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.