How to Ignore Impostor Syndrome and Just Keep Going

Dec 06, 2021

Pam Moore is a mother + occupational therapist-turned-award-winning health and fitness freelance writer, speaker, and podcaster. I've known her for close to ten years, and she's one of the most inspiring, versatile, and determined people I know. 

A regular contributor to The Washington Post and the author of There's No Room for Fear in a Burley Trailer, Pam's writing has been published in The Guardian, Time, Runner's World, Outside, SELF, and Forbes, among others. A body-positive health coach, certified personal trainer, six-time marathoner, and two-time Ironman finisher, Pam is also the host of the Real Fit podcast, featuring real conversations with women athletes about body image, confidence, and more. Her mission is to let women know they are already enough. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and two daughters.

Put It In Pencil

Pam's professional path has had an impressive and interesting evolution, and she offers listeners some practical advice on how to get started when you're beginning a new project. Pam started as an occupational therapist, and once she created her blog and started writing, an entirely new career opened up. At first, it was purely a hobby, but she quickly discovered that she loved writing. 

She began co-producing Listen To Your Mother Boulder (you may remember hearing about LTYM on our first two episodes! 😉) and realized that she didn't actually see herself as a writer. For the first time, as she was surrounded by other women writers, it occurred to her that maybe writing was something she could actually do. 

As Pam's writing journey transformed into a freelance career as a niche fitness writer and podcaster, she learned a lot about focus, perfectionism, and getting shit done. She shared so many gems about getting started with a project or career we love that made us grab our notebooks, post-its, and mirror sharpies. Number one: There is no perfect time.

When talking about how she plans her week and sets goals, she used a fantastic real life tip + perfect metaphor: put it in pencil. The concept of giving yourself grace and allowing for changes along the way is a powerful one. When we asked her about how she finally took the plunge with her podcast, she told us,

"There's no lifelong commitment just because I started something. So I gave myself permission to not like it or to not do a great job."

Rather than waiting until she was completely ready, completely certain, or completely perfect, she decided to just go for it and see what happened-- no strings attached. 

The Perfectionism Saboteur

Pam and I talked a lot about perfectionism. Many of us can relate, as it's one of the most common things holding moms back from tackling their goals, projects, and businesses. So many of us don't pull the trigger because we are waiting until it's perfect. As Pam reminded us, there is no perfect time, but more importantly, YOU don't have to be perfect, either. Especially not when you're starting out.

"You have to just get out there and do the thing so you can learn to do the thing. You'll never learn to do it if you don't mess up a lot."

She urges listeners to think of themselves a year down the road: what will happen if you try that thing that lights you up, and where will you be if you don't? She also reminded us how we never really know how our work-- imperfect though it might be!--could impact someone else's life.

"Instead of worrying about yourself and what if you fail, how about worry about, even if it's only one person, the person or people that you could touch or change or affect. If you don't put "the thing" in the world, they'll never get to experience your gifts."

Imposter Syndrome + Just Keep Going

Pam has done a lot of work and public speaking about impostor syndrome. You've probably already heard us talk about it often on this show, and that's no accident: impostor syndrome is something almost all of us can relate to. During our conversation about the impostor monster, Pam dropped another great insight on us:

"I like how you mentioned perfectionism and imposter syndrome in the same breath, because they're kind of a reflection of one another. Perfectionism, we see it as a good thing, but it's really a form of procrastination."

Pam talked about how her awareness of impostor syndrome came to be, during a triathlon, but how the crux of it really applies to almost anything where we feel like we aren't good enough: "I thought I wasn't like all these other people. Like I thought they knew something I didn't know. And it was not true."

Pam's personal brand of magic is her beautiful persistence and determination. She talked to us about the importance of forcing yourself to continue, and how you adapt as you go. I got chills when she shared this particular piece of advice:  

No special skills are required. Just keep going. And as you mentioned before, that's kind of what I'm good at.

Staying Focused On Your Goals

Pam and I talked about something that's stayed with me weeks after our interview-- the idea of staying in alignment with our dreams and goals. When you have a unique career path like Pam (something I can relate to as I've juggled numerous projects and roles), focus takes on a deeper meaning. 

She often asks herself what her long-term goals are, and whether or not short-term projects are going to get her closer to where she wants to be. She asks herself, "How is this propelling me towards what I want to be doing?"

Let that sink in for a minute . . . I mean, how many of us have said "yes" to things, just because they pay, or they might look good, or because we feel like we should, but really, they end up being detours from our higher priorities? 

Here are Pam's thoughts about those "other projects" and how they derail us: 

"It's going to be a diversion, and I want everything to be going the same direction and this isn't aligned with that. It's very empowering to do the things that you know are going to fuel you and put you in the direction where you want to be instead of what you think, something from the outside is telling you."

It's ok-- necessary even!-- for us to change directions when it's appropriate. Pam began writing about parenting, and then later, she told us "I realized this isn't actually what lights me up and what I want to be writing about. And I was like, I'm going to write about fitness and wellness and health. This is my jam."

There it is again-- that notion of "what lights me up." Think of it as a lighthouse or guide post for you along the way. 

Pam kept going with her vision, and created the Real Fit podcast to "feature conversations with women, athletes about body image, weight, confidence, this feeling of never being enough."

We talked about how it is absolutely OK for mothers to want validation and appreciation, and how Pam (and so many of us!) want to have an idea that actually matters and makes a difference to people. 

Pam shared, "I think at the end of the day, that's why I kind of do everything I do: because I want to connect with people." 

Mother Plusser Takeaways: 

  • Don't get hung up on perfection-- the time will never be just right, and you don't have to be 100% ready or all in to take the plunge!
  • Impostor syndrome is the flip side of perfectionism and it will derail you-- remember, everyone else does NOT "know something you don't know!"
  • Stay focused and in alignment with your highest goals-- how is this step getting you closer to where you want to be?
  • Just. Keep. Going. No superpowers required. 

I strongly encourage you to look into Pam's work, find her on her website: Pam Moore, and find her below on social media. Whether you're a writer, podcaster, or mom entrepreneur, she has so much more wisdom (and a dose of humor and reality!) to offer. 



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