Make 2019 the year you beat Imposter Syndrome

January 30, 2019

Over the past couple of years, the term, Imposter Syndrome, has been used an increasing amount and I have a feeling it isn’t going away anytime soon. Far from being a fad or a buzz word, Imposter Syndrome is a real condition and as life becomes increasingly pressurised, an increasing number of people I speak to, suffer with it.

Every single time I submit an article or piece of work, I wonder if there’s been a mix up and they are going to email back and say I’ve got it all wrong.

“When I send out 100 products, I can have 99 exceptional reviews, but if one person says something negative, I automatically think I'm a massive fraud.”

So, what’s it all about?

Well, this 21st century phenomena was coined by two psychologists Suzanne Imes and Rose Clance, who used it to describe women who were successful, but just didn’t feel that way about themselves.

Let’s be clear here, Imposter Syndrome isn’t something that is just felt by women.

As a new author, still to make much of a mark, I suffer from Imposter Syndrome, my mind refuses to believe good reviews of my work and accepts all the bad ones. I live in fear of being ‘found out’, exposed as having no right to be where I am. All I can do is persist, and when the voice in my head says, ‘you’re no good at this’, remind myself that I have as much right as anyone to speak my truth.

Sound familiar?

Imposter Syndrome can come along at any time, and take us by surprise. It’s a feeling of dread, and despite how much you have achieved, deep down you’re convinced you’re a fraud, and that other people think the same. When you are caught up in this negative cycle of thinking, it is as if you’re biding your time, waiting to be exposed for who you really are. No one.

The reality is, you aren’t a fake, you can move forwards and Imposter Syndrome doesn’t have to sabotage your success or mental health. I have created a list of five things you can do to ease those anxious thoughts and stop that monkey on your shoulder from telling you that you aren’t as brilliant and talented as I know you are.

Progress not perfectionism
No one if perfect and if you are chasing that elusive unicorn, you are going to be running for a really long time. OK, you didn’t make the grade with that new client, you didn’t get into the last three for the interview and you might not have secured a spot in The Times, but the fact you gave it a go is worth celebrating. We all have bad days and we all make mistakes, but flip those situations and learn from them so you become an even better version of you.

Write it down
It is really easy to have those conversations in your head that convince you that you aren’t good enough, but when it is written down in black and white, you can’t argue with the facts. Keep a notebook where you record all your triumphs and wins and when you are having a wobble, go back and look at just how far you have come. Why not ask your clients, readers, patients or employees for feedback on how you are doing? Testimonials not only sing your praises to others, but they can give you the validation you sometimes need to see that you really are good at what you do, and that other people value your services and expertise.

Quit the Comparisons
There is only one you, so you need to stop comparing yourself to other people. Yes, there might be a lot of yoga teachers or authors or bakers, but there is only one of you and you do things your way. There are always going to be people that we measure ourselves against, we have been doing it since we were toddlers, but you bring your own special qualities to the table and those things make you unique. Have you ever stopped and thought that maybe your peers look at you and think you are the one who has got it all worked out and are flying the flag of success?

Be your own cheerleader
This might feel like hard work, especially if you are going through a tough time, but it is really important that you are your own cheerleader. Give yourself a pat on the back when something goes well and share good news so others can celebrate with you too.

Find your tribe
In my masterclasses and Facebook groups I can honestly say that we are all there to help on another be the best they can. Once you have found your tribe, be that a close circle of friends, work colleagues, gym buddies or on social media, make the most of their support and the belief they have in you. As well as you encouraging them, they will be there to remind you of your successes, and will be proud of who you are and what you have done.

Remember, whatever you see on Instagram or read in Red magazine, no one totally has their life together 100% of the time, so give yourself a break and appreciate just how fantastic you are.

Photo credit – pexels

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