Feel like a fraud? Like you don’t belong? Like all your accomplishments both personally and professionally couldn’t possibly be chalked up to anything but good ol’ fashioned luck. You certainly aren’t alone.
Let me tell you about Imposter Syndrome.
This phenomenon shockingly cripples an estimated 70% of us. This isn’t some stigma effecting a small subset or demographic of the population. Imposter Syndrome is prevalent from the classroom to the boardroom and everywhere in between.
You might assume the most successful among us never surrender to these feelings but you’d be dead wrong. In fact, the opposite is much more likely true. The most successful individuals, despite the praise, promotion and achievement often times feel a sense of inadequacy and self-doubt. Do I really belong? Am I deserving?
What can we do to overcome Imposter Syndrome
Now that we’ve established what Imposter Syndrome is and how many among us are feelings its effects, what can we do to temper those thoughts and overcome.
As with most things in life, it all starts with recognition and awareness. Are there certain situations in which these imposter feelings flare up? What are they and how do they manifest in your day-to-day life?
Once you have a clearer picture of these feelings, you can begin to justify, reframe and contextualize these thoughts in a manner that most reasonable human beings would understand. Remind yourself there’s always more to learn and opportunities to grow. Perfection is an unattainable goal and we all feel self-doubt and uncertainty as we face challenges. The key is how we respond. Do we shutter and crumble under the pressure or can we face the fear head-on knowing full well any outcome (positive, negative or neutral) presents a learning opportunity and a chance to be better the next time around.
Share your experiences and seek guidance
Last but certainly not least, share your experiences and seek guidance. Look around – statistically speaking – more than half the room is probably coping with these same emotions. Don’t allow yourself to fall into a pit of self-doubt and despair. Verbalize those feelings with others and share shortcomings and successes.
Speaking of successes, never sell them short. Celebrate your achievements and always credit yourself for the WINS! You’re here for a reason. You belong. Everything you’ve achieved to this point has been earned.
Here is a link to Australlian Billionaire Mike Cannon- Brookes TedTalk, about his journey through Imposter Syndrome.