Feb. 16, 2023

Imposter Syndrome & Kim's Darkest Moment

This week I share how I turned one of the darkest, messiest moments in my life into my message, and how you can use hardship and self-doubt to your advantage.

Imposter syndrome is more common than you might think—more than 80% of people experience it. There are 5 main types of imposter syndrome. It can manifest itself in our interactions with friends, family, and coworkers, but I'm here to tell you that you can use this worry and anxiety to your advantage. This week I’m explaining how to use impostor syndrome to your advantage and change your perception about yourself. It’s time to level up! 



In this episode: 

What is imposter syndrome

When I feel imposter syndrome

Why having imposter syndrome can be a good thing

What are the 5 types of imposter syndrome

How to overcome imposter syndrome

How to make your mess your message



Here is my favorite quote from this week’s episode:

“The most beautiful thing you can do is admit your weakness. Weakness is power. Failures are strength. Our messiness of life is our message.” – Kim



The Kim Gravel Show is a weekly podcast for women where you stop doubting and start believing in yourself. On each episode Kim tackles the topics that women care about in a way that will make you laugh, make you think, and help you see your life in a new, more positive way.


Do you want real confidence that doesn’t waiver in the face of circumstances?

Do you want to stop making excuses and value yourself more than ever?

Then you’ve come to the right place. 

New episodes of The Kim Gravel Show drop every Thursday.



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*This transcript was auto-generated*

Kim Gravel: Coming up on the Kim Gravel Show, and I remember sitting in my Pepto-Bismol pink apartment in Jimmy Carter Boulevard, alone with a failed marriage at 23, broke, lonely. It was the messiest year of my life. I was a mess. And then I started using that mess.

Opening Introduction: Let's just go on and spill the tea. This is The Kim Gravel Show. This is one of the realest persons I've ever met in my darn life. You gotta watch this. My mission is to encourage every single woman, we're here to lift y'all up. There's no one more effective than moms. You mess with the bull. You going to get the horns. I need coffee. I need Jesus and I need therapy. If you can bring a smile to people's faces, why would you not? We love our kids. We love our husbands. What a blessing. We're gonna dedicate this to you in finding your superpower. Okay girl. True confidence is knowing who you are and why you're here.

Hey y'all. This is the Kim Gravel Show, and this season we are leveling up our lives. We're gonna step into our purpose, and we're gonna do it together. This week we're talking about how to beat the imposter syndrome. You hear about that everywhere. We will discuss the 5 types of imposter syndrome. Talk about that and how to change the perception about how you see yourself and how to overcome imposter syndrome.

Zac, have you ever heard of the imposter syndrome?

Zac Miller: I've heard of it. I've felt it. I live it. That is where I am.

Kim Gravel: I live it. I felt it right now. Okay.

Zac Miller: Right now, in this moment, I'm like, why? Why am I here? Why am I, why do I get to do this show with Kim? Right? Like literally in this moment, that's what I feel.

Kim Gravel: No, I mean, you hear about it. I remember when I was first hearing about imposter syndrome, I was thinking that it meant like you're being. Right, because you hear about it and you think, oh, you're being fake and that's not what it is at all. And I'm like, I don't have imposter syndrome. I ain't fake. You know?

And I was, I remember thinking and then, and then I actually like looked it up what is imposter syndrome and did a little bit of research and it actually means, I'm gonna read the definition. Imposter syndrome definition can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evidence success. And I'm like, oh, I have imposter syndrome.

So does that make sense? So it's like you feel like you are not qualified, even though you have a level of success, you still feel inadequate. So you're saying that's how you feel?

Zac Miller: I feel that all the time. . I question that all the time. I think so many of us do, right? I mean, Kim, look, I, I looked this up as we were prepping this episode too, and the American Psychological Association says that 82% are up to 82% of people in the United States feel this way or feel imposter syndrome.

Kim Gravel: I wonder why. I mean, let's ask ourself that question before we dive into this episode, because if a lot of people out there are listening to this and they I'm sure feel the same way, because I feel ipo. I mean, I go on QVC every week on national TV, and I'm like, Do I know what I'm doing? I'm like, well, how many times you gotta do it?

I mean, I've probably done thousands of live tv, you know, thousands of hours of live tv. Yeah. But I still feel like I'm just like, I think the older that I, I, I get and the more life experience that I have, I, I say this all the time. We live in a sea. We live in a, a world that's full of experts with absolutely no experie.

Right. I mean, seriously. No, I, I'm, I'm dead dog serious. There's so many people giving courses online and doing life coaching things about business that have never run a business. Amy and I were talking about this, my best friend, we were talking about how, I mean, I'm 51 and. I cannot tell you the ups and downs I have gone through in business, in my personal life, in my marriage, raising kids.

I mean, and I still feel like, my God, I don't know if I can talk about this and be, you know, the expert that I am presenting myself to be. And then when I started feeling this way, I had to drill down and figure out why. And I, I figured out. It wasn't that I was an imposter. It wasn't that I didn't have the, that I was inadequate or didn't have the experience.

It was my perception about myself that was off. It's so funny. We live in a world where it seems like everyone's a narcissist and then to themselves, but it's, we have a crisis of confidence when it comes to everything. I remember one time I was telling my dad, oh my gosh. Am I good enough to do this? Dad, am I good enough to do this?

I doubt myself. I doubt myself. And I remember him saying to me, well, if you're doubting yourself, then that that means you. You are right where you need to be. That's a good thing.

Zac Miller: Ooh. Oh, that's so interesting. Okay.

Kim Gravel: That tells me you are ready. You have the character and integrity, and you're doing it for the right reasons that you're doubting yourself.

A little bit of doubt is a good thing because. that lets us know that our perception is right or at least healthy. Now, stay with me. Okay. The way we perceive ourselves really determines. Where we end up a lot of the times now, I don't wanna give blanket statements and everybody don't text me or send me, you know, Facebook messages and be like this.

I, for the majority of people, how you see yourself, okay? How you perceive your talents, your gifts, who you are determines where you. It sets that, that intention, perception sets the intention, sets the where you're going. Okay. Does that make sense?

Zac Miller: That makes sense to me. Yeah. I'm following you.

Kim Gravel: I have lived enough life to know that that little bit of fear, that little bit of doubt is a good thing.

It's not a bad thing. It's a good thing. And that little bit of imposter syndrome that you feel. Is that fuel that keeps you performing with integrity and excellence and gives you that successful result that you have in your work.

Zac Miller: I started to take that in, Kim. I was like, okay, so maybe imposter symptoms really like a good thing, right?

Maybe it's something that I sort of like, that I sort of want to not lean into, right? Like, like keep in check, but. But think about a little bit differently, right?

Kim Gravel: It's not that bad.

Hey, y'all. Kim Gravel here in my new book, collecting Confidence Comes out April 25th, and I want you to come and be a part of our live book launch event at the guest South Ute in Atlanta, Georgia.

Head to kimgravel.com to get all the details. I can't wait to see you there.

Zac Miller: Okay, so according to the internet, well, we know that's always there. Yeah. There are 5 types of imposter syndrome. I'll tell you all five and then I can tell you more if you wanna know more about them. The first one is the perfectionist. The second one is the expert. Want me to read that one?

The expert feels like an imposter because they know everything there is to know about a particular subject or topic, or they haven't mastered every step in the process.

Kim Gravel: Okay. Um, I have a problem with that. Okay. I have a problem with that. I have just now come to, in writing this book, collecting confidence.

I have just come to terms with, there are some things that I'm an expert in. I've lived it over and over and over again, and that. You don't know what you don't know, and and lived experience is so important, especially when you are having the word expert come behind your name. Even if you have a degree in your field, but you have no experience, you still do.

Zac Miller: I know plenty people would like fancy degrees that don't know that much idea, right?

Kim Gravel: There's just something about lived experience. That's why I tell everybody. Go live. Say yes to the opportunities. Say yes to the risk. Say yes, especially when you're young and you've got the freedom. Say yes to that trip.

Say yes to studying abroad. Say yes to being in that pageant. Say yes to, you know, working, you know, 20, 30 hours, you know, a week on your craft. Say yes to higher education. Everything. I mean, I can go on and on. I mean, I just had a girl call me this week, uh, about an opportunity that came her way, and she was like, I just don't know.

I'm like, why do you not know you're young, you're single. You're very strong in business. This door of opportunity has opened for you. Why are you even doubting it? Walk through the door and slam it shut so you can't go back. And she was just like, oh my gosh. Yeah. So I mean, to be an expert. I think you have to have some lived experience and, and then if you've got it all, you, all you women of wisdom out there listening to this, there's experiences that you have.

I mean, there are some women listening to me right now who think that I'm 50 something, I'm 40 something, I'm 60 something, and what else do I have to give? You have so much more to give than the 20 somethings. It's not even. .

Zac Miller: Okay, then we got the natural genius, right? So that's the type of imposter.

Kim Gravel: That ain't me.

Zac Miller: You feel like a fraud cuz you're naturally intelligent. Um, yeah,

Kim Gravel: that ain't me. So let's skip onto to that one's.

Zac Miller: That's all, all, the soloist. All right. That's imposter syndrome. like cuz you have to ask for help at a certain level. Right? You reach a certain level and you have to ask for help and you feel like an imposter because you need that help.

Kim Gravel: Um, you, everybody needs help. Everybody needs help.

Zac Miller: And so this last one I think is totally me, even though I think I would definitely also be the perfectionist, but the super person, and this is the person who feels imposter syndrome and it involves, Believing that you must be the hardest worker to reach the highest level of achievement.

Kim Gravel: There's a part of success that is just grace, that it's just a gift that it's just given, right? Yeah. And that's where I think a lot of us get tripped up. That's where the perception is off because. Whenever you are struggling with this imposter syndrome where you don't feel like you're good enough, you haven't worked hard enough, you don't know enough, you, you don't, you're not independent enough or you're not perfect enough.

that gets us down when we start feeling self-doubt and we start feeling restless or nervous or anxiety or less than. But what I want you to do is I want you to shift your perception. That's what has helped me is that at 51 with my life, You know, lived experience. Although I'm not, I'm definitely not a natural genius.

I am an expert, but not in everything. I try to be perfect, but that ain't never gonna happen. I've tried to work solo, but God knows to be successful you need a team of great people. And I know I'm not a super person cuz I ain't got no s or no cape on my back. , okay? So I've shifted my perception to I'm a masterpiece, I'm created.

One of a kind and I have something to offer and I know that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. So how can that be an posture? Reminds me of this story cuz I, I really think it's what we're looking at that's the problem. It's not how we're feeling based on our self-worth or even our talents and our giftings and it, it's this story about Michelangelo sculpting the statue of David.

And I love this story so much because gives the ultimate description of how perception can shift. Any and everything. So we all know that Michelangelo sculpted David out of this huge piece of marble, but let me back you up. Years and years, I think it was like 25 years plus before then when two other sculptors took a crack at, you know, carving that piece of marble.

So the first one did it. No success. He deemed the marble unusable. Then another one came along and sculpted it, tried to sculpt it. He said it was ruins, and basically they took that piece of marble. and they put it in the trash bin or the junkyard. Like today it would be today our junkyard. They just said, this is you.

It's not even, you can't even carve it. It's just useless. I mean, think about how big that piece of marble had to be, right? Massive. And think for that statue of David to be massive and then to say it's just junk. It's not. It's just because these two guys couldn't get a handle on it, couldn't do it. It was just junk.

Two. Here comes michelangelo. and in three years he carves the statue of David that we are looking at right now today. That's in that museum. Where is, where is it? Where is it even, is it Italy?

Zac Miller: It's Italy.Yeah. Yeah.

Kim Gravel: It's Italy. It's Italy that everybody goes through there and looks at that statues very popular.

A tourist attraction. We're still looking at it today. And this was done like in the 15 hundreds?

After Michelangelo had sculpted the statue of David out of that ruined piece of marble. Someone asked him, how did you do it? And he said, well, when I looked at the piece of marble, and I'm paraphrasing, I saw David, he was already in the piece of marble. I just had to remove the pieces that didn't belong.

So, , the artist before him, the failed artist before him saw was a ruined piece of marble. Michelangelo saw a masterpiece that we're still celebrating today.

What are you looking at? Because what you're looking at determines what you. What truly makes you empowered by this imposter syndrome, which you can be, is what you're looking at according to the A p A, the American Psychological Association. The best way to overcome imposter syndrome is bringing it out in the open and discussing it, recognizing the self-doubt, and then shifting what you're looking at, accepting.

And not making your decisions, living your life and beating yourself up because of it. I'm telling y'all the most beautiful thing you can do is admit your weakness. Weakness is power. Failures is strength. Mess. Our messiness of life is our message.

Zac Miller: What does that really mean? Like how, how do you make your mess your message?

Because this is something that you've said a lot and I, it's really actually, like, means a lot to me. But I'd love for you to just tell, tell me a little more and tell the audience a little more about that.

Kim Gravel: The mess of life can be different for different people, but I, I always like to, tell the story.

For those of y'all might not know that I've been married before. I was married at 21.

I was a total idiot. Okay. When you're, I mean, I didn't know my butt from the holy ground. I didn't even know anything about anything. I, I didn't even know what love was, much less to be in it and . Right. There's had been, up until that point, no one in my family on either side, my mother's side or my father's side, that had ever been divorce.

I mean, divorce was just, you just didn't do it. I mean, in our family, it just wasn't something that you did. I mean, and we had people in our family that had been through far harder times. And I mean, physical abuse, mental abuse. I mean, you just stayed married, right? So you just didn't get divorced. So think about me at 21 and I got married in six months in, I thought, oh my gosh, this is, this is not ever gonna work.

And I. We were going, I knew where it was gonna hit. I knew it was headed. And listen, I don't blame him. I take full my part of full responsibility, I was a total imposter. Okay? And that's a whole nother story for a whole nother day. So I'm coming up and I'm gonna be the only one in my family to be divorced, and I decided to make the decision.

You know, I, I, I even had the support of my family, of my, of my mom and dad and sister, and everybody was like, you know, this is never gonna work. Long story short, I filed for divorce and I remember sitting in my Pepto-Bismol pink apartment in Jimmy Carter Boulevard, alone with a failed marriage at 23, had the biggest, most fairytale wedding.

Talk about imposter acted like it was the, you know, princess die times two. You know what I'm saying? For my little community. Yep. The big dress, the big veil, everything. and sitting in that apartment three and a half years later broke lonely. It was the messiest year of my life. I was a mess. I thought at 23, my life was over.

Fast forward many years later, the healing happened. I accepted it. I moved on, and then I started using that mess. And I would go and speak to women's groups. I would go and channel it into creating products that would really empower women. I would not have what I have today. The message that I'm standing on right now during this pla, during this podcast, if I had not had the mess of that divorce, nothing is wasted.

God wastes nothing. So you might be in a place where, You feel an, you feel like an imposter because you've had tragedy, epic failures, poor decisions, and you've made a mess out of your life, but that doesn't make you an imposter. That makes you meaningful, important, valuable.

That makes you an expert. You have that lived experience. You have something to say because you've been through it. I've never known anyone who is successful that had an easy past.

Show me someone that is living in their calling and successful, and I promise you they've had it some tough times. I've never known anybody that's successful with an easy past ever. So this is what I say. If you have had trauma, heartbreak, if you've screwed up your life royally in the past, if you've made so many mistakes, you don't even know how you can get back on track.

Whatever that thing is for.

That mess is your message. You've just gotta change how you're looking at that piece of marble. You just gotta shift your perception. You've got to see, you gotta, you gotta shift what you're seeing about, you've gotta look at that stuff that you've lived and you've gotta shift it to this stuff that you can give.

You can't give what you ain't got. You don't know what you don't know.

All the hard work, all of the trying to be perfect, all of the knowledge, all of that. Is good. You need to work hard, you need to learn more. You need to, you need to strive to be your very best and do things with excellence, but that's after you've shifted your perception to know that you're fearfully and wonderfully made, and you are a masterpiece that has value and the world needs more of who you are, and that ain't no imposter. That's being a hundred percent authentic.

I don't know, Zac. I just think a lot of people giving up what they want out of life instead of giving in to the life that they have, give in to that. Lean into it.

I'm telling you, your mess is your message. . It's really not always what you're going through and I don't want to demean trauma or tragedy or hard times because we all have them. But try looking at your circumstances just a little bit different. And I'm preaching to the choir cuz they're days that I don't wanna get outta bed too.

There are days where I feel defeated and there's certainly moments by moment by moment that I'm doubt. But when those things creep in, try to flip the script a little bit and look at it differently and give yourself some grace. Quit beating yourself up. Nobody's perfect. Nobody's the ultimate expert. Nobody is that genius all the time. Nobody can do it alone. Nobody's Superman superwoman. So quit holding yourself to those impossible standards. Oh, quit holding yourself to those imposter standards.

There you go. You know, and give yourself some grace, but you got to give yourself a. and start looking at the master. That is you

attitude. Look at my tanning cream hands. Oh my God. . Think I, I think I got a little tanning cream up . That is hilarious. We are leveling up. Lemme start over cuz I'm looking everywhere.

Zac Miller: Well, I messed up. It didn't hit record on this thing, so that's all.

Okay. So you know? We're nailing.

This is the night energy.

Kim Gravel: I know. I totally messed it up, baby. I forgot what I was gonna say. What was I talking about, ? No, it was good. It was so good. I should have just said it out loud. It was so freaking good.

The Kim Gravel Show is produced and edited by Zac Miller at Uncommon Audio.

Our associate producer is Kathleen Grant, the Brunette Exec. Production help from Emily Bredin and Sarah Noto. Our cover art is designed by Sanaz Huber at Memarian Creative and Mike Kligerman Edits the show and a special thanks to the team at QVC. Head over to the kimgravelshow.com and sign up for our mailing list.

Again, we can't do this without you, so thank you for listening, and we love you.