Good Enough, Not an Imposter

Welcome to my weekly Operation Melt update where I share progress updates from my continued fitness journey and the important lessons it is teaching me about life.

Another Half Marathon

This weekend I completed my second Cap City half marathon in Columbus. This virtual half marathon was my fourth organized half and my tenth overall run of the distance since I started my personal transformation project.

My first half marathon run was this week in 2018. This means I have done ten half marathons in about two years. All this after having just started running less than a year earlier.

This weekend’s half was not easy but I was prepared. I properly fueled my body and trained for the run. I had a strategy for how to pace myself. I had a good route planned that I had run before. I was ready.

The first half of the fun felt great! I was way ahead of my expected pace, I had tons of energy and wasn’t tired at all.

The second half got a little rougher, especially starting at the ten-mile point. But I knew I could do it and I pushed through. This is where I would have normally relied heavily on the energy from the crowd to push me, but no such luck in a virtual half. I was out there by myself.

The last mile started with a significant uphill run and it felt horrible. But I knew how to push through this pain and strain and did a lot of walking to finally finish. Again, a crowd and better course planning at a normal half marathon would have made this better.

I ended with a pace time of 10:13 which was a personal record for me. I was shocked, happy and proud of this time. This was faster than my first 5k run and very respectable.

Imposter Syndrome

I am a runner. I am an athlete. I am not afraid to say those things. Even more importantly, I am not afraid to think and believe those things… now.

It is a big step to get to this point because imposter syndrome is a real thing. It is the psychological condition where you doubt your status or your accomplishments. You hesitate to allow yourself to identify with the things you have earned. You are afraid to been seen or exposed as a fraud.

Let me tell you, going from 325 pounds and a lifetime of obesity to sincerely viewing yourself as an athlete is full of imposter syndrome. But I am not an imposter, I am a rock star!

Good Enough

One of my tricks for overcoming my imposter syndrome was the magic of two little words: “good enough.”

Did I do good enough to meet my own expectations based on where I am today? I am not really trying to make anybody else happy. If I am comfortable with my performance, status and accomplishments then that is all that matters. But don’t forget the “based on where I am today” part of this. I cannot measure my success in a vacuum, I need to temper it with the reality of my situation.

When I ran my first half marathon my pace time (the average time per mile) was 12:35. When I was crossing the finish line I was being passed by people crossing the finish line after having run the FULL marathon, double my distance. But, none of those people were running their first half marathon and none of them were 325 pounds just 14 months earlier.

This weekend I was 20% faster than my first half marathon just 18 months before. Could I be faster than my 10:13 pace? Absolutely. Will I get faster? Absolutely. But this pace, at this stage in my running journey, in a half marathon without a crowd is more than good enough. It is downright impressive.

This “good enough” approach works in a variety of scenarios. This week I was leading a meeting at work. I walked away feeling like I did a bad job with it. I didn’t bring the expertise to the table that I thought I needed to bring and there were some participants who just didn’t get to where I thought they should get in the meeting.

Then I considered the reality of the situation. I just took over a very large program in the middle and have only been on the team for about a month. This was a highly technical meeting and it would have been impossible for me to have been an expert. I did plenty good enough and we got to where we needed to get.

I am not an imposter, I am a good project manager – particularly based on my version of what is considered good enough to be a “good” project manager. Just like I am not an imposter, I am an athlete and a runner.

I want to get better over time. But I don’t need to be any better than I am today to be good enough. I am good enough.

What are you “good enough” at that you can stop feeling like an imposter?

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About Operation Melt

Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform that to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives. My vision is to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.