Free Yourself From Mental Health Slavery: Imposter Syndrome

By: Terrell Goforth | @daretogoforthlifecoaching

The stigma that follows the word “man” weighs heavier these days than it ever has before. Most males have virtually defined the term by what they’ve experienced growing up and deemed it to be the correct definition. The circumstances that men were raised varies. That would ultimately lead to my perception of what a man will be different than the next three men I encounter. What is the correct definition of a real man? That’s a good question because the dictionary only can tell you that it’s an adult human male.

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I’ve was fortunate enough to speak with two gentlemen and a woman to gain knowledge on their perspectives of a man. Yes, I talked to a woman because we have to be realistic and realize women also raise our young men.

What does being a man mean to you?

“I feel a real man is someone who’s worked on their self-fulfillment, in the hopes of truly knowing themselves. Then every day, they work to align their life to their mission/goal in life. And that comes with a “by any means” mentality towards achieving the said purpose.”

Jonathan – Connecticut

“A man is someone with great integrity. He is a protector that values his loved ones. A man is someone with great character and a great work ethic. A man is someone strong enough to be vulnerable.”

 Vanessa – Connecticut

“To be a real man means a lot of different things to people. However, for me, it means being able to build yourself as a man and being able to help build others. Whether it’s your family or friends. Whether it’s building a future. What being a real man means to me is not only being a provider to others, but also being a provider for yourself spiritually, mentally, and physically. It’s all about building when it comes to being a real man.”

Alvin – Washington, D.C

The testimonies mentioned above validates that there is no clear definition of what a man means. Due to individuals having various backgrounds and beliefs, it’s created what we know as the imposter syndrome. The imposter syndrome is feelings that have been compiled over time to promote one to feel inadequate. Individuals are suffering from this syndrome deal with feeling inferior to others and constant self-doubt despite their knowledge or expertise.

Do you ever feel like everyone else knows more than you on various subjects? That’s an indication that you may be suffering from Imposter Syndrome. The reality is that you know just as much as anyone else, begin to believe in yourself. Others will start to do the same. Ways to promote growth and confidence are practice, practice, and more practice on your craft daily. Start with displaying your work amongst individuals you feel comfortable around i.e., family and friends. Join small groups that surround your niche, so you’re able to share and learn from other likeminded individuals.


Natural Genius – “If I were brilliant, I wouldn’t have to think so hard.” Finds having a tutor or mentor to be a bad thing due to feeling like you can manage everything on your own.

Expert – “If I were smart, then I would know everything there is to know.” You’ve reached the highest level in your position yet don’t believe you’ve learned all you can yet.

Rugged individualist – “The only achievements that matter are the ones I got without anyone else’s help.” Turns away all support or extra hands with the belief that no job is too big.

Perfectionist – “I should have done better. Making mistakes isn’t acceptable at all.” You have issues with delegating a task to others, and when you can entrust other individuals, you become unsatisfied with results. You self-sabotage when you don’t obtain the level of success you wanted.

Superhero “If I were brilliant and organized, I would be able to do everything for everyone.” You are staying later in the office to accomplish work even when you’ve already met the goal. You feel like, despite the accomplishments, you don’t deserve the titles or positions you have in life.


Break the silence – Recognize that there are others in the world dealing with the same things as you. Create a support system with trusted individuals. Seek counseling as these negative thoughts can manifest into something more detrimental to your life’s progression.

Separate real vs. fake – You’ll have those moments when you are weak and vulnerable. In those moments, you will find yourself creating self-doubt. Due to this, you will begin to talk yourself out of great opportunities. Recognize that accidents happen, and you don’t know everything. Be open-minded and willing always to take advice. A title doesn’t define the knowledge of an individual.

Highlight the positive – Be able to understand what a healthy lifestyle looks like and work towards keeping yourself centered. Don’t perseverate over the things you didn’t get done today. Create time schedules and adhere to them. You have to set short/long term goals so you can measure the work. Make sure when you are creating these goals, they’re smart — specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

Develop a new response to failure and shortcomings. – Instead of giving up on the task. Take the time to review and learn when the mistake was made — partner with other individuals in the same field. Also, if you aren’t educating yourself or practicing the craft, you can’t expect to do any better than you did yesterday.

Create your narrative – Just because you see someone else do something without much effort doesn’t mean it’ll apply to you. Recognize that your journey won’t look the same as anyone else.

Create a success plan – If you want to be successful, then spend time manifesting a method that allows you to visualize every step of the way. Try and map out the overall goal and then a 3, 6, 9, and 12-month plan.

Risk / Reward – There will always be a significant risk in anything new that you try. Remember it’s a new lesson. Be willing to invest in yourself. Sometimes you have to spend more than you are getting back to reach the next level in life. And as you see growth celebrate. It’s important to reward yourself as it’ll fuel yourself to be motivated


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Dear Fathers
Dear Fathers
Dear Fathers is The Premiere Media Platform dedicated to telling stories of black fathers from all angles.

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