Recognise this situation ….?
You’re in a meeting with colleagues at work, college or university. Your mind is wandering. You notice the apparent confidence of your colleagues as they suggest clever ‘I wish I’d thought of that’ ideas and how they always seem to ask the the right questions. So much noticing of others that when someone asks you for your opinion, you stumble over a generic response that hopefully no-one will notice.
You are feeling others round the table know more than you do, are more worthy of their status in the team. You don’t. You are an imposter, or that’s what you’d have yourself believe.
Imposter syndrome is not new. It’s been recognised for decades but it’s a popular label currently doing the rounds and one seemingly becoming more commonplace. Essentially, imposter syndrome is a distorted, incorrect belief where you doubt your own achievements. You have a persistent fear you will be exposed as a ‘fraud’. Outwardly, this will manifest itself as you being withdrawn in the social group. You may become skilled at ‘people-pleasing’, where you constantly seek to gain approval of the team around you, giving in to their demands for your time and effort. This is what we call a protection behaviour, driven by a core belief that resulted from a childhood experience which may have caused that individual to fear the withdrawal of love or approval because they came to the mistaken conclusion they weren’t good enough or deserving or lovable as they are.
So what can be done to help the imposter in you? Firstly, you’re not an imposter. You are great and have all the resources you need to fly sky high. You just don’t realise it yet.
Listing out your career or Uni successes (yes, you have plenty) and celebrating them often can help as can stopping the minimising of your numerous successes. Easy to say, feels harder to do.
Clients I see in my clinic have elements of the imposter syndrome and when this presents itself, we set about eliciitng the limiting self-belief before working on letting go of this mistaken belief using a range of proven, evidence-based techniques.
Whenever you find yourself writing off the great things you’ve done as a fluke or seeing others as more capable than you, recognise and accept this for what it is. Be curious and be you.
I am available for a no-obligation, confidential chat on how we can work together to make this imposter a thing of the past – be kind to you.