affect me or harm me in any way since their opinion of me doesn’t matter. Luckily in summer I was thankful to meet one of the greatest psychologists to help me gain more confidence than the one I have and since then I’ve been better. Also watching your videos and reading your articles has helped me a lot as well. My friends and family have also been very supportive and trying harder to understand me.

    • Hi Sabine! I’m SO honored you’re here and thrilled you’re on such a fantastic journey of growth and exploration. If you’re a reader — I have a book recommendation for you. Mindset by Carol Dweck. If you haven’t already read it, do it!! Sending you tons of love!!

  57. Maroua

    Hello Marie Forleo I am a targeted individual ,gangstalked and voices of threats insults and vibrations in my body made me feel reduced. This problem needs too much money to be healed …..I am currently studying and I have a jewelry brand that is ignored somehow this period .
    I want be protected healed and freed from these weird people !
    I pray day and night to help me and all targets .
    Give a word to these people .We need your help .

  58. Yes, completely. Totally. As a newbie data science student there are constant ‘voices’ in my head to remind me that I’m not capable or intelligent enough to actually make a career out of this, and it’s way to late in the game for me to even try.

    My defense to these thoughts is to not get defensive, but like you said – stay humble. The whole point of any scientific pursuit is to be constantly studying and all learning starts with being humble enough to admit you don’t know something. How can you learn something new if you already know it all?

    I’d rather be a perpetual student in life than feel like I’ve arrived. It’s more fun this way anyway!

  59. I feel like a fraud when I talk about writing and producing. To counteract the feeling I have reached out to other people who I felt would build me up. I also remind myself that I have important things to say, things that might help other women feel less alone.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Lauren! We’re thrilled to hear you’re already implementing healthy habits to help stay on track. Keep sharing your ideas and messages with the world– they’re so needed and you never know who might be listening!

  60. A much needed topic to start the new year. As an artist I struggle with many of my paintings always being overly self critical. I will beat myself up and get an a horrible mood during the process making it frustrating for both me and my family. My husband reminds me that my work always sells, etc. My goal in 2019 is to create my mantra and repeat it in my studio during the creative process. Thanks for addressing this topic for all of us to tackle the first of the new year. I plan to practice this and incorporate other instruction from Marie into my art career this year and plan to retake the online course.

  61. Tonya

    Every day I feel like an imposter. I have been in my industry for over 25 years and still feel like a fraud. Family, friends and colleagues tell me what a great job I do, but I am afraid one day they will find out just how great I’m not.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      We’re sorry to hear you’re struggling with these feelings, too, Tonya. We hope today’s episode sparks some great takeaways for you and helps you feel less alone. We believe in you!

  62. This is so awesome, that you spell it out like this, and, give strategies that work for you, thank you! I have wondered many times wether something is wrong with me for feeling insecure or as if I knew nothing about my work again and again, and I am already almost 60 years old! And yes, it finally dawned on me, that this is just one of those gremlins, I live with. I can write about it in my diary in the mornings, that helps a bit. Because that is way of getting it out. And, of realizing: this just is, sometimes. It does not mean that “this is me”. It is a thought, or a feeling, or a state of mind – and guess what? If it is not me, but a thought I am producing, then I can change it. So my motto is: “I don’t like you, gremlin, I rather think something different, because: this is my life and I determine, what I would like to think!” In short; “this is my life” turns on my gremlins sqat and helps me go ahead, like it or not.

  63. Catherine

    I know about the shining the flashlight concept, I am a musician. I really understood this concept the first time I performed with my focus completely on trying to make the experience of the audience great, rather than worrying about what they think. It’s just a simple change in approach and it is SO empowering. Love the metaphor of the flashlight. Takes the ego out of the way and lets the “real” you shine 🙂

  64. Marie S

    Oh so often… especially when I went self-employed, I’d been critiqued fairly harshly and not always constructively by my boss before I made the leap to being my own, that I thought every piece of work I delivered for clients was sub-par, and cr*ppy I would worry myself sick – and then, almost die of shock at how impressed and happy they were (are) time after time and yet I still can’t fully accept that I’m doing a good enough job for them. I’m more harsh on myself than my old boss was – the irony!!! I loved this episode and need to try to let the message resonate. Glad I’m not alone 🙂 x

    • Marie S

      *when I first went self employed

      • Hailey - Team Forleo

        You’re so not alone, Marie! We’re often our own harshest critics but keep in mind, no one is more capable of bringing your unique ideas and visions to life than you. It’s wonderful that others have recognized your hard work– we hope this episode serves as a reminder for you to celebrate all you’ve accomplished, as well!

  65. Hey Marie-
    Loved your phrase when the “Fraud Festival” comes to town and won’t leave! I have felt like a fraud sometimes but I have always used all of your strategies before I became aware of you years ago, I have always positively self talked even before I knew that was what I was doing as a child, I have always admitted when I did not know something and I have always squashed doubt with finding information in whatever form that was available when I needed or just wanted to know anything about anything! That is why I am a Life Coach, published Author and now becoming an online Teacher! My favorite mantra I made up for myself is, “I got shit to do and people to shine on!” and of course “I got this!” I love what you do in this world and by the way that was a fabulous gold skirt you were wearing in this episode!

    • Cynthia Light

      Im being a brat but don’t get that mantra mixed up or there will be lots of giggles!!!! I personally love giggles!!! 🙂

  66. Catherine

    Sometimes I wonder if impostor syndrome can also stem from the way in which inspiring work can come to fruition. I really enjoyed Marie’s interview with Elizabeth Gilbert when Liz talked about “having genius” rather than “being a genius”. It seems to me that in our greatest moments, we don’t even feel like we are the ones behind the magic of the work we are creating. Could this feeling of “channelling” our best work be another reason we don’t feel so responsible for it? Something interesting to consider, I think!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      That’s an interesting way to look at it, Catherine! We’re so glad this episode sparked some takeaways for you to ponder. Thanks for sharing!

  67. It is kiss-mate that I opened this emailed this morning! I am in a state of awakening after this. REVELATION!!!! Ive never heard this articulated. I mean, Ive been staying home with kids for 10 years and in my own corner of the world for a while but my reach is growing yet I’m my own biggest obstacle. Its the biggest burden to live with!!! Im going to be binging on old episodes with the rest of my development time today. And tomorrow and the day after. This year there is even more burden on me as we are in DEFCON 10 in the financial department (even lost access to b school after many payments). I have no doubt in my mind I can blow my brand out of the water and sustain my family, but then……my brain F*%&s is all up!!! This is speaking directly to me. I think this way all the time. Yet my friends and family praise my character and information. Thank you for this video so much!! Put a name on this shit so those of us that finally get the revelation can have the tools at our disposal to SOAR!!!

  68. Fantastic episode.
    Understanding the Impostor Complex* is my body of work and it’s great to hear different perspectives on how to overcome it when it shows up. (Like fear, it never really goes away.)
    It has three main objectives: trying to keep you out of action, doubting your capacity and alone and isolated. The strategies you named, Marie all touch on these objectives which is super helpful.
    I would add one more good new piece to offer some additional hope:
    You are only experiencing the Impostor Complex because you have strong values of mastery, integrity and excellence. ACTUAL frauds don’t feel like frauds.
    Relief, yeah?
    * I call it Impostor Complex (even though it’s TERRIBLE for my SEO 😉 b/c it’s not a clinical diagnosis which is what Syndrome suggests. The Clinical Psychologists who named it back in 1978, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes referred to it as a “Phenomenon”.

    • Thank you so much for sharing ALL of this Tanya! How brilliant that you focus on this — what important work. I love that you named it’s 3 objectives — AND the fact that real frauds don’t feel it. STANDING OVATION!!

    • Jill

      You are only experiencing the Impostor Complex because you have strong values of mastery, integrity and excellence. ACTUAL frauds don’t feel like frauds.
      Relief, yeah?
      ^ Wow. This is making me think. Like a LOT.

  69. 1. Oh, imposter syndrome. Yes. As a writer, as a student, as a teacher, as a family support worker…

    Such an important thing to understand and unpick for us to move forward around it. I wrote a blog post about it in 2017 and it’s still one of my most popular posts (linked in case people are in need of a worksheet!)

    Brenė Brown’s books really helped me mix my neuroscience knowledge with the practical action-step around reaching out <3

    2. Your mantra made me smile: I use “our thoughts are not facts” because it’s my thoughts which tend to pull me into spirals. Love your idea of using my name though, will look to tweak that 😀

  70. Amy

    All the time in my career! I recently changed departments and I’m on a learning curve daily. As a woman and a Manager of my team, I feel like a fake most days. I tell myself “Hey Amy, you got this”. I had no clue this syndrome even existed. Thank you for naming my feelings and providing me a strategy❤️

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad this message resonated with you, Amy! It’s wonderful that you’re already putting your own mantra intro practice. Congratulations on your new role! Being aware of your own imperfections and committed to lifelong learning are two qualities of a great leader– your team is lucky to have you!

  71. Evonne Marie Pacinda

    I am so glad to learn this is not just in my own head!!! This Impostor Syndrome poisons my life and everything I do that I love. At work I think to myself “They really think I should be in the Engineering Department? With REAL engineers?”. I literally feel like if I was sick on leave and someone had to fill in for me it would be found out how awful I am. Meanwhile they all listen to me and ask for my feedback and give me praise all the time for my hard work. As for my my hobbies I think “They really think my photography is inspiring? Why are they so excited? Sure the photo looks great but I was just in the right place at the right time, I mean it turned out that way by accident.” Seriously. Every time I take a great shot I think to myself it was an accident. Meanwhile when people see my work they literally yell out “WOW that’s SICK!!”.

    I told my therapist once that I didn’t care why I had my problems I just wanted them to be fixed (HA HA!!) She gently encouraged me to look inside because without the “why” we are often doomed to repeat our behavior. Problems need to be put into the light to go away (like Marie’s flashlight, but keep the light on yourself long enough for your fears to be seen. After they are seen they can start to go away.)

    So my tools are I call my best friends, my lady friends, my crew and tell them my fears. We help shed light on each-other’s fears to bring them to the surface so they can be dealt with and overcome. These aren’t just any old friends. These are special people that came into my life when I finally had the courage to reject the negative fear-supporting people in my life. It took a long time to find them and they are my treasure.

    Another tool I use is 3 part: meditation, journaling and recordkeeping. Meaning I save every thank you email and note of positive in a file to reflect upon as my evidence when I feel bad about my work. In my personal life I save every txt or note of thanks and praise for my help and inspiration. If it was spoken in conversation I write it down in my journal. So when the bad thoughts come and tell me my my friends don’t really like me or that I am full of BS, well I look back at a txt that says “I couldn’t have done this without you Evonne”. Sheds the light and let the fear go away.

    Thank you Marie for this message today. I woke feeling so out of place again, this video brought me right back into alignment.


  72. Imposter syndrome oh yes! I have it daily! It’s not as bad when I do my morning routine of focusing on my day, meditating and journaling before I start anything else, so that helps! Heaps!

  73. I always feel like a fraud even though I know what I`m doing and until this video I had no coping mechanisms or strategies

  74. OMG….perfect timing!!! Absolutely felt like a fraud. My business is wellness yet I was overweight…how could I promote my business if I didn’t look the part. I carried my weight well and my face was a picture of health. I felt ahhhmazing and fed my body good nutrition, however my mindset sabotaged my eating in private to deal with overwhelming grief of 13 deaths so close together.
    I have since lost weight, have my confidence back and feel I can live into my own truth better than ever and share and get back to my blog:)
    Thank you for letting me know I wasn’t alone!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Thanks so much for sharing some of your journey with us, Jane! We’re so sorry to hear that you lost so many of your loved ones and we absolutely understand the toll grief took on your body. We’re happy that you’ve found peace and healing over time and that you’re feeling inspired to get back to your blog. We’re so glad you stopped by– please know we’re always here, cheering you on!

  75. This is exactly what I needed today!! Thank you Marie. I definitely feel like a fraud at times, and I love reading through my testimonials when it comes up. I just made a HYPE FILE too! Yay. XO

  76. Dr. Kate

    I’ve been suffering from crushing imposter syndrome lately. I’m a dentist, and I’ve been practicing for 16 years, but there are times when I completely doubt myself and my experience, and wonder if this is really where I should be in my life. I worry that I’m wasting time on a career that I’ve fallen out of love with, when I could/should be at home more with my (rapidly!) growing 3 kids. I have plenty of support at home, but the time seems to be flying by, and I feel a growing sense of disillusionment with my profession, and now I’ve been able to put a label on that anxiety. . . .Imposter Syndrome.
    I loved the tips on #fraudsquad and reaching out to others like me. I’ve frankly been too caught up in the shame of it all to consider this, but your comment about “shame shrivels when it is shared out loud” rang very true. I also loved the “flashlight” example. It is so true that what you focus on negative thoughts, shame, feeling worthless, etc., these monsters grow ever larger. I vow to shine my light outwardly and reach out to others that I trust soon as my own #fraudsquad. So glad that these highly actionable tips were shared.
    A mantra that I have used (that I believe that Marie expounded on in another episode) is “Progress over Perfection”. This helps me each and every day. Thanks for all you do to touch lives, help others, be a blessing, and to shine your flashlight out on your community. You are a rockstar, Marie and team!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Dr. Kate! We’re thrilled that Marie’s words have been a source of insight and inspiration for you. We’re all big believers in focusing on #progressnotperfection and we hope these new tips come in handy for you as well. Keep shining your own light in all you do– it’s so needed in the world!

  77. Amy Andrews

    Oh man, impostor syndrome is a real thing. I feel this when I have a great idea and realize someone else has already come up with it. In that moment, I remind myself that yes, it’s out there, but not with my unique style or flavor on it. This encourages me to keep going!

  78. Jim

    One thing that I discovered is that when it comes to determining the “rightness” of being a fraud or not, is that if I look at all of the qualities that I have to determine whether or not I am a fraud, I can find many reasons on either side of the equation. The flashlight analogy is perfect, because there’s no way I can be a fair judge of myself, and consider all the facts. I only have access to the limited subset of considerations that I can shine a light on. Moreover, nobody aside from the voice in my head cares about the verdict! Of course, there are people who know more than me! Of course, someone else has done the thing that my program is about! Of course, I can find someone better qualified on any particular subject I choose. I can be right about all of that, and that would deliver on what I’m committed to: being right about being wrong. What brings me back, however, is that I’m right here, right now, and I am willing to do the work. And if I focus not on what I lack, but on my ability to be effective, then it’s simply a matter of being the contribution that I intend to be, and not stuck on whether I’m good enough. “I’m not good enough” is the trap where the outcome is I don’t have to go to work. “What am I actually committed to, and how do I do that?” is the motto I’m taking on, instead. Thank you for the video, it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to go to work on being a contribution to others.

  79. Susan Pitman

    Oh my – imposter syndrome – YES!! Both professionally and personally!
    I’ll never forget a profound moment when husband and I had moved from our first little bungalow into a larger that we’d spent 5 months renovating for ourselves and four kids. The first morning, I woke up before everyone, padded out into our much bigger kitchen and almost doubled over in fear. My thoughts? Holy shit – this is MY HOUSE?! I’M MARRIED?? (Had been married 11 years). I’M A MOTHER??? No! I’m a fraud – what happens when they find out???!!!
    And many times, before I step on stage at a presentation, same thing! Doesn’t matter how many times I speak, or what my bio says (when they’re reading it, I’m completely thinking oh my, who do I think I am???)

    So…strategies to overcome…well, I watch MARIE! (Seriously). I also work on mindfulness, and practice gratefulness with intentionality. I see that no matter how big or cool my little world might be, it is still a tiny microcosm. I hang on to other experts in my field, and love to interact with them so I can continue learning and growing. All of these things help.

    Mantra…I have a couple:
    “THE NEXT. RIGHT. THING.” – that’s all I need to worry about. Not the future or the outcome, just the next, right thing.
    “I can do anything for a minute.” – So at different times when I’ve been paralyzed with imposter syndrome, I’ve had self talk of “Susan, you can do this. You can do anything for (30 minutes). Now GO!”

    Thanks for bringing up this very difficult subject and thanks for these AWESOME strategies!!!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Thanks so much for sharing, Susan! It just goes to show that imposter syndrome can truly strike anyone, anywhere, at anytime. We’re so glad you’ve found some awesome mantras that help keep you grounded and we hope this episode sparked a few new ideas to add to the mix. We’re so grateful that you’re in our community and that you’ve added your voice to this important discussion today!

  80. Nicole

    I’ve been been creating things since I was very small. Drawing, painting, sculpture you name it. Making is a big part of me. When I started competing in contests and programs, when I shifted to digital, when I decided to go to school for design, imposter syndrome hit me like a train. I was surrounded by people who were judging (literally), who were more skilled than me, who seemingly knew what the eff they were doing. I was able to manage it somewhat by laser focusing on the work and reminding myself that I am learning. After several years in the field, imposter syndrome lingered but didn’t strike hard again until I was devastatingly let go from a job and I had put so much of myself into. And now as I am slowly but surely building my own business I’m finding comparison and feeling impostery alarmingly easy to lose myself to. I just remind myself that to push through I need to focus on the work/client/mission, I need to remind myself I am ACTUALLY without a doubt a professional learner and can learn anything I don’t know, and then I quiet my mind and tell myself this “Nicole, if this is not serving you in a positive way, let it go.”

  81. One of the best yet Marie! Could you be more adorable?

    This is something I’ve experienced and I have a bestie who has almost been crippled by it despite being talented and hard working. She’s still uber successful in spite of it and I can’t help wonder how much more so she’d be without that reigning her in.

    Even though I see how the game of life is and that if you work hard, show up prepared and present it is usually is more than good enough… I still marvel in earnest wonder when people tell me how awesome my book or program is or how it has changed their life, I tend to think they are being kind and generous when they say positive things about my work.

    I love the “why the flip NOT me?” statement.

    The phrase I use is my name “I’m ‘Sherry’, Strong”. The ‘Sherry’ part of the phrase is as in knowing myself exactly as I am, quirks, frailties, failings and all but I also know the good bits and in spite of everything I keep going. That makes me feel strong because regardless of how I feel about myself I keep going. Because I’m tied to my mission and I just keep going no matter how imperfect I am. It is not about me. I think about Moses having a speech impediment, Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking, there’s a long list of people who were nowhere near perfect but accomplished great things in spite of impediments.
    Most of my impediments have been between the ears.
    It’s changing and as I just keep going no matter what and refining as I go, when I have more bandwidth I make sure I improve and then leave the rest in the hands of what I cannot control. Like thousands before me, I know I don’t have to be perfect to be successful.

    Thank you, Ms. Marie for showing up Forleo Strong!
    Love and hugs,

  82. I am a self taught performer and creator, and often face the feeling of being a fraud. I did a play a few months ago where I was in a cast with other actors that have 7 plus years of professional theatre training from accredited institutions. Even through my own unique training path can sometimes leave me feeling inadequate (I never went to school for theatre or performance), I actually felt proud of myself in the moment I mentioned above. I was like, “here I am, onstage with these trained actors, and I’m doing the same job, I’m holding my own, AND my path to this place has been totally my own way of getting here. How COOL is that and how BLESSED am I”. I find there’s always a way to flip insecurity on its head into something that feels positive or gratitude-inducing. The mantra that came to me is: Claire Love Wilson, you are made of LOVE, be BOLD, and shine BRIGHT baby.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Giving us all the chills over here, Claire! What a powerful reminder and a beautiful expression of self-LOVE. Congratulations on claiming your place on the stage–you absolutely belong there and we’re all cheering you on from the audience. Keep shining your light and going for your dreams!

  83. I think impostor syndrome applies to people who really are achieving things but just don’t feel like they are. But what if you really aren’t achieving anything? That would make your impostor syndrome ‘legit’, right? (Because you aren’t just feeling like you aren’t an achiever; you really truly aren’t one.)
    As a painter, I’ve mounted 14 solo exhibitions and gotten my work published in a few places, but I know that any high profile shows I’ve had? Only happened because my dad happened to know a few people. Just keeping it real and keeping my feet on the ground before I get carried away by any delusions that I’m actually any good.
    So maybe the way I deal with my ‘legit impostor’ syndrome is to just keep working as hard as I can to prove that I am legit and not an impostor, really. I don’t know. Eheheh.

  84. Sue

    Thank you Marie! I have just joined and have signed up for the bschool. I am with everyone on their thoughts her. I am a Personal Life Coach and am at the point of needing to learn some new tools after some setbacks physcially (broken hand and broken wrist 3x dang it), which took a bit of a toll emotionally so..bschool!!…and boy there are days where saying I feel like imposter is so true. I wonder “what is it that I have to say that someone would want to hear” “I am not that special”. Absolutely, there are many clients who give wonderful feedback, but it still exists within, this feeling of “man if only they knew”. I think about the quote “Our Deepest Fear” and remind myself that there truly is nothing enlightened about shrinking oneself to fit other peoples ideas and that we must let our own unique light shine. I feel like that is Marie’s goal. To encourage us to shine our light and hearing that so many others of you have the same feelings really does help. My mantra is: “always be the best version of yourself, and go kick some ass girl” humbly of course!!! Thanks Forleo crew!

  85. Oh I have totally felt like fraud many of times. These tips are great Marie! When I have had one of those flippin fraud days, to get me out of it before falling asleep I would go over my successes of the day. Even the tiniest ones, and keep telling myself I am good at what I do over and over and over.

  86. Sabrina

    I started my own business in the later part of 2018 and although my clients and people that know me think I am doing a great job and I am providing a great service, I still feel like they’re just saying it to make me feel better. I struggle all the time with believing in myself, so much so, that I have resorted to the occasional scolding of “myself” to “myself” about believing in myself! Lol! However, this has made me realize that I am not alone in my struggles and in the new year a vow to be kinder and gentler to myself. “Because why not me?” Thanks again for all you inspirational words of wisdom! ?

  87. Marie, this is just what I needed right now. I was just telling my husband how I’m experiencing impostor syndrome coming into the new year. I invested in myself so much last year, then went out to set a lot of big goals for myself this year. In fact, my word for the year is breakthrough. I’ve got a lot of good things going for me, and for some reason I’ve been feeling stuck, out of sorts, really sad about feeling this way and truly unmotivated. Thank you for sharing your strategies and encouraging us in such a fun and positive way. I love your flashlight analogy, that one stood out to me the most. I picked up this mantra about a year ago and it’s hanging on my wall, “This is simple, this is easy, this is fun, I can do this.”

    Thanks again for all you do. Happy New Year!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Happy New Year, Angela! We hear how hard you’ve been working and we have a feeling incredible things are on the horizon for you. We hope this episode provided the extra bit of a boost you needed to take the next steps toward your goals. We believe in you!

  88. Sandy, you’re killin it girlfriend!! (my mantra)

  89. Shannon Kerr

    I find the imposter syndrome kicks in when I’m spending too much time scrolling through my social media feed. Comparing my progress to someone who is already years into the business that I’ve just started is a recipe for anxiety and self defeating thoughts.
    I keep reminding myself that I’m in the right place for ME, and my mantra is “I am a woman of action.” This encourages me to do something for my business, even if it’s a small step.
    Thank you for this post – the flashlight and the hype file are some strategies that I will put into play!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Social media can definitely be challenging! It’s totally okay to unfollow or mute people if it’s helpful not to see their content.

      Your mantra is such a good one and we’re so glad you’re planning to use the flashlight and hype file tips! 🙂

  90. Yes, Marie, as a matter of fact, I was feeling like a fraud right now 🙂

    Strategy #1:
    I remind myself that I was in business for 8 years, and that can’t be a fraud – if my clients weren’t happy with my brand, I made sure they can easily find me (27k FB page, presence on all social media, I keep in touch with every single client I’ve ever had) – but they’re raving about my brand, and they are many and I’m one, so a simple math exercise clears the air pronto.

    Strategy #2:
    I read my testimonials.

    Strategy #3:
    If all fails, I talk to my mom 🙂

    I manifest the life of my dreams easily and effortlessly, my ideal clients are coming to me, people love working with me.

    It works: every. single. time.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      YES! Your social media and testimonials are a hype file in and of themselves. 🙂

  91. I suffer with this all the time… especially when I feel like I am have done a good job at writing something, I can almost immediately hear a voice say “but they’re not going to like it and they’re going to know you’re not worth it.” In reality such a thing has rarely happened, my clients have maybe never thought I wasn’t worth it.

    I employ the “if I could get through last year’s challenges, I can get through this year’s too” as my mantra. Or like “if I have done this before, I can do this again!” Even if I might not have really done the exact same task before. I have also unknowingly been practicing the “Shine your light out, not in” by indulging myself in my work more than focussing on my self doubt and it has helped quite a lot. Thanks Marie!

  92. As a (not yet very successful) business coach I feel like a fraud all the time as I’m not getting amazing results even though I’m teaching other people how to market themselves, set goals, plan and improve their mindset etc. I feel too scared to admit this to my audience. I know I’m further along than they are so can and do help them but I still feel like a fraud quite a lot!
    I have to remind myself of who I’ve helped and how, so I find reading through my testimonials is essential my hype file and that always helps, like you say remembering who I’ve helped.
    My mantra: “You are doing great Hils, you are brilliant at what you do and really really help people. You are so close now, keep going.”

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Love that mantra! And we agree with everything it says. 🙂

  93. Kathryn

    SUCH a great A to the Q Marie! Thanks so much for sharing these tips, so what I needed to hear right now as I tentatively venture back in the workforce after being out of it for 5 years. Its crazy, but I feel like an imposter before even talking to people about possible employment opportunities, let alone an interview.
    Shine the light out and everything is figureoutable…these will be part of my mantra going forward for sure! Thanks again Marie

  94. Signe

    Yes, I have also struggled with feeling like a fraud, and I’m so happy you bring this up!❤️
    Whenever those emotions stop me, I always return to the reason WHY I made the product (a series of children’s books that make everyday challenges with children easier by motivating children from the inside), and why I created the books this exact way.

    All the Best to you!

  95. Patsy

    Like everybody else, I have felt it many many times in my work and my life. In fact, my most recent encounter was just yesterday, after a work meeting.

    My #1 strategy is to share with a fellow colleague 🙂 If I can’t find someone to share with, the next thing I would do is write it down somewhere, pen and paper.

    The mantra that I use for my self-talk would go along the lines of “P, you can do it. you can do this. Believe in yourself.”

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      It’s wonderful that you’re already in the habit of sharing with your colleagues! In addition to what Marie said about sharing, I bet it’s been great for connection because they might be feeling the same way and you can support each other. 🙂

  96. Everyday I’m thinking that I’m a fraud and I need that « Hype Box » to make me change my perspective but I’m always forgetting to open the box ?‍♀️. I’ll have to change my strategy obviously.
    The timing of this video was perfect. The #fraudsquad is my highlight. I’m sure I’ll find some others fraud friends around me. ?‍♀️
    My mantra when I have stressed things to do is « Show Time! »
    Like a dancer in a stage, I’ve been prepared and I’m ready for that so It reminded me that. ?

  97. Mike

    An imposter is a lie. The bible speaks on this. So simply be truthful.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Telling the truth is always something we encourage. In this episode, Marie is talking about “impostor syndrome,” which is when you’re not confident in your abilities and talents, so you feel like an impostor even though you’re not. We hope this helps!

  98. Jean Howell

    It’s something I have suffered with, to the point I have left jobs before “I get found out” which knocks my confidence further. The tips in the video will help keep me in check, thank you.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      We believe in you, Jean! You’re smart and capable and you got this.

  99. I definitely suffer from impostor syndrome and it frequently stops me from pushing my business. My best friend is my biggest cheerleader and will happily tell me to stop being a (insert rude word here!) as I’m brilliant and can achieve anything I put my mind to.

    I also have a mantra that I repeat over and over again when I’m running and it transfers to my business life too, I simply say “I can do this!”. I start off quietly then get louder and louder until I feel it rushing through my body and I believe it.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s such a great mantra! And I can totally see how getting louder and louder as you say it is a powerful practice. 🙂

  100. Amy

    I have definitely felt like a imposter! What helps me most is reflecting on positive comments or compliments that others have said to me about me and or my work. For some reason, that pulls me out along with a big fat truth bomb from Scripture about who God says I am.

  101. As I am starting my business I struggle with imposter syndrome. I will move forward with confidence than hit a wall of “no one wants to hear me”. What has helped me get out of this negative zone is talking to my sister who reminds me of my passion and that I am awesome and prayers to the big man.

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Congratulations on taking the next steps toward your dreams, Stephanie! It’s wonderful that your sister is so supportive of you– we think you’re both awesome! Keep up the great work and know we’re all cheering you on.

  102. I totally love this, I sometimes see myself as an imposter, but I am learning that I can do this. I pray for strength and courage to overcome my obstacles and that helps. My go to mantra is I have come this far to stop and I can do anything I put mind to, Vanessa. Helps like a charm. I love the way you approached the imposter syndrome

  103. Dianne

    I’m pretty sure this is why I keep holding back from starting my business. In fact when I saw that first question my mind instantly said “but I am a fraud” I didn’t realise this was happening. So now I need a mantra… “Dianne you’re a daughter of the Most High King, created in his image and likeness! You’ve got this!” Thanks Marie

  104. I was awarded a Phd for my thesis on Woman in Leadership and I did not publish it because I thought it was not good enough and everyone would see I was a fraud. A totally crazy view of the world , especially given the rigour that is involved in awarding a Phd. After listening to your Q & A I realise how inwardly focused I have been and that if I shine my torch light outward there may be woman who could be helped by what I found . Thank you Marie.

    • Gina Lee

      Oh my gosh, I feel compelled to encourage you to publish your work!!!! ????

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      What a beautiful takeaway, Kerry! Thanks so much for sharing how this message resonated with you. Huge congratulations on being awarded your Phd– we hope you’ll find many more opportunities to share your ideas with the world as you never truly know who may be listening. Keep shining your light in all you do!

  105. Benson Modie

    Thank you Marie…..great episode as always! Yes, I remember much earlier when I completed my first degree and got a job, where instead of being excited about it I was rather nervous and not sure if I was ever going to make any difference or impact in the position I was offered. This however helped me to read a little more about the job as well as expose myself to literature on human resources development, and most importantly on personal development. Ultimately, whatever fears I had fell off and now I have a great deal of confidence about myself and what I do.

  106. Jules

    I can DEFINITELY relate to feeling like a fraud to the point where I am literally curled up or cannot do my work at all. It is incredibly debilitating.
    I work as a Intuitive Healer/Bodyworker/Astrologer. I have a busy business where I receive the most incredible feedback and results. They astound me.
    I am dyslexic and so I have the dumb girl thing going on big time.
    I learn in a unique and intuitive way because it was the only way I knew. So my approach to my work is intuitive and individualistic.
    The saboteur that pops in says you are no Astrologer. You don’t do healing. You are dillusional and that was a fluke. Wait until you can’t do it or can’t read someone. You are a stupid idiot who is dumb as dogshit. I am greedy fir money pretending that I am all spiritual.
    You manipulate to get where you are. It shows me all the places I have failed and I then feel crushed and numb and don’t want to work.
    I am looking forward to working with and through this. Thank you Z and Marie.?

  107. Oh man, “fraud” may as well be tattooed on my forehead or used as my middle name! I don’t remember a time in life when I wasn’t comparing myself to my friends or family or complete unknowns who (I thought) were all better than me. Sure I’ve had some compliments and accolades along the way but those were always easy for me to brush aside because I never saw myself as gifted or talented. I figured I was always just average. School ingrained this in me. I flew under the radar with my average grades. No teacher took speacial interest in me even though I felt like I was struggling. It seemed to me that the smarter kids got attention and the below-average kids got the extra nudge they needed to try and do better. Also, due to my average grades, I wasn’t allowed to join a club called “Gitfed and Talented” where kids could take extra-curricular activities like learn photography, cooking, water color painting – things I really enjoyed and wanted to learn.
    Ok, back to the fraud! So I’m a personal trainer and health coach and I’m always feeling like I’m behind the curve, not smart enough and not educated enough to make my business work. But clearly there is a part of me that DOES believe I can make it work because I refuse to give up! Finding you and your team Marie have given me the sass to not succumb to all these past feelings but instead to keep pushing forward with my bad self!
    My mantra, when the fraud really takes over, will be “you are one gifted and talented bad ass, don’t waste your time believing anything else!”
    Muah!!!! ? Thanks for keeping the inspiration flowing Marie and Team Forleo!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      That’s one heckuva mantra, Anne Marie! You’ve already demonstrated an incredible strength and resilience in facing your own fears and it’s wonderful that you’re dedicated to helping others live happier, healthier lives too. Refusing to give up on your dreams and recognizing your own potential for growth are two signs of a great leader and we have no doubt that you inspire those lucky enough to work with you to do the same. We’re grateful to have you in our vibrant community and we can’t wait to hear what beautiful things are on the horizon for you!

  108. “Great is what I am. Great is what I’ll be. When all’s said and done. I’m the greatest ever been.” That’s part of my affirmation statements that I’ve recorded. My statements are a list of thoughts that refocus me on my mission. My mission and the people I serve won’t survive my pity parties. I’ve been an impostor before (long story). I’ve been sticking with authenticity and intentional living and it’s SOOOO much easier to look past the stinkin’ thinkin’ that crops up from time-to-time. In fact, my mental distress becomes less and less with each success. (That was a good one. I might need to license it!) Luv luv luv you, Marie. “Yeah, you do. Chest bump!” hahahaha

  109. Gina Lee

    This is just so timely for me. I have a company that brings medical tests from labs etc to doctors offices. And this world is heavily male dominated. In fact, while meeting with a potential biz partner-he basically told me bc I had nothing to offer him (instant big biz) it was pointless to work with me. He said some other rude things. And I cried after that experience and then questioned WHY I feel called to this business. I felt like a fraud. Literally this happened on Tuesday Jan 8. The fact is anyone can do this business. I may not have the big giant accounts right now but I will. I might not know it all, but I am always learning& growing. I am never ashamed to say I do not know. And I love people and love happy customers. And what I offer to my clients is much more than just a sale in my back pocket. My feminine side is what nutures these accounts. This podcast helped me find my mantra for my work. Why the FUCK NOT me? I deserve success. I am a great sales person. I do this job extremely well. Your wisdom & insight set my mind back on track. My new mantra is going on sticky notes all over the place. Along with “Just because you aren’t qualified does not disqualify you!” Love ya Marie!!!!

  110. Laura

    I can totally relate! As one of the few non college grads in my firm, I struggle with feeling ‘less than’ or not good enough even though as the bookkeeper I prepare financial statements every month that all my CPA boss has to do is review. Over the years on this job, I’ve earned his respect for my knowledge and solid work. The books I keep are bullet proof!

    • Hailey - Team Forleo

      Love this, Laura! Sending big high- fives your way. A solid work ethic and commitment to excellence are two things even a degree can’t guarantee. It’s wonderful that your efforts are recognized and celebrated– you so deserve it!

  111. Kimberly Roblin

    So that’s what it’s called, Impostor Syndrome!
    It’s what holds me back from thinking I can do what I dream of doing. Deep down inside I don’t really believe I’m smart enough to deliver without some kind of degree or University accomplishment. How could I possible be a teacher/facilitator without a degree? What could I possible know that others would want to hear from me?
    I beat myself up all the time.

    I keep on researching and researching and before I know it I’ve got so much information that I’m overwhelmed with what to do with it! I’m now in action mode of creating workshops to deliver all this bountiful information I’ve discovered. I’m looking forward to seeing others achieve the goals and dreams! If I can do it from where I came from then anyone can do it!

    I’m doing some major ‘mindset resets’ by confronting negative past programming beliefs and changing them into productive positive action!

    My Mantra:
    Move Your Ass Woman, People Need to Hear What Kimberly Has to Say!

  112. aisasami

    I always feel like an imposter. I work as an international preschool teacher but I didn’t go to teacher’s college, I just learned by experience throughout the years. And, I just got one little certification years before but I don’t have a teacher’s license. I feel like because I didn’t officially become a teacher with a piece of paper, I feel like an imposter. Like I am not a real teacher. But my students think differently.

  113. Rachel

    So two-fold imposter syndrome currently. My day job is in tech, and being a woman I often find myself second guessing myself because…I’m not supposed to be good at this stuff right?
    Second is a conservation focussed wildlife art company that I keep putting off because I don’t have qualifications in photography. I know I’m good (not something you often hear me say), and I’ve been told by others I’m good but whenever I start enquiries into pricing the lack of a piece of paper saying “you’re allowed to be good at this” makes me fall back into those fraudulent feelings.

    • Rachel

      Oh and mantra:
      “Shake your shit Rachel! No one’s going to do it for you.”

  114. Mel

    Oh my heavens, YES. I’ve been a full-time artist for nine years now and even though I have a 200-piece solo exhibit coming up in a couple months, which is a huge deal for me, I feel like it’s only because maybe they couldn’t find anyone else to fill that spot. That they’re just setting it up for me to be laughed at. Ridiculous, I know!

    I just keep plugging away and rely on my wonderful friends and family to keep me from feeling this way too often. I post my art on Instagram and when I get nice comments it seems to help. 🙂

    My mantra? “HOORAY! You can do this!” 🙂

  115. Holy smokes thanks for bringing this topic home! I’m sitting here today feeling so down and overwhelmed on the one year anniversary of acquiring a yoga studio…one year of teaching, operating, and re-branding the studio AND working my full time job which included over 30,000 miles of travel. One year of owning a studio – creating new processes, hiring, automating, building community AND hitting my revenue goal at my full time job at nearly 200% of plan…and winning a company club trip to Costa Rica!!!! And I’m freaking SAD today…?????? And here’s why: being a business owner is lonely. And I am having the hardest time accepting and appreciating my own success. There’s this little (or big) voice in my head that’s telling me it’s all a mistake and…I’m an imposter. Writing this down is making me laugh because it’s so ridiculous. Here’s my mantra (as of today): “You are killing it Martina! And you deserve to be happy and proud of your accomplishments.” Thank you for shedding light on this self destructive topic – I’m staying humble and open to all the learnings and ever so grateful for my sweetheart, besties, and family who always help remind me that I’m good enough. xo

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      You’re a rock star, Martina! You’ve done some amazing things over the past year and we’re really proud of you for what you’ve accomplished and for your commitment to acknowledge your success. You’re the real deal. 🙂

      • Thank you, Mandy. From the bottom of my heart – it means so much to receive praise and recognition (it’s my love language lol). Team Forleo FTW!!

  116. I’m convinced that despite a degree, work experience & three years running my own (part-time due to also stay-at-home-momming) freelance business, that there is no reason anyone should hire me or even look at my resume. That calling myself a business owner or a writer is a joke, and that I should get a job doing something totally entry-level because that’s all I’m worth or will ever be worth.

    FYI my writing has gotten me tons of compliments and I’m almost never asked for edits or rewrites. I’m a good writer. But my impostor syndrome believes I am a garbage person with hardly any original ideas. The one or two passable ideas I’ve had will dry up any moment, and everyone will see how garbage I am and point and laugh at me for thinking I had any value as a writer or as a person. Also, my friends secretly hate me and I’m a bad mom and wife.

    My impostor syndrome goes hard. I suppose that means I have no choice but to go even harder.

    • Heather-Team Forleo

      Bethany, when imposter syndrome sneaks in it practically screams in our ear. It’s so annoying isn’t it? Sometimes reflecting back on what we HAVE done provides the fuel and confidence to move forward believing a bit more in ourselves and our abilities. You’ve got this!

  117. Is that really an imposter? I do not believe that.
    I have been plagiarized by a person and reported to my boss. And that was terrible.

    • Heather-Team Forleo

      We’re so sorry you had that experience, Bulong.

  118. This was super helpful. Thank you Marie!

  119. I feel like a fraud when I am in charge of a new responsibility and position which challenges my point of view. I can see why a decision I would have challenged is one that I would make an absolute in that particular position.

  120. Clarice

    Great points! I have been doing a lot of research about the habits and attitudes of successful women, and one of the best books Ive come across is the attitudes of success by Sarah J. Collins.

    It identifies specific things that you can do to increase your chances of success. For me, the chapters on confidence and branding yourself were life changers as I always felt like I didn’t want to talk about myself. Thanks again for the great post.

  121. Natalie Bikmetova

    I sometimes feel like a fraud and these strategies are great!

  122. My mantra is: I am good enough, everybody is. ?

  123. Antigone

    I loooove this episode!!! Thank you Marie.
    Very insightful, motivative and so so HELPFUL!

  124. Amanda

    Thank you Marie! Just what I needed to hear 🙂 You always have a way to say exactly what I need when I need it! I loved the importance of sharing the shame, and reflecting both on what went well and also what didn’t (and how we learned from it!). Definitely helps when we share that too! I am grateful for the reminder to admit when “you don’t know”. I have found myself in this position a lot lately and definitely felt shame and didn’t want to admit that but then when I did, it felt so freeing and allowed me to let in the help and support I needed so thank you!!! 🙂 Wishing you all a most magical and love-filled day!

    With love and gratitude,


  125. JimmySoony

    UPDATE: Cryptocurrency Investing Strategy – Q2 2019. Receive passive income of $ 70,000 per month:

  126. Shane

    Yes I feel like I am going to be found out often, even though I have been a top achiever for the past 4.5 years.

  127. I definitely feeling imposter syndrome for the last 2 days I feel like a fraudster as I was their yet , I was honest with my community and got so much love and inspiration. This why today on day 2 Im watching Marie tv so tomorrow I can get back to work and stay productive

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      Wonderful, Rebecca! Way to keep going and pushing through those challenging feelings. We love how much support and inspiration you received from your community – how beautiful!

  128. Hi Marie,
    I encounter imposter syndrome a lot. As a coach I work with a lot of budding entrepreneurs that struggle to own their accomplishments and success. There is a lot of self sabotage going on.
    I feel that Imposter syndrome is not being in alignment to your current creation and idea of ‘self’. It is as if you are still living in a previous version of you; hence the disowning of your hard work and accolades.
    I help my clients get into alignment with their current creations and embody whatever it is that they are currently living as a reality for themselves.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share and contribute!

  129. What a good article! I’d spent YEARS dealing with this and believing I was the only one in my office that felt that way and therefore I didn’t belong. So naive!! Then starting my coaching business, that silly little voice would pop up “who am I to be doing this?!?” I know better now so I can tell her to go stuff it!

    One item I think might be missing here is that Impostor syndrome stems from a belief of not being good enough (or smart enough, or likable enough). So when we’re in these social situations, we have a fear that people are going to judge us and think the same things about us that we believe about ourselves. So one tip I like to give is to “allow” other people to have their own opinions, understanding that their opinions have everything to do with them, their past, their expectations, their values – and nothing to do with us.

    So if we go into it thinking “I herby give him/her permission to not like me” it takes sooo much pressure off. And when we take away that fear that leads to either people pleasing or becoming a wallflower, we act more like ourselves, and interestingly, people tend to like us more. Go figure 🙂

    Just my 2 cents <3

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