Have you ever listened to someone speaking and thought – “That is complete nonsense!” Did you ever find yourself wanting to say something but felt awkward speaking up?
It happened to me. A few years ago, in a meeting, a colleague made a comment that I thought was complete rubbish. Most of the others in the room nodded in agreement. What did I do? I didn’t know the person well. It was the first time at the meeting, and I wasn’t expecting the comments. I’m afraid that I said nothing, and I let the moment pass.
Does that sound familiar to you? Have you ever been in that situation where you want to call someone out but don’t speak up? Was it a lack of confidence, fear of confrontation, or of being seen to make a fuss about nothing?
Sometimes we can find it difficult to speak out because we make ourselves be noticed when we do. Unless we feel confident in our knowledge, perhaps seen as an expert or comfortable with the people we are with, it can be uncomfortable to stand up and be counted. You might worry that if it goes badly, you may be marked out as not knowing what you are doing or what you are saying.
Cue your Imposter Syndrome.
Our fiendish friend stops us from being brave and bold and stepping out of our comfort zone and into the stretch zone, where exciting things happen in our business and our lives.
Our Imposter Syndrome can be the voice that persuades us that it is better to remain quiet, stay seated, be stationery and resist change. Sure, doing new things is scary and stressful. But stressful and scary are like honey to a bee. Your Imposter Syndrome will try any way it can find to tap into that fear and stress. And when it does, it amplifies your inner voice making it harder and harder to step up or speak up.
Your Imposter Syndrome needs a firm hand and a tight rein so that you are the decision maker. We all want to think for ourselves and be free to choose what we do and don’t do.
Here are my top tips for you to use if it happens again.
If you found this useful, listen in to my Imposter Syndrome Q & A’s on Wednesdays at 12.30 pm UK Time on both Linked In and Facebook or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Without a doubt, Imposter Syndrome is closely linked to confidence and self-belief. But there are fundamental differences between the two.
Imposter Syndrome is based on fiction. Imposter Syndrome means that you don’t feel as clever or as well qualified as anyone else – even though everyone else thinks you are. Imposter Syndrome also means that you believe that everyone else knows more about a subject – even though you know just as much as everyone else, and sometimes more. Imposter Syndrome means that despite your skills, experience, and qualifications, you just do not believe that you make the grade. When you feel like that your self-belief lets you down, you have little confidence in your abilities. But your lack of confidence is based on fiction, not fact.
When you are not affected by Imposter Syndrome and are just lacking confidence, there will be a genuine reason for it. That might be that you are doing a task for the first time, and you don’t have all the skills and knowledge that you need. You need some help to get yourself to a level where you feel proficient enough to feel confident. It might be that you are giving a presentation and you have not prepared adequately. You are worried that the tech may let you down or that you won’t be able to explain your slide deck fully because you have not practiced enough. Under those situations, a lack of confidence is normal and to be expected. That is a lack of confidence that is based on fact, not fiction.
When you know your subject, when people come to you for advice, and you wonder why on earth they have asked you – that is imposter syndrome. It is the lack of self-belief when, you are good enough, you are clever enough, and you know just as much as everyone else.
When we lack confidence for a genuine reason, we know that either we should have taken more action and didn’t. it, are doing something for the first time or are worried about something that we have little influence over, such as going live on social media and the tech lets us down.
When we lack confidence because of our Imposter Syndrome there is nothing more that we can do to improve our confidence level, even if we overwork or over perfect our work. We still don’t feel better about our work.
Experiencing Imposter Syndrome limits us. It stops us from being brave and bold. It prevents us from making the most of the opportunities. That’s why I specialise in Imposter Syndrome, so that you can learn to identify it and master it. To find out more,
Email me at email@example.com,
Visit my website www.janephillipscoaching.co.uk for blogs and podcasts
Watch my Imposter Syndrome Linked In Live on Wednesdays 12.30 pm UK Time.
Or just DM me.
Warmest wishes, Jane
You need to be able to understand what Imposter Syndrome is before you can diagnose it. Having Imposter Syndrome means believing that you are not good enough, despite what other people say about you. Regardless of how often our boss, partner or friend says that what we have done is excellent, we never feel that we make the grade. An example could be recording a podcast for the first time. When you get congratulated on it, you think people are just being kind to you. Or perhaps your response is, “No, it should have been so much better”. Or maybe you think you were just lucky, and it won’t be as good next time.
So, it’s important to recognise the signs of Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome can show itself in five ways. The first and most apparent is our inner voice. When we are asked to do something, especially something new, we hear our inner voice saying something like:
“You can’t do that.”
“You’ll be useless; someone else could do it better.”
“What if I make a fool of myself?”
But the key is noticing what you do next.
Do you answer your inner voice back? Do you challenge it and say something like this?
“Yes, I can do that because I have done something similar before. I can do this because I can get advice, I have people around me who will help me if I need it. I can do this because if I get it wrong the first time, that is okay. I am only human. Failing is part of learning.”
If you don’t correct your inner voice, one of the four behaviour patterns is likely to occur.
We might choose to avoid the situation. Do you turn down the offer to do something that would help your business or your career telling yourself you are too busy?”
Perhaps we can’t avoid the situation, and so we procrastinate instead. We put it off by persuading ourselves that it would be better if we did that task later in the day, tomorrow, next week etc.
When we can’t procrastinate any longer, we start to overwork. We spend longer on the task than is necessary, perhaps working in the evenings or over the weekend.
And what tends to accompany overworking is perfectionism. We are so worried that our work will be criticised that we over perfect our work. We spend time tweaking this and that but adding no additional value to it.
So, if you
then you are likely to be experiencing Imposter Syndrome.
Here are a couple of tips to help you.
Tip 1: Turn the volume down on your critical Inner Voice by repeating positive core beliefs and affirmations to yourself.
Tip 2: Take time to enjoy your successes which will help to build your belief in your abilities.
However, it can be very hard to notice behaviour caused by our Imposter Syndrome at the right time, which is why I have created an Imposter Syndrome Quiz to help you see how much Imposter Syndrome is affecting your life.
If you would like a copy, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org for your quiz.
Did you know that apparently, over 70% of people experience Imposter Syndrome? That is a very high percentage. But some people would argue that everyone experiences Imposter Syndrome at some time or other. And also that it is not just women who experience it, but men as well.
Now, in my early career, I had not heard the phrase before – I did not know what it was. That’s because it was not coined until the late 1970s. It took a few more years for it to become well known. In fact, when I first hear the phrase, everyone was asking, “What is it” and “Do I have it?” and “Is this something I want?”
There are disadvantages in experiencing Imposter Syndrome, but can it be our friend too?
One definition of Imposter Syndrome is the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills.
So, in real life, Imposter Syndrome can be the:
Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes coined the term. I personally think it is a really harsh term.
A google definition of Imposter is a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others, especially for fraudulent gain.
So, let me ask you…
Are you trying to deceive people? Are you trying to achieve gain by being fraudulent? No, No, No, – of course you are not. You are NOT an Imposter.
So, what’s really going on here. There is a clear feeling of self-doubt while you question your abilities. Sometimes the perfectionist in us takes over. We set unachievable goals and then beat ourselves up when we don’t achieve them. We are not Super Heroes. We fear judgement and to be found wanting and of being discovered. We don’t help ourselves by not giving ourselves credit where it is due. Often, we hide our light under a bushel. We don’t own your success and are often self-deprecating. But sometimes, we found ourselves in a situation when we have to do something that we are not trained to do or have had little experience in. It is so easy to forget our skills, the importance of what we have learned and to downplay our strengths.
But you can overcome Imposter Syndrome, and here are some tips to help you do that.
1. Recognise & Record what is going on
Recognise it, acknowledge what you are feeling. Journal it and question it.
2. Review your wins
Look back at your successes. Every time I read an old CV, I am pretty amazed that I am reading about myself. Did I really do that? Yes, I did, because there are no lies or exaggerations in my CV. But just like everyone reading this, I too, forget what I have achieved and how amazing it felt to do that at the time.
3. Reach out & Resource
Upskill or gain experience if you feel you need to. Find a tribe that can support you and remind you of your achievements and how good you are. Build case stories of your successes and keep testimonials so you can look back at them.
4. Reframe it
Recognise that it is healthy to check in with your abilities, as long as you keep it realistic. Checking in with our abilities prevents us from making massive mistakes and helps us to recognise when to reach out for help. Therefore, welcome Imposter Syndrome – make it your friend but keep it in check.
Know that you are Enough, just as you are, at this moment in your journey. But being Enough does not mean you have reached the end of your journey.
5. Recognise Your Success
Own it – you’ve earned it – you deserve it. Recognise that your successes are down to your hard work. Don’t dismiss it, celebrate it instead.
If you would like more Tips about overcoming Imposter Syndrome watch my FREE Webinar on the 28th September.
Register to watch here….
Is Imposter Syndrome Real? This is a question that many potential clients ask me when they are trying to decide if they need help with their Imposter Syndrome, and the quick answer is a very loud, resounding “YES, ABSOLUTELY”.
Imposter Syndrome was identified by Dr Clance and Dr Imes, who were working with high performing female students who just did not believe that their work was good enough. You cannot see Imposter Syndrome, it doesn’t bring you out in spots like chickenpox, but you may notice some particular behaviours that tend to show up when we have Imposter Syndrome.
Imposter Syndrome affects how we feel about ourselves. We think that our work is not good enough, or that other people are better than us. And we think this even though we are doing well in our careers. In fact, it is typical that high achievers feel Imposter Syndrome more than other people. This also includes people who are under pressure to do well, such as elite athletes or salespeople.
The problem with refusing to believe that we are genuinely good at what we do, is that is causes us to doubt our abilities and our confidence to make clear and quick business or career decisions. So, we risk letting amazing opportunities pass us by in our business, our career and in our personal life.
There is one piece of behaviour that others cannot see, and that is when we listen to our inner critic when it says things like;
‘You can’t do that.’
‘You’re not good enough to do that.’
‘What will other people think when you get that wrong’.
‘You don’t know enough.’
But when we listen to our inner critic and choose to believe it, we also can see certain behaviours. These include avoidance and procrastination. Putting off something that is a great opportunity or not saying ‘yes’ to something great because we doubt our abilities is likely to be down to Imposter Syndrome.
So yes, Imposter Syndrome is real and very much alive right now. If you want to know some more, DM me or email me at jane@janephillipscoaching.
If you would like some FREE tips to help you to overcome your Imposter Syndrome, register to watch my free webinar about Imposter Syndrome being released on the 28th September. bit.ly/3kxWAoU
For tips and suggestions to build your business and your career, join my mailing list here: bit.ly/2Xsx2AQ
I have read numerous articles recently about the effect of our weight on the likelihood of getting Covid and the impact our weight might have on the effectiveness of the vaccine. These are worrying times for many of us, as well as those who have a BMI above normal. And this information adds to the stress already felt by many people who would like to lose weight.
It’s a double whammy because many overweight people struggle to lose weight AND keep it off long term. Many diet regimes can help you lose weight in the short term. But we know that within 18 months, most people regain all the weight they have lost, and more. Why? – because it’s just not easy. In fact, losing weight for the long term is very hard for most people. It is hard on so many levels.
Manufactures tempt us with adverts full of sugary or high fat processed foods. Not just occasionally, but all the time. The television and internet are packed full of food adverts showing indulgent chocolates, juicy burgers, and pizza’s dripping with cheese laden toppings. All are promising to make us feel better. But that feel good feeling does not last. It’s a sticking plaster, a short-term fix. Guilt soon steps in.
To make matters worse, we have lots of confusing diet messages. I am sure that you have seen the social media adverts stating, ‘5 foods you must NOT eat’ and ‘5 miracle foods you MUST eat’. And there are so many diet plans on offer that it becomes confusing to know which plans work and which don’t.
No wonder we feel so GUILTY!!!!
But stop right there because being tempted by sugary foods and succumbing to the temptation is not your fault.
It is our bodies job to keep us alive, and if we are not getting the nutrition that we need, our bodies will make us find food. If we eat high sugar or processed foods, we have a great sugar hit that makes us feel good. And our brains are wired to want more and more of that feel good feeling.
But diets do not overcome the problem of emotional eating. This is the stumbling block after we have lost a lot of weight. We use food for more than just fuel. We use it to cope with stress too. Emotional stress, physical stress due to dehydration, stress because we are tired, and the list goes on. A quick food fix gives us a short-term solution. It helps us to overcome the immediate problem. But it does not solve the longer-term emotional problem.
That is why I work with clients to help them find ways to beat emotional eating and enjoy nutritious, healthy foods. It is a win-win situation – people feel great about themselves and feel great because of the healthy, tasty food they eat.
To find out more about the Eat Better Naturally system, email email@example.com
Top Tips for picking your coach.
What area does the coach specialise in?
It could be executive coaching, life coaching, sport, nutrition, performance, industry specific, and so many more areas. And don’t forget that a coach is different from a counsellor. If your issues are deeply emotional, is long standing and has become ingrained, it could be that a counsellor is closer to what you need. Once you know what the coach specialises in, you can see if it meets your need.
You will get out what you put in.
How important is the issue for you? The reason why I ask is that just chatting to a coach is unlikely to fix your problem. You will need to do some homework. You will need time to implement the actions you have discussed and prepare for your next coaching session.
Do you connect?
Is there chemistry between you and the coach? You need to be able to say anything to your coach without feeling judged. Do you feel the coach has a deep understanding of your problem? They don’t need to have been in your situation, but they need to have empathy. Do you think you will get on with your coach? If your gut feeling is that you don’t think you can really work with this coach – then don’t.
Speak to more than one coach.
All coaches are different. Some teach a range of methods methods, such as NLP, holistic, CBT, but then add their own experience and delivery method. Make sure it feels right for you.
Ask questions about how they deliver their coaching.
Is it one to one? Do you need to have several sessions? How frequently will these happen? And of course, how much do they charge?
Do you have confidence in their abilities?
Were they recommended, are they accredited, do they have case studies they can share with you?
Don’t forget that the coach also needs to feel that they can help you. A good coach will be honest and tell you if they feel that they are not the right coach for you.
Good Luck in finding your perfect coach.
Did you know…..
The World Health Organisation defines burnout as:
“the result of chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
Stress is the precursor to burnout. But when stress has been going on for some time, and you have been unable to deal with it, it is not your fault. We all experience stress every day. That is normal and even healthy under the right circumstances. But the type of stress that leads to burnout has not been managed properly. That might be because your problem has not been recognised, you haven’t received the right support or, you just don’t have the right tools and resources to help yourself cope.
I remember when burnout was not acknowledged, and people were embarrassed to admit that they were struggling to cope. So, it’s great to know that larger organisations in the UK have programs to help the staff deal with the chronic stress that causes burnout.
But what if you are a small company owner or perhaps are a sole trader? Then you might not have the tools or the time to help yourself. The pressure of the bottom line might overshadow your wellbeing.
When we suffer from burnout, it shows itself in several ways. Here are just some of them;
Many things can help you to avoid burnout. But you need to adopt long term changes. The sticking plaster approach will not work for long, but it can help achieve a short term quick fix. Here are some suggestions.
SSAS - Six Steps to Avoid Stress
Do you manage a team of people? Managers of employees can make a massive impact on staff welfare and their ability to cope with stress. Recognising the signs of stress in your team and reduce the likelihood of burnout.
I noticed in the papers recently a picture of Adele having lost a significant amount of weight. First, let me say that the ideal weight is an individual thing and I do not criticise or judge anyone for the weight they choose to be. However, I am sure that Adele is feeling better because of the health benefits she will be experiencing. I congratulate Adele because it takes hard work, determination, and a commitment to self-care, to lose weight and I genuinely hope she can maintain her new weight.
And there is the crunch – for many of us who lose weight, keeping weight off is the biggest challenge. That’s why dieting doesn’t work. To clarify that statement, diets do not work in the long term. Many of us experience weight loss which is followed by weight gain. It might be 3 months later or 6 months later, but for many of us something happens to send us running back to our old eating habits. Sounds familiar? I too have been in that camp many times, until I understood what really needed to change in order to keep weight off. I believe it takes four things and eating the right foods is only one of those.
It takes self-care and self-love.
It takes a long-term change in our approach to food.
It takes the ability to listen to what our bodies are telling us.
Poor eating habits can often mask other issues that we have. We use food as a comfort blanket during difficult times, from serious stress down to the stress of boredom or tiredness. Dealing with the root problem of anxiety, boredom or whatever it is that makes you turn to food for support is THE long-term fix for maintaining healthy eating.
Understanding the role that food plays for us in our lives vitally important. How we can use it to our advantage or disadvantage and what is really going on with our self-esteem.
Did you know that it can take 9 months to change a long-term habit? Our poor eating habits are usually long-term habits. So, changing them takes commitment. This is one of the reasons why diets don’t work in the long term. It is so easy to think that we can adopt new healthy eating habits over a couple of weeks. The truth is, it takes a lot longer.
Our bodies are our best friends. Say hello to your new best friend. A best friend only wants the best for you, to help you and support you. Our body wants the very best for us. We are built to keep ourselves as healthy as possible. Let’s face it, our bodies are amazing – they self-heal when we cut ourselves and they rebalance the sugar in our bodies to protect our organs. Our bodies tell us when we are full and how much to eat. Many of us have forgotten how to listen to our bodies and have become used to the supersizing of portions. Bigger plates, bigger glasses, bigger portion size. But our poor bodies can still only deal with so much. Our bodies will seek out the nutrients in the food we eat and let us know when we have had enough. But some of us have forgotten how to listen to that.
The Feel Better Naturally Nutritional Coaching teaches you;
Personal resilience requires a sense of self-worth, self-esteem and self-belief. It requires a good support network from those who are understanding. It needs the ability to cope with change – each day is different in lockdown. Every day we feel different, and every day can throw the unexpected at us.
Self-esteem comes from an understanding of who we are. It also comes from an acceptance of ourselves, just the way we are right now. We are perfect in our imperfection. Give yourself permission to fail but at the same time, be accountable for that decision.
A good support network is essential during lockdown. We are social animals, and a lack of social interaction has a massive impact on mental health, our wellbeing, our eating and drinking habits and on our physical wellbeing. Both extroverts and introverts need to be in touch with people for work and social purposes.
Give and Take
There is joy in making someone else happy. That might mean ensuring someone else has time for themselves, giving an act of kindness, or spending time with someone in need of company (in person or remotely). Not only will they feel happier, but you will feel happier too. Spend time with people who make you feel better and avoid toxic people who make you feel bad about yourself or bring out the worst in you.
Let It Go
When many aspects of our lives are beyond our control due to lockdown restrictions, it is common to exert more control in other areas of our life. Decide what is really important to have control over and be more relaxed about the things that are not. Take a deep breath and let it go. It will help to keep things in perspective.
TOP LOCKDOWN SURVIVAL TIPS