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  • Writer's pictureTom Foxley

Imposter Syndrome in CrossFit: “I’m not good enough…”

If you’re ready to overcome that little voice telling you “you don’t belong…”

…you don’t deserve to be here…

…you’re not good enough…

… then you’re in the right place.

Today, I’m going to teach you the 4 steps to eliminate imposter syndrome in the world of competitive fitness.

Imposter syndrome is feeling you don’t belong and you’re going to get caught out. If you’re an athlete, that means looking at your competitors and feeling like you’re an outsider.

It means feeling like you’re just making up the numbers and not a serious contender.

But asides from feeling shitty, Imposter Syndrome means never living up to your potential when it counts, never feeling like you gave your best account of yourself, and missing the opportunity to meet your potential.

Most athletes never get to grip with this problem.

They dabble in mindset work but never find a system that works for them.

Or they think they just have to “believe in themselves.”

Basically, they try to change, but have no idea how to change.

Imposter syndrome is not only costing you your best performances. It’s costing you fun, enjoyment, and purpose in the thing you love doing the most.

Today I’m going to teach you the four steps you must take to overcoming this potential stopper:

  1. Discovering the story at the root of it

  2. Creating a “break in case of emergency” antidote

  3. The 7,000 year Imposter Syndrome Remedy

  4. Building confidence through an undeniable body of work

It’s story time

From the first few words out of this guy’s mouth, I could predict almost everything he would say from this point on.

Really high level athlete. Quick rise to the top. Never performs when it counts.

Ends up feeling frustrated and disappointed. Other people say he’s a different person in training to on the competition floor.

Root cause: imposter syndrome.

Everything from the freeze response which stops him from giving his best account…

…to the “oh shit, I’m not as good as these guys” thoughts…

…to missing heavy lifts he should hit…

…& the pressure he puts himself under.

It’s all classic Imposter Syndrome.

And at the heart of every Imposter Syndrome sufferer in CrossFit, there’s a story:

“I’m not good enough.”

This will show up for you differently to pretty much everyone else who struggles with it.

And the first step to overcoming your Imposter Syndrome is getting to know your story.

You need to know the thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviours which surround your narrative

Because too often, athletes try to change their imposter syndrome without analysing the root of it. And just like in strength and conditioning, if you’re not assessing, you’re guessing.

Once you know the story, you can begin to detach yourself from it. When you detach yourself from the story, you can set yourself free to perform at your potential.

Your Imposter Syndrome Antidote

Choking back tears, I looked my wife in the eyes for the first time and told her who I would be for her.

I thought about these vows for months in advance. I pictured what that version of me would look like. I came up with a good idea, realised it wasn’t really in line with what I wanted and started again.

And again.

And again.

In a sweltering French chapel, in front of 80 of the people we love most, we exchanged vows: a promise of who we would be for each other.

The act of outlining not only what you want to achieve, but who you need to be is essential to any challenging endeavour you embark upon.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a marriage, a start-up, or an athletic career.

If you’re trying to become the athlete you have the potential to become, you need to know how that athlete would deal with Imposter Syndrome in a perfect world.

Here’s the cheat sheet.

They would:

(a) give themselves to briefly feel the emotions instead of dismissing them - they’d be self-aware

(b) focus on effort, not the outcome - they’d be courageous

(c) they’d be willing to risk embarrassment or humiliation - they’d be humble

What’s more, they would have practised these so many times in training and qualifiers, that it would be second nature to them by the time it came to compete.

That’s what you start with once you’ve captured your story: training your character in alignment with your vision of success.

Mind The Gap

Between where you are now, and where you wish to be, there’s a gulf. Filling that gap is your path to growth - your opportunities and your plan.

If you spend too much time looking at this gap, all you see is the inverse of opportunities: the problems, obstacles and reasons you can’t.

Between where you are now, and where you used to be is everything you can draw confidence and learnings from: your history.

Over examine this though, and you can either become obsessed with the reasons you can’t, or too arrogant to succeed.

You must mind the gaps.

The commonality between the two gaps, and your antidote to Imposter Syndrome, is the present moment.

You must find a way of training yourself to stop forecasting the future, and stop bemoaning the past.

The present moment is filled with your potential, and it’s the present moment in which you need to root yourself.




This is where you need to root yourself.

Seek & Create Proof

“You don’t become confident by shouting affirmations in the mirror, but by having a stack of undeniable proof that you are who you say you are.” - Alex Hormozi

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: screaming conscious positivity over a negative subconscious story, will achieve Jack Shit.

This is why your positive affirmations make you feel good for a moment, and are then lost the moment you get into the gym.

It’s why when the moment really counts, your positive vibes flee.

You need to change the subconscious story to affect your conscious reality.

You do this through proof.

Proof that you highlight to yourself: the successes in your past, the things you did today to move you forward, the challenges you’ve already overcome.

And proof that you create: challenge your beliefs through consistent action and your subconscious story will shift.

Put the reps in and your life will radically change.


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