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10 Ways to Stop Feeling Like a Fake

Do you ever feel like a fake among the more experienced travel agents in the industry? Well, according to the international spokesperson and expert on imposter syndrome Dr. Valerie Young, there are ways to stop feeling like a fake in your industry. The key isn’t to wait until your feelings change but to switch up your behavior right away and begin practicing the following ten steps.

Don’t stay silent. Now that you are aware there is a name for the fraudulent feelings you are experiencing, you may find it easier to speak up. Don’t remain silent or feel shamed. It is okay and completely natural to have the feelings that you do.

You must separate your feelings from reality. Just because you may feel less than adequate at times, doesn’t mean that you are. Everyone has these moments but realize they are just feelings and not necessarily accurate.

Realize those moments where you should feel fraudulent. As a minority in your field of work, it is natural to feel fraudulent. This is a totally normal response and it is okay to feel this way.

Be sure to emphasize the positive. It’s healthy to have the drive to excel so don’t be afraid to accentuate all of the positive things happening. When you make a mistake, don’t fret and keep your head up.

Take on a new approach to failure. Making mistakes is the only way to learn. So learn from the things that went awry and continue pushing on with a positive attitude.

Begin asserting your rights. Just as everyone else in your industry, you have every right to be wrong, to not know the answer, and to ask for help. Everyone is allowed and capable of having “off-days.”

Write out a new script. Change the manner in which you view yourself and the way you think. Instead of beating yourself up and thinking “I don’t know what I’m doing,” think to yourself, “Anyone in my position would have the same thoughts but I am clever enough to become the best travel agent I can be.”

Always envision and think about success! Try to ignore the feelings of failure in whatever endeavor it is you are taking on. Think like an athlete instead and picture a successful outcome.

Don’t hesitate to reward yourself. Stop seeking validation and start rewarding yourself for a job well done.

Last but not least, fake ‘til you make it. Learn to act, work and do things like the high achievers in your field. Take risks and don’t wait for that feeling of confidence to take over. Change your behavior and mindset and confidence will come to you.

With the 10 steps presented to you by Dr. Valerie Young, you will find that your confidence builds and that imposter syndrome fades. Don’t let feeling like a fake determine your success as a travel agent. You’ve got this!

Be sure to post any questions you might have below and we'll get right back to you! And if you like this blog give us some love by clicking on the ❤.


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Sandra McLemore is a digital marketing & business growth expert who got her start in the travel business over 20 years ago as a retail travel agent for STA Travel in a busy campus store front. She then worked her way into VP level in marketing, media and PR roles for the world's biggest cruise lines and travel brands.


Sandra is now the owner of TRAVEL MARKETING & MEDIA (formerly Village Girl Marketing), a marketing agency for travel brands specializing in content creation, design and media.




Each service and program helps travel agents to get a consistent flow of new clients through smart marketing strategies.


Over 12,000 travel agents have taken Sandra's online training, and signed up for her digital marketing solutions.

Sandra lives in Los Angeles and hosts a number of travel programs on cruise line and airline TV and can be seen on network news programs as a leading travel industry expert.  Heading off to the best travel trade conferences? You'll most likely catch her on stage there too!

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