What is this Imposter Syndrome that we hear about??
Well, if you are like me you will have come across it at some point. In fact many of us will have experienced it throughout our lives and not even known that it was a "thing".
Impostor syndrome is basically us doubting our abilities, us thinking that somebody else would have been better suited to the task and an overall sense of unworthiness. This feeling of unworthiness is not backed by others opinions of us, it is our belief. Impostor syndrome can make us feel like a fraud or phony in any area of our life, despite any successes we may have in this area.
It can often sound like " I don't belong here ", " I am a fraud ", " Your inabilities will eventually be found out and everyone will know ".
Imposter Syndrome can be separated into 5 types
The perfectionist - Believing that unless we did things absolutely perfect, we could have done better.
The expert - Feeling like an imposter because we don't know every single thing there is to know about the task / subject, or that we have not yet mastered it.
The natural genius - When learning new tasks has always come easily to us, we can believe that capable people can handle anything with little difficulty. However this can lead us to feeling like a fraud when things don't come easily to us or we fail the first time around.
The soloist - When we like achieving things by ourselves. So when we have to ask for help along the way we question our abilities and feel like a fraud.
The super person - When we believe that we must be the hardest worker , reach the highest level, be the absolute best student, friend, parent. When we fail to meet these demand we feel not good enough, a fraud.
How can we help ourselves when we find that we are faced with impostor syndrome ??
This work can be tough and we may need to do some deep level work on our own self beliefs and self worth. These ideals we have developed about ourselves have been with us throughout our life so are well imprinted into us. Be patient with yourself as you journey through this.
Here is a short list of ways that we can begin to challenge imposter syndrome.
First of all, simply acknowledge the way you are feeling. Recognise it as "imposter syndrome".
- Talk to someone you trust, share how you are feeling. When we ignore feelings or hide them, usually they get bigger.
- Secure your network around you, we don't have to do everything ourselves, ask people you trust and respect for help. This network of people can advise, encourage and support you.
- Stop comparing yourself to others, this is something we all do. We are all on our own journey, not one the same. When we compare ourselves to others we will almost always find a "fault" in us, this will only add to the feelings of not being good enough or capable.
- Challenge the voice of imposter syndrome, ask yourself "is this true?", "are there any facts that make this the truth?", "Does it make any sense to think that you are a fraud?'. Then look for something that counters this thought or belief.
- Don't let the feelings of imposter syndrome hold you back, keep chasing your dreams and following your goals.