How many times have you achieved great success in your life only to tell yourself it was a stroke of luck?
Do you often wonder how long it will be before someone finds you out and that you aren’t really as good as they think you are?
If this rings true for you then it looks like you’re suffering from Imposter Syndrome.
Imposter Syndrome has such a detrimental effect on our ability to see our worth and those feelings can make you anxious and stressed.
So you then spend more time and energy worrying, rather than enjoying the fruits of your labour, which you’ve earned and you deserve!
Are you scared that others can see your self-doubt and that they’re judging you? What if they know you’re not that good, even if they don’t say so?
The challenge here is, unless we can conquer the inner dialogue that is constantly feeding us false and negative information, then no matter how much success we achieve or how much positive feedback we get we will never feel “good enough”.
You’ll barely focus on your achievements and instead overanalyse any negative feedback or criticism.
I understand how overwhelming this can feel as I too have experienced Imposter Syndrome on many occasions.
Despite having a great paying corporate job in the City for the past 13 years, becoming fully qualified in my Insurance exams as well as studying to become a fully accredited Life Coach, I would always feel like at some point, the rug was going to be pulled from under my feet and I would be exposed.
Exposed as some sort of fake that had hoodwinked everybody and in actual fact had no real value to offer.
This pushed me to work twice as hard so I could prove that “I deserved” success, which in turn left me emotionally depleted.
It may bring you some comfort that famous actors and high achievers are not immune to the feelings of Imposter Syndrome!
Actress Tina Fey says “The beauty of the impostor syndrome is you vacillate between extreme egomania and a complete feeling of: ‘I’m a fraud! Oh God, they’re on to me! I’m a fraud!’ So you just try to ride the egomania when it comes and enjoy it, and then slide through the idea of fraud”.
The Good News is…
You can shut up your inner critic and overcome your feeling of being an imposter.
You can build your self-belief and stop wasting time, energy and emotion on battling yourself.
Then when family, friends and colleagues recognise your ability and potential you’ll nod in agreement and realise that you are good enough.
Here are my 4 steps to kicking imposter syndrome to the kerb!
1) Accept that you have had some role in your successes.
We feel like frauds because we are “unable to internalise our successes.” We were given an opportunity that others weren’t. And so nothing we achieve after that opportunity was actually deserved. But you did do something to get where you are. You said yes when you could have said no (or perhaps in a more challenging situation, you said no when you could have said yes).
2) Keep a file of people saying nice things about you
By keeping a note of big and small wins, it helps when you feel like a fraud because you can go and look through all of your successes and remember all the people you helped and had a positive impact on! Collect your wins, testimonials and positive comments and then visit them when you’re feeling like a fraud.
3) Stop comparing yourself to that person
When I compare myself to these others it’s easy to fall into the trap of “my life sucks compared to that life.” You might as well not even do anything! Your life isn’t the best life!
You’re here to do whatever life you can. Turn Facebook off, get off Instagram, stop reading biographies of “successful” people and learn to respect your own experience. You’re not a fraud, you’re just you. And that’s pretty perfect. And let’s face it, you can’t compare your life to the picture perfect snapshot you see on social media these days 😉
4) Realise that when you hold back, you’re robbing the world.
If you walk around feeling that you should be someone else or that you don’t deserve to be here, then all your bad vibes rub off on other people. Your stunted expression means that you can’t be there for people who need you. Everyone has doubts and the best gift you can give the world is to move forward regardless of the doubts—because it gives us the permission to move forward as well.
Think about it – when you were a baby and you were learning to walk, you tried and fell down every time. Were you a walking impostor? Who are you to walk!? You can’t even do it! It’s absurd!
No of course you weren’t. You were learning. And eventually, you smashed it and have been walking ever since!!
The million dollar question is “Are you ready to send your Imposter syndrome packing and replace it with the freedom of self-belief?”
Every single one of us on this planet is a unique and special gift. When we try to become someone we aren’t, we risk becoming accepted by those who don’t really matter and miss opportunities to flourish in environments where we truly belong!
You can tell when you’re in an environment where you feel at home, in your soul. There’s no need for pretences, no need to worry about how you speak, how you stand, your level of knowledge or what you are wearing, what car you drive, what your job is and who your friends are. Everything falls into place. It’s absolute magic.
So don’t EVER for a second dull your sparkle. Shine brine, let go of the imposter syndrome and show the world who you really are my friend.
About The Author:
Nicola is an Accredited Empowerment and Mindset Coach. She empowers emotionally burnt-out women to find emotional balance in order to live authentically and achieve their biggest personal and professional goals. She has also worked in the City of London for 13 years in corporate professional roles and currently lives in Essex with her fiancé and 2 dogs.