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 definitely 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
According to Google, 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.
Recognise & Record what is going on
Recognise it, acknowledge what you are feeling. Journal it and question it.
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.
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.
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.
Embrace the journey of discovery and lifelong learning. Having the confidence to admit that you don’t know everything is incredibly empowering. Perfect does not exist, so overcome perfectionism.
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.
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.
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