Are You an Imposter?
Have you ever felt that you are just not as good at what you do as everyone else thinks you are?
When someone praises you for a job well done or for something that you have achieved have you ever thought or said, “it was just luck”, “I was in the right place at the right time” or “they just said that because they like me”. Have you ever felt that even though you have experience, qualifications recognition of friends, family, peers etc. and you work really hard, that you are not good enough or at least, as good as others think you are in a particular area or areas in your life. Worse than that, you fear that they will actually find out that you are not as good as they thought. It feels like you are faking it.
Imposter syndrome is a belief that you are just not as good as everyone else thinks that you are and it leads you to believe that at some point, you will be found out or discovered to be a fraud.
Feeling like an imposter is a very uncomfortable, but perhaps worse than that, it stops us putting ourselves forward for contracts, promotions and awards. It prevents us from owning our accomplishments that we have worked so hard to achieve.
Imposter syndrome is a form of our Inner Critic, the little voice in our heads that continually puts us down and tells you that you are not good enough, you will fail, you are not bright enough etc. It’s the voice that tells you things (and you listen) that if your best friend were to say them to you, well, she wouldn’t be your best friend anymore!!
So, are you an imposter? Yes? Well it is not surprising as research shows that up to 70% of us have this experience at some point in our lives. The good news is that it is a feeling that we can manage and we can move forward more confidently. Here are my top imposter syndrome hacks.
#1 Welcome to the club! It has lots of members including me. I too am a recovering imposter! Just knowing that this feeling had a name and that I was far from alone in these feelings gave me great comfort and was my first step to managing these feeling and to recovery.
#2 Listen for the messages you tell yourself, if your inner voice is telling you that you are not good enough, challenge these beliefs. Remind yourself of your strengths, what makes you good at what you do, remind yourself of your qualifications, your achievements and your successes. Reading through your customer reviews or testimonials may be a great place to start. You can also enlist the help of a friend or a coach to help you identify and challenge your limiting beliefs.
#3 Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Comparing ourselves to someone else is probably one of the biggest drains on our confidence. Instead focus on what you have achieved and write these down. Keep a journal detailing your successes. Clients you have helped, qualifications, things you do well, spend some time on this, you will be surprised at how competent you are. Remember, if 70% of us feel like an imposters, then the person you are comparing yourself to probably is one too!
#4 Talk about it. What makes imposter syndromes so pervasive is that we try to manage or supress these feelings and try to handle them on our own. Find a trusted and supportive friend, colleague or coach to share your thoughts with.
Good luck and please feel free to get in touch.