''I am not good enough'', ''I could have done better'', or ''oh, it wasn't so much of a big deal, anyone can do it''. How often do you have this self-talk? Are you self-sabotaging? Is it imposter syndrome?
What is imposter syndrome?
The imposter syndrome is that feeling you are getting when you are unsure of your skills, your talents, you have this feeling that you are not worthy no matter how hardworking or self-driven you are.
Your perception of self becomes centered around the idea that you are not so skillful as others are, you are not resourceful, bright, alert, or businesslike compared to those around you. Your feeling of assurance just vanishes.
Psychologists classified this syndrome in three stages. You can experience all of them or just one of them:
- Disregarding your own success: these people just can’t celebrate their wins, most of the time they will be ‘’I don’t know what this hassle about, anyone could have done it’’. Yes, anyone could do it, but you did it! Celebrate it, reward yourself and be eager to say ‘’I did this!’’
- Not owning your success: these people put their success in the hands of ‘’oh, I was just lucky’’. I know most of us are trying to be humble, not to brag about our results, however, if you downplay this and you think you had no work to do in your successful business, then you diminish yourself. There will be a time when you will have to sell your service in a confident matter and you have to be strong-minded in front of your client and say ‘’I did this’’ and be proud of it.
- Feeling fake: this happens when you are surrounded by people who are more knowledgeable in a certain area and this makes you feel so uncomfortable. You will probably tell yourself ‘’hmmm I thought I was smarter, more agile, more competent’’. But guess what, there is the talk your inner self must do when in stagnation. How would it be and what would you learn if you were the smartest in the room?
Imposter syndrome is quite common among people who are high achievers because they have this pressure on themselves to be these vigorous and bold people, to be the smartest in their area of expertise.
How can you overcome imposter syndrome?
- Always be a student. Imposter syndrome flourishes when you are in stagnation. When you are at a professional stage and you feel like ‘’you know it all, you have nothing else to learn’’. You think you’ve made the most out of your professional progress and you are done. we always have things to learn and remind ourselves from time to time that’s OK to be rewarded for all the great things we are accomplishing.
- To avoid getting into a stage where you feel unworthy, it’s vital that you be the best version of yourself. In your job, be all you can be. Top up with your maximum value, your maximum effort and success will build up in time.
- Another way of overcoming imposter syndrome is to detach yourself from the idea that you have to be perfect. Some people wait to find a client only when they will have the perfect website, the perfect sales pitch and you can lose on opportunities. You added so much importance to this that you forgot to check up on yourself from time to time and ask yourself ‘’hey, are you OK, are you content, what would you change’’?
And here's the secret...
Sooner or later we all go through this. It will come and go, it’s not once in a lifetime feeling. However, acknowledging that it exists, can appear, you are equipping yourself with the skills to know how to spot it and restrain it before it affects your entire career.
The comfort zone is amazing, isn’t it? Yes, it is! You feel safe, you feel in control.
What happens when you are presented with a new opportunity, with a new project? You go on the other side of the spectrum, which can be a lack of confidence, you find excuses that you don’t have the skills to make this project a dream, you are affected by what other people say. Well, hello, welcome to the fear zone.
Once you are out of your fear zone, hello, learning zone. This is when you deal with your challenges, you extend your comfort zone and say ‘’hey, this is not that bad as I thought’’, you acquire new skills.
While you are cozy in your learning zone, congratulations, you are transiting to the growth zone. This is where all great things happen: you set new goals and you find purpose.
Is it uncomfortable to go from a comfort zone to a growth zone? Yes, it is! The imposter syndrome dominates between these two zones. I know it can be unbearable, painful, a mental burden, however, I can promise you it is all worth it.
Your homework is to check upon yourself from time to time, pat yourself on the shoulder and say ‘’you do a great job, you are worthy of all the great coming your way’’. Challenge yourself and reap your rewards.