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.
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