• James McNeil

Getting that first step right

If you’ve been following this blog for long, you’ve probably noticed the most discussed topic is impostor syndrome. Also, if you’ve purchased your copy of Finding Your Personal Mission, you’ll see that it is the topic for the first two chapters. With all that, you can see this is an extremely important topic to discuss.

How important?

The topic of impostor syndrome is literally the most important obstacle anyone will ever overcome when it comes to suicidal thoughts and ideations. That’s not to say the others aren’t important, but that impostor syndrome is simply that much more important.

Why is it that important?

I’m glad you asked. Impostor syndrome attacks the foundation of everything else. Overcoming it is the first step, and everything you do after an incorrect first step may look good, but it’s still wrong. The best way I can illustrate this is through a story of a mathematician who declared he was going to find the “end of Pi.” Pi is a number used in advanced math, and we’ve shortened it to 3.14. However, pi does not have an end. It is considered irrational in that it does not repeat (a pattern of repeating numbers after the decimal), nor does it ever end. This mathematician was certain this was not a true statement and set out to find the end of Pi.

After months of calculations, he discovered what he thought was the end. He called a colleague over to show him. After examining the calculations (that were done by hand, by the way) the colleague said, “You made a mistake there,” pointing to an early point in the calculations. As a result, the numbers looked good, but every number after that mistake was incorrect.

How does a mathematician messing up with Pi relate to impostor syndrome? Impostor syndrome deals with the way you see yourself. If you see yourself as a fake or a fraud, tackling the rest of the obstacles will not help you. I’m going to say that one more time (with a lot of emphasis).


If you see yourself as a fake or a fraud, you will find it much harder to forgive yourself and work on anger issues. Likewise, your attitude will suffer because of your self-perception. You can't overcome the fear of failure or understand how to recover from it if you see yourself as a failure already.

Your first task in overcoming the obstacles that lead to suicidal thoughts and ideations is to take on impostor syndrome. The way you see yourself really is that important. If you’d like information on how to do so, a good starting point would be the book Finding Your Personal Mission. It’s available on Amazon and Audible, so pick up your copy today!

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