Fraudster?! The Imposter Syndrome Exposed
Updated: Feb 21, 2019
Are you a high achiever? Someone others look up too? Are you a perfectionist where whatever you do it’s just not quite good enough?
How much have you spent on training courses, gathering certificates, qualifications, knowledge to prove you know your salt? How much time, effort and money have you spent so far? Come on tally it up?
Me? I’ve spent near on £50,000 in my lifetime (so far!) hoovering up qualifications left right and centre. Learning more, training, reading….for what? It equates to around 8 years (or 2920 days!) of knowledge I've got in my head. However, up until last year I still didn’t think it was enough. I felt like a fraudster, someone who wasn’t worthy, and someone who felt like I was going to get found out for not being good enough.
The Imposter Syndrome is a Psychological Phenomenon where the individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent fear of being a fraud. We’ve all felt it right? It WILL hold you back, it WILL stop you achieving your dreams and it WILL affect your feelings of self-worth.
Read on to find out how to throw out this feeling of being a fraudster.
So how much knowledge have you acquired, training have you attended, and how much time have you spent proving your self worth? Did you tally it up?
I told you that I have spent at least £50,000 and 8 years on gaining knowledge, qualifications, training courses, and webinars. Up until last year it never felt enough, it was always “one last course” or “I need this to feel good enough” or “success is knowing more about something”. This is total BS!!
I felt that I never quite felt 'enough', I constantly felt like a fraudster and it was affecting my self-esteem, my relationships, my confidence and most of all I wasn’t offering the best value to others, I was busy feeding my Imposter Syndrome.
I’ve done a Psychology degree (BSc), I’m doing a Master’s degree in Coaching Psychology & Positive Psychology (MSc), I’ve qualified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), I’ve had training on High Performing Teams, a Coaching qualification, LEAN qualifications, I’ve learnt how to streamline businesses, automating businesses, I’ve qualified in how to run projects, I’ve learnt how to develop software, I’ve learnt all about property development, aromatherapy, setting and dressing hair and even wedding make up! Everything I’ve ever really wanted to learn about I have thrown myself in and now I find I have amassed such knowledge I should be set for life, right? No more gathering needed? No?
Last year I was having a conversation with a friend about this and she asked me what I was studying now? I realised this wasn’t the usual conversation with a 38 year old with her own business, family and friends, a house and relationships to maintain. However she was right, I’d just signed up to do a Masters degree! It was at this point I really started to question why I was collecting qualifications and certificates like they were going out of fashion and really started to look into it. I found out that Imposter Syndrome is something that so many people struggle with.
The Imposter Syndrome is threatening your resilience to life, work and business and you have to stop it.
Imposter Syndrome makes us feel that we aren’t clever enough, capable or creative enough despite everything that we have been achieving, or the qualifications or training that we have. I literally had no clue it was even happening to me and the chances are you won’t have realised it either.
If you are thinking about starting a new business, making a career change or stepping out of your comfort zone then you may struggle with the Imposter Syndrome even more.
So what do you need to do?
1. Start by acknowledging it
Recognise and call out these disruptive thoughts and feelings when they emerge. Once you’ve recognised it you’ll have an easier time overcoming it. Make a note as you feel it happening such as “I’m not good enough to give this presentation” or “I got lucky achieving this award” or “I don’t deserve to be given this new job”. Talk about it to another person, someone you know will listen without judgement. People tend not to talk about their struggle with the Imposter Syndrome as it tricks you into either not recognising it at all or imagining you are the only one who experiences it.
Remember you are not alone.
2. Consider the context
Most people will have moments where you don’t feel 100% confident or out of your depth. This can be a totally normal reaction. Instead of dwelling on it re frame your thinking to “that I feel this right now does not mean that I always will”. If you struggle with re framing your thoughts then seek out someone you look up to or who inspires you and see how they deal with failure or bad days.
3. Celebrate you, NOW
Chances are you have a lot of success in your life but you aren’t seeing it. Make a note of your strengths and take note of everything you’re good at. I get my clients to list their strengths and weaknesses and very often they’ll come up with a longer list of weaknesses!
Think about what you’re good at and learn to celebrate it!
Always make sure that you reward yourself for your successes in life. People write To-Do lists but what about a Rewards list? What do you want to reward yourself when you have achieved a goal? Believe it or not I actually learnt more about Adults when I studied Child Psychology when I learnt that you should reward the behaviour you want to see more of and ignore bad behaviour.
Life can be hard at times, I get it. But value who you are, you are a total individual, you are worthy of life, business, love and the value you give to others.
Accept and appreciate you in all of your technicolour
With acceptance and taking the steps above your Imposter Syndrome will be long gone.