How to Ditch Imposter Syndrome Once and for All
Do I deserve to be here?
Most definitely yes. Questioning yourself and your ability, feeling a ‘fraud’ and feeling that you don’t deserve your place in life has been dubbed suffering from “Imposter Syndrome” and it is much more common than we think.
Recent research by TREsemme states that over 88% of women have experienced “Imposter Syndrome” at some point in their lives. I am sure that we can all relate to walking into a cool bar or trendy shop and wanting to turn and run, feeling uncomfortable and out of our depth. Or meeting your partners friends and family for the first time. And what about job interviews? As the interviewer is grilling you about your suitability for the role, your stomach churns feeling that at any moment they are going to discover you are just not good enough. No-one really knows what triggers this ‘imposter’ feeling but often, it most commonly strikes when you are breaking into a new world, taking up a new challenge and it can be scary! The most important thing to remember when these feelings take hold is that nearly everyone else suffers as well and although Imposter Syndrome can cause self paralysis - if not addressed - it can also be a positive experience.
It indicates that you are challenging yourself. You aren’t growing as an individual if you aren’t pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
It keeps your ego in check. If you get comfortable, you get complacent and you close yourself off to new opportunities.
It signals that you are gaining experience and that your teenage self who thought they knew everything is growing up.
“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know” Aristotle
When Imposter Syndrome strikes learn to recognise it and look to push it back into its box by these steps below.
Find a support system. Family, friends, mentors will all provide that positive feedback that you really are good enough. Save glowing reviews and references and revisit them when Miss Imposter comes to call.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Use social media in a positive way, revisit those FB memories and see just how far you have come. Self affirmation is a muscle you should flex everyday.
Tune out the noise. We are bombarded with 1000’s of messages daily, only listen to the constructive and positive. Self doubt is always there but keep moving forward and use mindfulness and reflection to keep it in check.
Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Life is unpredictable and you don’t always feel ready for every challenge that arises. The key to success is to keep moving in spite of your fears.
Stop trying to fit in - be yourself. The genuine you is always the more believable one.
“It’s all about learning to silence that niggling voice in your own head. My confidence didn’t come overnight, it was something I had to grow in to. The difference now is that when I was younger I was afraid to fail and I put huge pressure on myself. I don’t see failure as a bad thing or a hindrance; I look at it as a learning opportunity. If you get to the root of Imposter Syndrome it is about self-love and believing in who you are and saying ‘I belong here, I deserve to be here’” - Alesha Dixon - self confessed Imposter Syndrome sufferer.