“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and things differently from everyone else.” – Sarah Blakely
In the Weekly Wisdom this week I want to talk about something called the Imposter Syndrome.
Do you sometimes feel and think that you might be a big fraud and everyone will find out? It’s natural to sometimes feel inadequate but you could also be suffering from something called The Imposter Syndrome which can really bring down your true potential.
I would often have clients, who, when we got down to the nitty gritty of why they were not reaching the success level they wanted or why they couldn’t maintain healthy ongoing relationships, even though on the outside they seemed confident, intelligent and caring, on the inside there was another story.
Let’s talk about what this is so you have more clarity. The Imposter syndrome is the internal belief that you’re not as competent or confident as others think you are. It manifests itself when people give you praise or positive feedback. Even though consciously you think you are, on a deeper level you might feel undeserving, At its worst, you may feel somewhat like a fraud.
The concept was first coined in the 1970s by psychologists to describe an experience often felt by athletes and business executives. They discovered that even the most recognized well known and recognized people often failed to understand their own worth, which could actually cause performance problems.
Imposter syndrome can cause a great deal of damage to your work, career and your personal life, so it's really important to recognize the signs early and take action to stop it.
People with imposter syndrome truly believe achievements are not a big deal. When someone praises you, you instinctually rebut it and deep down truly don’t believe that you deserve any kind of praise or compliment. You may automatically point out the contributions of others to minimize what you did.
For example: You receive a compliment and you answer, ”yes but Jane did even better, she completed the whole thing.” OR “that dress looks really great on you,” Oh, this old thing I’ve had it for years.” In both instances you negated yourself because you don’t really think you deserve the compliment.
People with imposter syndrome often attribute their accomplishments to luck. They overstate the role that chance plays in their lives, completely missing the fact that the skill and hard work you put into it is what really made it all happen.
You may set an impossibly high standard of success for yourself and then feel that you don’t deserve to achieve it. One way to tell if this is an issue is to determine whether you feel fear or anxiety when you think about what you want in life both personally and professionally. This is a symptom of thinking you need to be or do things perfectly which is often at the core of imposter syndrome.
People with imposter syndrome often secretly fear they don’t measure up to other people’s expectations. These could be the expectations of a boss at work, family members, friends and business partners. No matter how often you hear that you’re doing a great job or you’re really great, you feel like you are never doing enough.
When it comes to not being able to maintain a romantic relationship, it’s usually because you never think you are perfect enough or your expectations for the other person are so high, that it becomes impossible to meet your standards.
The imposter cycle is a pattern that starts with anxiety leading to over doing everything in case it’s not perfect enough. It’s driven by the fear of not feeling that you’re good enough or you are not doing something well enough so you go overboard. This can also be accompanied by procrastination and excuse-making. When the project is accomplished, you feel a momentary sense of satisfaction until you think of the next undertaking.
When you don’t understand your true worth, you don’t ask for what you deserve. The feeling of inadequacy will impede your need to ask for a raise, quote your services or ask for anything you want in any area of life.
Here are a few things you can do to make changes if any of this applies to you.
- You’ve learned the signs here, so you can put this to use right now. Pay attention to your words and actions and tap deeper into the feelings that come up. Ask yourself where are they coming from and why?
- Use facts not limiting beliefs. The negative feelings you have aren’t based on Looking at the facts can help. Gather evidence that shows how much progress you’ve made and how much you’ve achieved then surround yourself with it when you need a reminder.
- You’re not alone in feeling the way you do. Did you know that obvious high-achievers like Maya Angelou have expressed these same feelings? Reach out to others who think themselves inadequate and share your This will help you put things in perspective.
- Learn Not to Compare. Imposter feelings often arise from erroneously comparing ourselves to others. Remember that all of us are different and we all have our own paths. Avoid comparing yourself to others.
- List Your Strengths. Make a list of your skills, qualifications, experience and natural strengths. Use this list to boost your confidence whenever you need it.
- Switch Negative to Positive. Often negative self-talk drives our feelings of Recognize the negative talk and replace it with something positive.
- Release Perfectionism. Focus on your progress and growth. Quit trying to be Adjust your perception of things.
There’s a really great book that was recommended to me and it really is a must read. “Letting go of the person you used to be.” it can change the way you think and perceive things. Lessons on Change, Loss, and Spiritual Transformation” by Lama Surya Das https://amzn.to/3sFXWRo.
If ever you would like to chat about this or anything else you are having a challenge with, reach out to me at Hazel@LiveYourAbundantLife.com. I always reply personally and everything is confidential.
‘Til Next Time
Have a brilliant week
Live life with abundance
I’m Hazel Palache, author, success coach, clinical hypnotherapist, stress management counselor and entrepreneur. If you have any questions I would love to connect with you. Over my 30 years as a Mindset Expert I’ve helped many hundreds of people to change their lives and businesses so they are living a life they love with less stress and more fun. Everything I write about and teach, I’ve been through and come out the other side myself so, although I have lots of training, I speak from vast personal experience.
If you would like a complimentary chat just email me at Hazel@LiveYourAbundantLife.com and you will be contacted to set up a 30 minute session by Zoom or phone. Your choice. There's never going to be a better time than NOW.