Imposter syndrome doesn’t have to affect your thoughts and emotions through something big, such as a job, or life decision. Hell, no! You can experience it in something as simple and small through just renting a car. Yep, you read that right. Just renting a car. Noooo, not that I wasn’t worthy of renting a car, but due to the type of car I was given.
Many years ago, I had to take my car (it was a Toyota Camry, almost 12 years old, the car, not me) in for repairs (the thing would never just die), and I was given a rental. This rental was easily 3 times higher in status than my old Toyota at the time was. I sat in the rental and felt oh so out of place. I couldn’t believe they would give me such a nice rental car. It was an Infiniti, but I don’t remember the model, and I felt so uncomfortable. I felt they had given me the wrong car. I was in a luxury car, all the bells a whistles…well maybe not all, but damn more than I had in my old car. I kept waiting for someone to come over or even later call me and tell me there was a mistake and I needed to return the rental for a different one…a lower level one, if you will. Something that I should be driving instead. Because I saw myself as lower level. I wasn’t worthy of such a nice car. A car with comfort, and up-to-date options and smooth ride.
I drove the car constantly feeling uneasy and worried someone I knew or for that matter didn’t even know would see me and tell me I’m in the wrong car. That I shouldn’t be driving THAT car. I don’t deserve THAT nice of a car. Really, that I’m just not worthy of something nice and good. Because I’m not up to that level. That acceptance. That appreciation of good. Yeah, you’re probably reading this going…over a fucking rental car? Yes. A simple, rental car. Nope, it wasn’t a Ferrari. Just damn nicer than what I had and I didn’t feel worthy. I felt I was a fraud for even driving it. Over the few days I had the car, I began to enjoy driving it, but never comfortable enough with it. I tried to avoid questions about it if any would come up. Don’t really remember anybody asking or making comments. However, I made sure to do what I could to reduce those answer/question interactions.
When it was time to return the car, as mine was ready for me to pick up, I was kind of relieved that I didn’t have to stress about the Infiniti anymore, and felt like I deserved the older, lower level car I owned. Yet, at the same time, I enjoyed the luxury car, and wanted that feeling to be a normal part of my life, over feeling as though I didn’t deserve better.
Cut to now…I currently own a 2018 Mini Cooper S, and when I recently brought mine in for basic maintenance recently, they needed to keep it a few days due to their workload and gave me a rental. A brand-new 2020 Mini Cooper S rental. One with top line accessories, a sun roof and all. Now, mine has great accessories. I LOVE my Mini. But driving off in this one, I felt good. Great. Brilliant! I enjoyed the hell out of that car for the few days I had it. Had the sunroof open every day. Enjoyed driving it anywhere I needed to go. Never once felt like I shouldn’t be in it. Now I know you’re saying, yeah but, it was a Mini Cooper, the same as you already had. Yep, that’s true. But it was the latest version with additional accessories. Had this been several years ago, I would have felt uncomfortable and unworthy as this was still better than my current car.
What’s funny is that while waiting for my rental to be brought out to me, I saw several BMW SUVs being brought out for a few other customers. They were dropping their BMWs off for regular maintence. And I honestly felt that if they gave me a BMW SUV, I’d have enjoyed the hell out of driving it for a few days, too! I never once sat waiting and hoping they weren’t going to give an new BMW SUV to me for my rental or hoped they would just give me a simple car instead. Nope, they could have given me the top of the line vehicle, and I would have enjoyed driving it and would not have felt uncomfortable. That is growth. My growth. My growth away from my Imposter Syndrome.
Yes, this can be you too. How do I know? Because I have gone through this experience and grown from it, and you will too.
One thing you can do now, is just enjoy what comes your way. Appreciate that you get to drive that nicer rental. Enjoy that nice meal. Whatever it might be. Why? Because you are worthy. There is nothing about the car, the meal, the job that you aren’t worthy for. Breathe, and just enjoy it. I know it sounds simple, but difficult to grasp at the same time. But that’s the point. Don’t over think it. Don’t over process. Don’t worry. Just enjoy.
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