How often do you have these thoughts playing out in your head?
- I'm not good enough
- I'm about to be exposed for the phoney I really am
- It was a lucky fluke that I got this job
Do you think you have to work twice as hard as everyone else to prove your worth?
The good news is - you are not alone, the bad news? This negative thinking will not help build your confidence and self-esteem; comparing yourself to others who you believe are better, smarter, more accomplished will only keep you in that state of stress and anxiety. But there are ways to conquer these feelings and enjoy your hard-earned successes.
Firstly, that thing about not being alone? Studies have shown that up to 70% of us have suffered from what is known as the Impostor Syndrome, at some time in our lives.
The term was first coined by psychologists, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Immes, in a 1978 paper, The Impostor Phenomenon In High Achieving Women. The authors defined it as a problem affecting women who “Despite outstanding academic and professional accomplishments, persist in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise.” But many high-achieving women experience anxiety about performing well at work—how can you tell the difference?
People with impostor syndrome have very specific thought patterns. They feel they don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved, that their accomplishments are the result of luck or being in the right place at the right time instead of their talent, or that they’re a fraud who will eventually be found to be incompetent,
Whilst much has been written about possible reasons for these feelings, even more advice is available on to how to overcome them.
It helps me when I hear some of the most talented, capable and successful people out there, being prepared to share their moments of insecurity.
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg is known to have said
“There are still days when I wake up feeling a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.”
Nobel Laureate Maya Angelou once said
"I have written 11 books, but each time I think 'uh oh, they're going to find out now. I've run a game on everybody and they're going to find me out.'"
It also helps to know that the majority of people who feel this way are high - achievers, so at the very least you deserve a pat on the back for that.
I have compiled an A-Z of Banishing the Impostor Syndrome, a simple guide to understanding why you feel like a fraud and giving lots of tips on how you can overcome these limiting beliefs.
To get your copy, follow this link to download the guide.
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