“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not” – Dennis Waitley
The 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.
We can definitely link imposter syndrome to other feelings of self-doubt – fear of success, fear of failure or self-sabotage for example, but imposter syndrome is a little more than that as it involves a constant fear of exposure, isolation or even rejection.
Impostor Syndrome often strikes at moments of success: starting a new job, receiving an award or promotion, or taking on extra responsibility such as teaching others, starting your own business, or becoming a first-time parent.
So those out there, who are resonating with these experiences and feeling, believing they are struggling from Imposter Syndrome, or for those listening who might know they have it, here are some examples I’ve picked up along the way with my coaching clients.
- “A weird feeling, I have that somehow I got where I am by accident”
- “I constantly wonder when they’re going to come and tell me that my acceptance letter was a mistake”
- “At work, sometimes I literally wait for someone to approach me and tell me I don’t know what I’m doing. No matter how many good appraisals I get or praise from people, in my head I feel like I’m clueless and it’s only a matter of time before I’m found out.”
- “I won’t be able to believe that I’m good enough – even if others believe I go above and beyond”
- “Feeling like an imposter leads me to second guess myself a lot at work. I’m constantly undermining myself with ‘This is probably a silly question,’ or ‘you could do probably do a better job than me, I’ll let you take the lead’
You may have found yourself thinking these thoughts, or you may be able to find a few examples that you’ve experienced yourself? One of my missions for this podcast is for women to own their success; a big part of this is getting over imposter syndrome. So, with that at the forefront of our minds, let’s see what we can do to get rid of those imposturous behaviours?
1. Who has actually told you these things?
Who has told you that you are not good enough; who has told you that you’re a fraud?
With that in mind, can you link the feelings you have, about these limiting beliefs, to something you’ve created for yourself, and just simply convinced yourself that it’s true.
2. Visualise your success.
Before any situation where you may feel the imposter syndrome creeping in, I want you to use the art of visualisation. Close your eyes and think of successfully finishing the speech, the meeting, the evaluation, whatever it is for you. Think of how well that particular moment went; what you were feeling, seeing and hearing, and how successful it was.
3. Compliment/Praise Bank.
Yes, this might sound scary or maybe a little egotistical, but it absolutely isn’t. This is for you to celebrate your success, actually see hard proof in front of you that you ARE good at what you do and you are not a fraud or a failure. People don’t praise or compliment for the sake of it, so don’t ever shy away from praise or compliments!
Our subconscious mind works so hard for us to achieve our goals and if we leave it hanging and don’t celebrate it will begin to work against us, such as self-sabotage and not for us.
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