Who else has experienced the Imposter Syndrome at some point in your life?
Mine first revealed itself when I started a ‘posh’ all girls’ secondary school and I felt totally out of my comfort zone. It continued when when I was given a senior HR manager role at 28 that I did not feel ready for. Then it really stumped me when I first became self-employed.
These days, whenever my devilish imposter tries to show her face I place her back in her box and remind her how good I am at what I do and she can’t take that away from me.
Yes, that’s right, I’m doing brilliantly well: I feel great about the work I do, and the positive impact I have on other people and their families.
I realise this might sound big-headed if you are currently suffering with the Imposter Syndrome yourself, but I am simply owning my talents and I really wish you could to.
But honestly, the Imposter Syndrome still lingers. It lurks, like Gollum, ready to pounce when I’m at my most vulnerable. And at least now I know how to respond to it in a healthy and honest way.
We must learn to transition from
Self-Doubt and Criticism
Self-Belief and Compassion
The Social Comparison Effect
Here’s a video I recorded for my friends and colleagues on LinkedIn right after delivering an interactive workshop on “How to Tackle the Imposter Syndrome and Claim Your Accomplishments”. It’s a very popular subject! A few hundred people from one company all over Asia Pacific joined me for that session, and this LinkedIn video has already been watched 700 times.
As the research tells us, over 70% of us will experience the Imposter Syndrome at some point in our lives. It sill surprises me that many people experience something similar, regardless of our education or industry or geographical location.
One for the things that maintains the Imposter Syndrome is the fact that we compare ourselves to others, to the extreme! It is reasonable to compare yourself to your peers and consider how well you are doing and what you could do to improve or develop your skills or approach.
However, those of us with the Imposter Syndrome spend quite a lot of time comparing ourselves to people who are not a like-for-like match. Perhaps they have ten years more experience, perhaps they are far more qualified than you etc. Watch the 9 minute video below to see if anything I say resonates with you or your friends, colleagues or network…
It makes me question myself, doubt my expertise, makes me procrastinate before taking action, makes me strive ever-harder to prove myself.
Then there’s the unhelpful social comparison: the secret shame that comes with believing you’re not good enough to be in the room with all these ‘amazing’ people.
And there’s the hiding… you have so much self-doubt you stay quiet and small and insignificant. This way, they can’t find you, or call you out as the fraud you believe you are.
The irony is that no true imposter ever has these doubts or fears. So at least that’s a comforting thought 😉
But it’s part of my psyche. And it’s part of yours. I’ve learned to appreciate it’s over-dramatic alarm-bell warning and I now know not to heed it.
Instead I remember to trust myself and gently continue in my own lane regardless of what irrational beliefs are being triggered.
Are you being hard on yourself?
Do you have an inner critical voice that bullies you?
Do you question your decisions, or doubt your capability to do well in your career or business?
Do you hide instead of showing up for your customers?
Things Your Inner Critic Says
…about you and your career
I’m lucky to be in this job
They made a mistake by hiring me
I’ll keep a low profile so I don’t get found out
I’m not as good as the others so I have to work harder to prove myself
…about you and your business
Who would want to buy from me?!
I am not the expert I’m just faking it
I’ll just hide, stay quiet, stay small
Everyone else has so much success!
I’ll never be as successful as her
Making the Switch to Self-Belief
It’s a tough challenge, but it’s essential to make this switch from being your harshest to being your BIGGEST fan.
You have to be proactive in managing your imposter syndrome, to prevent burnout if nothing else.
I spend much of my working life (and personal time) helping and supporting women and men claim their accomplishments and develop a stronger sense of entitlement to career and business success, and to plane and simple joy.
Self-Compassion is not an option. It’s essential.
If you would like to be less self-critical and more self-confident, then now is a wonderful time to begin to change that.
I’d love to share my psychological expertise (see what I did there!) and personal insights on this subject, close to my heart.
#tameyourinnercritic #impostersyndrome #selfcompassion #psychologist #coach #resilience