Have you ever thought that you are a fraud? Or feel that at any time you will get caught out and then people will see you for who you truly are? You may be surprised to find that many people in all of their lives or just in some of the things they do, they can feel this way, so don’t worry if this is you. It is called imposter syndrome and it is when we can’t fully accept who we are and acknowledge internally what we truly do or are achieving. If this is the case it will be causing a massive impact on you being the best version of yourself and may have been running within you for a long time.
Being confident is a learned and developed habit, sometimes we have to fake it till we make it, this attitude is great to help build that confidence we need, but if we are stuck in this pattern then we won’t be building confidence. All we will be doing is reinforcing our insecurities, it will lead us to feel we don’t deserve the successes we have in our lives. This will then cause us to feel insecure in those situations and cause us to feel anxious doing the things we should really feel very confident in.
What we can then end up doing, is saying, we were just lucky that time, it was just fate or good timing which got us this job, position or place in life but deep inside we fear we’re not good enough. We might attribute the new promotion down to the fact that they didn’t have many candidates and had to pick you. I think at times we all can think we are not doing enough, and we could be doing things better, that is quite normal especially in situations which challenge us. But if for example, we don’t feel worthy of the role we have at work, yet we have had this role for many years, then imposter syndrome could be making life hard for you. Many of us can initially feel this way when we start doing something new but if we get stuck this way it can become very scary to live with these fears of being found out.
If it’s a work imposter issue your holding, you may find that when you are questioned or put on the spot you feel anxious and embarrassed. You may also find yourself going along with other people, as you don’t feel safe to express your opinion to others. We can feel that other people know better than us and that they must be right, and we are wrong and in situations of conflict, this will also so much worse. The messages your mind will be receiving because of all of this, is fear, lack of safety and insecurity, which of course then compounds your feeling of being caught out. Often with imposter syndrome, we don’t feel this in every area of our lives, just some of it so we can become very used to living this way. The internal fears and excuses to stay this way become something we don’t want to share, as that may open us up to our worst fears, that others will realise that we are this imposter. If you have carried this for a long time, then every day can be the day that you will be found out and people will see you for who you truly are inside. This inner belief is the distorted one not the outer one and it’s time to take stock of the situation and work to develop that self-belief in what you can do and who you truly are.
The impact will be, loss of confidence, guilt, fear, shame and avoidance, that will come living this way and for what? It’s not real, it’s just an inner lie that has got stuck on repeat and it is time to start the process of believing in yourself. There is one more very limiting issue with all of this and it is that you won’t push yourself or go after new opportunities, explore potential areas of interest or in fact put ourselves out there in any meaningful way. How many things have passed you by already? How many more are you willing to let pass you by? Now is the time to start to embrace who you really are and learn to see yourself in a true perspective.
The best way to change is to start writing down a list of all the things you have achieved in your life, a good friend or family member could be of help here to remind you of all the things you have done. Then when you have exhausted all the past stuff start finding time every day to value the things you have achieved on a day to day basis, this will help you start to see things more clearly. When the imposter thoughts come to mind just remember the cat story and don’t feed the cat, just distract yourself into something else. Always be clear no one else thinks you’re an imposter only you, so stop telling yourself this is the case and start to focus on who you truly are, will help your mind reset its self.
The next thing to do is to stop pushing back compliments and start excepting them, many people with imposter syndrome will struggle to hold the compliment, as they lack the belief in themselves to do this. You don’t have to say anything back, except thank you, then the compliment can go into your positive diary you are keeping. Remember many things like your job, being a mother, a wife, a husband, a friend you have been doing for a long time and if there was a problem I think it would have been brought to your attention already.
You are here for a reason, in this job, your business, your life, you are worthy of it all. You are way better than you think you are. You are much smarter than you think you are. You know much more than you give yourself credit for. Remember that. Remind yourself as often as you need to.
Thanks for dropping by Sara x