Do you sometimes feel like an imposter in your business life? Like you are acting as if you are authentic and confident but not necessarily feeling it?
There you are tapped for a promotion, being acknowledged and recognized for your work and accomplishments and yet feeling like a fraud conflicted about your self worth and self esteem?
Well there’s a name for it. Psychology Day calls it Imposter Syndrome.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, Imposter syndrome is:
“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 resulting in an increased risk of anxiety.
According to Psychology Today it’s not an actual disorder, but more of a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior. The term was coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, when they found that despite having adequate external evidence of accomplishments, people with imposter syndrome remained convinced that they don’t deserve the success they have. They also noted it was more prevalent in women
Although it is not a disorder it can cause stress, anxiety, low self confidence, and in some cases even depression. Now that we have all the definitions on the table, be optimistic that if you are one of many who do experience this, there are many things you can do to improve and beat it.
5 Ways to Beat Imposter Syndrome
1. Tap Into Your Self Knowledge and Accomplishments
Take some time to document and review your positive qualities, professional accolades and reputation. Do an Internet search of yourself to see how you are branded and see how everything you are doing is working. The search engines simply publish what you create, they don’t edit anything. This is your public brand.
2. Welcome Experiences that Shape your Values and Viewpoints about Life
Experiences are our greatest teachers. Think about the groups, activities, volunteerism you have invested time in and how they have changed and enhanced you. What lessons you have you learned? Which people have touched and impacted you and how have they added to your life? Think about how you felt about yourself by your your experiences and participation.
3. Face Your Fears Head On
What are you afraid of?
Most people will have moments or occasions where they don’t feel 100% confident. There may be times when you feel out of sorts and self-doubt can be a normal reaction. Always consider the context of your feelings. Tap into your support system and seek out a trusted colleague, who you can talk candidly with who knows you and gives honest, constructive feedback. Plan a lunch or coffee if they are in proximity or phone call if they are not. Fears and phobias can be debilitating and can inhibit your professional success, so being willing to identify them, deal with them head on and if necessary seek professional help are important. The reality is most of us have fears, but most are not based in reality and can be worked through and are temporary.
4. Build, Nourish and Raise Your Self Esteem
Taking care of ourselves is essential to maintaining our overall health and well being. Balance, moderation are perspective helps us deal with our big picture and our daily activities and responsibilities. How we feel about ourselves is the basis for feeling authentic not an imposter in our lives. We all go through cycles of challenge, change and conflicts but we can process them through by how we take care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. Time management and being well rounded help stabilize our self esteem. Get sober, develop a new hobby, make more dedicated time for family, friends, travel, volunteerism, practice kindness, get organized and prioritize. Do things that make you feel great about yourself and you will feel more authentic.
5. Attitude is Everything
Gratitude is an action word. Be grateful for every day you are alive and all the opportunities that each day brings. Our powers are inside of us: our feelings, values, attitudes and actions. Most things we are powerless over are outside of us: people, places, things, occurrences and events. When we get clear on this power dynamic and shift our focus and our energy to where our powers are best applied, we can enjoy our life, help others and strengthen our self esteem.
In 2016, one of my colleagues made a decision to move from Florida where she spent most of her life to Colorado and continue her life in a place that always touched her. She felt it fit her life goals and lifestyle now. It was a gutsy adult decision that has totally re-energized her spirit and attitude. Don’t be afraid to make a significant thoughtful change.
Imposter syndrome is real and touches many areas of our lives. It is up to us to figure out what our value and authenticity needs are, so that we can live true to our essence.
Unmask and show your humanity, beauty and awesomeness.
“Inside of me, inside of me,
I swear it’s all there.
Open up your heart and set it free.
You are worthy and magnetic..
Don’t ever be afraid to be kinetic….