Have you ever experienced the fear of being an imposter in your workplace or your sphere of influence?
Imposter Syndrome is sometimes called the Imposter Phenomenon. I like to call it the Imposter Experience because almost everyone experiences it. It’s quite normal and you cannot die from it. What is the Imposter Experience or Imposter Syndrome? It’s a psychological pattern of behavior where people begin to doubt their accomplishments and we have this nagging feeling that we will be exposed.
Do you ever feel like a fraud? Have you ever felt like you’ve only succeeded because of luck or that people are going to find you out? You feel you don’t deserve any of the accolades that you have achieved or that you have cheated your way to the top, to the boardroom, to the podium, into the classroom or into the office.
There are three different types of people who are prone to this:
- Perfectionists: If you are a perfectionist, you will fall into that imposter category because if you are a perfectionist you experienced major turmoil and doubt when you mess up.
- Shadow Dwellers: A shadow dweller is someone who has grown up living in the shadow of someone else, such as a big brother or sister, a little brother or sister or a parent who has been wildly successful, very athletic or they excelled in everything. And then there was you.
- Superman/Superwoman: They believe that they have to push themselves harder and harder and work harder to earn their title.
Here are some famous people who had the Imposter Syndrome:
- Albert Einstein
- John Steinbeck
- Serena Williams
- Meryl Streep
- Tom Hanks
Why does it matter that we try to reel this back in and we don’t let it ruin our life? Because if we let ourselves experience the Imposter Syndrome for too long, we will stop stepping out of our comfort zone and stop taking any risks because we will doubt ourselves. If we don’t get a hold on it, we will reduce our self-confidence and it will continue to cause us stress, anxiety and depression. We really need to put a microscope or a magnifying glass on the times when we do feel like an imposter.If we let ourselves experience the Imposter Syndrome for too long, we will stop stepping out of our comfort zone and stop taking any risks because we will doubt ourselves.Click To Tweet
I’ve experienced this myself and it rears its ugly head from time to time. I need to do all of these things I am sharing with you here to stop the Imposter Experience from getting out of hand.
- Recognize that you’re feeling that way: You can reject those feelings and then reframe those feelings. Everybody experiences them from time to time, but you can put them in and you can label them as lies and reject those thoughts.
- Use data: Use the data of your life When I have my clients on the phone with me,I will ask, “What’s in your evidence file?” “What data have you collected through the years?” Degrees, awards, accomplishments and raises? That is evidence you can put in your file.
- Talk to yourself and repeat a mantra: I’m a huge proponent of having mantras. These are things you can repeat to yourself over and over to edify yourself. If you’re experiencing Imposter Syndrome you can begin saying things like “I am deserving and worthy of all good things” or whatever works in your situation. You become your own cheerleader.
- Look at the facts: People who don’t feel like imposters are no more intelligent, competent or capable than you. They are just not experiencing this imposter feeling so look at the facts. They’re not any smarter than you. You are equal.
- Think and act like a non-imposter: You can fake it until you make it. You are not an imposter so start acting like one.
- Confide in people: When these ideas start to run around in our brains, they get power. When we get our words and thoughts out, they lose their power. Seek out a coach, mentor or friend and get vulnerable with them. A friend is going to reinforce all the reasons they think you are such a cool person so be vulnerable with them. A coach is going to help you to get deeper and question why are you believing those self-limiting thoughts about yourself.
Imposter Syndrome can sometimes be a good thing. It can become a motivator to just do even better than what you’re doing, and it can help you stay humble and kind of check your ego.
I’d love for you to leave a comment if you have a comment or question about this blog and please share this blog and video with someone you think might need this.