Why I Rejected My Cambridge Offer
Imposter syndrome & how to get past it
Hello beautiful readers 👋
Here’s your weekly injection of Steroids For Your Brain 🧠
Why I Rejected My Cambridge Offer - Imposter Syndrome & How To Deal With It ✍️
When I was 18 I rejected my Cambridge offer to study at LSE instead.
“Are you f*cking crazy?!”
…was the usual reaction.
Cambridge rang me up to see if I’d gone nuts, and a billionaire hedge fund manager spent an hour lecturing me against the decision.
But I was just too afraid.
My big fear was turning up at Cambridge for everyone to discover I was actually just a fat, poor, lazy dumbass who’d “hacked” his way through the examination game.
And this imposter syndrome has spilt into so many areas of my life:
I genuinely believed I couldn’t date women with lighter skin than me because I’d internalised years of teenage racism.
I let a former cofounder walk all over me in negotiations because I didn’t think I was worthy of the huge value I’d created.
And now I see it at scale in the founders/CEOs/students I coach or help through my company.
The big irony is that (almost) everyone feels like an imposter - like someone’s gonna find them out, like they’re not worthy.
In the full article, I explore exposure therapy as a solution to imposter syndrome, the importance of documenting and some useful anecdotes from the founders of Nintendo and Nike.
👉 The full article: Why I Rejected My Cambridge Offer - Imposter Syndrome
Something To Make You Think 🤔
What’s a lie you’re telling yourself?
Another favourite question from my co-founder (Olzar Rotherschild VII).
I’m currently living a lie-free life. Everything I do is 100% authentic to who I am. My external and internal personalities are perfectly aligned: who I tell people I am = who I actually f*cking am.
But this is very recent. I’ve been bullsh*tting myself for years.
As mentioned in this week’s article, I told myself I wanted to go to LSE (even though I was just too scared to accept my Cambridge offer).
I used to tell myself I didn’t want to be hyper-successful because I was afraid I might fail to reach the rarefied heights of Gates and Musk.
But that just forced me to keep thinking “small”, focussing on easy 6/7-figure ideas instead of big 8/9/10-figure opportunities.
Now I’m much more honest with myself: I do want to do something huge, and it’s fine if I fail, I acknowledge that I likely will fail (statistically speaking) but I’m still going try instead of telling myself to “play it safe” all the time.
Being honest with yourself can be scary; we lie to protect ourselves from harsh truths but those same lies will limit you.
Hit reply with your answer! 👇
Extremely Interesting Fact 🤓
Treadmills were originally designed as torture devices for Victorian prisoners.
Every step would spin a wheel, grinding corn, and if you stepped off you’d fall (and probably get a nasty whipping).
The treadmill was seen as one of the Victorians’ more extreme forms of torture, with many prisoners dying while jogging or falling into depression, given the soul-crushing monotony.
It got so bad they had to be abolished by the Prisons Act of 1898…
And now we use treadmills for fun…we pay upwards of £1000 for machines to be installed in our homes + expensive gym subscriptions.
It’s fascinating to me how the way you market a product can have such a crazy difference in perception.
Treadmills were torture devices; now they’re state-of-the-art fitness products.
School was first a feared Prussian military indoctrination programme; now every parent wants their child to attend class and “get disciplined”.
It also got me thinking about how inherently useless many of our activities are.
Before we’d get exercise naturally by doing useful things, like building homes and growing crops…now we have to pay personal trainers to get us to the gym because our lives are too cushy.
Over-technologisation is quickly turning into one of the biggest problems of our time…but alas, I’ll save that for a future post 😉
A Small Favour 🙏
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