Catch your thoughts, not Imposter Syndrome!

What is Imposter Syndrome?

“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.”

Experiencing Imposter syndrome is like:

  • having an irrational fear about not being the right person in the right job
  • the inability to believe that you deserve your success
  • becoming a control freak and creating a working environment of low trust
  • not accepting 80% as being good enough to keep the wheels turning

Yet, imposter syndrome can have a positive effect on us in keeping us grounded and “on our toes”. 

What happens when we have Imposter Syndrome?

Irrational thoughts lead to overwhelm and self-doubt and if you allow these thoughts to get “out of control” this ultimately leads to a change of behaviour, often negative behaviours, in turn hindering you achieving your success.

Negative behaviours that might play out include:

  • bad time management
  • inability to delegate properly
  • micromanagement
  • being unproductive
  • failure to work as a team and achieve your success
  • relationship failure

Have you ever experienced working with or for someone who has an extreme “case” of Imposter Syndrome?  If so, you will know how unpleasant this can be.  They double check your work that ultimately leads to fewer of the team making decisions and instead delegating decision making “up”.  And guess what this does? Yes! It creates a working environment where there is a lack of trust and people leave.  Hmmmm.

I do want to point out that your imposter syndrome may only appear in one area of your life.  You don’t necessarily experience it in all areas of your life.  For example, you could be confident at presenting, however, you might second doubt yourself when it comes to delivering anything to do with figures because you failed math’s!  This is me! 

So how do you overcome Imposter Syndrome?

Below are some starting points to help shift to a more confident you:

  • Talk! Don’t keep all these thoughts whirling around in your head. If your working environment is closed to talking freely and sharing, then speak to someone outside of the working environment
  • Get a coach to help unpack the root cause of the fear
  • Remind yourself that you are worthy!
  • Use positive affirmation
  • Seek feedback
  • Use techniques such as reframing
  • Try breathing and thought pausing techniques
  • See things from “the others” perspectives
  • Celebrate your successes however big or small!

It may take a while to rewire those neural pathways into more helpful thoughts.  Don’t give up!

Good luck!