Do you suffer from imposter syndrome? If you do you’re not alone!
Even the most successful people can suffer from imposter syndrome.
According to Psychology Today,
“The imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.”
No matter how many times other people praise us or our achievements, inside we reject this praise and think that if they REALLY knew us they wouldn’t like, admire or love us.
I used to think that too! My mother would tell me how accomplished I was, how I could turn my hand to anything, how hard-working and talented I was and inside I would say “no I’m not!”. Even with a successful career as an IT Project Manager, I still felt that if my boss or my team found out who I really was that I would lose my job or get demoted.
I was great at praising others but I couldn’t accept praise for myself.
Suffering from imposter syndrome can be very stressful as you feel like you have to act out a role rather than being yourself. You put on an act of being supremely confident while inside you are afraid that you’ll be found out – that you’re not the person they think you are.
As a Project Manager, I was always focused on supporting my team, developing their skills and helping them to achieve their ambitions. In that role, I was introduced to personality profiling and I became fascinated with psychology.
I began to understand the reasons why I and others suffered from imposter syndrome which is one of the many manifestations of feeling ‘not good enough’.
I left the corporate world in 2004 and after six years of doing inner work to resolve my own imposter syndrome and my lifelong feeling of being ‘not good enough, in 2010 I decided to focus on coaching and mentoring so I could help others do the same – feel comfortable in their own skin and be completely happy with who they are. It is only when you have overcome these inner gremlins that you can be truly happy and BE successful.
So, how do you overcome Imposter Syndrome??
1. Get Over Not Good Enough
Here’s a short video in which I explain the source of your limiting beliefs, how they impact you, how to clear them and the success you’ll achieve as a result.
2. Develop Self-Love
Self-love is really the key to feeling truly happy – you fully accept who you are, warts and all.
I used to think that everyone but me had their act together and were far more confident and competent than I was. When I started my personal development journey I realized that EVERYONE has some level of self-esteem issues and that how people appeared on the outside didn’t necessarily reflect how they felt on the inside.
These two words are attributed to the Greek philosopher Socrates and inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
It is only through the process of self-discovery that you can start to truly appreciate your talents, skills, and experience and accept your weaknesses or shortcomings.
Through personality profiling, I realized that the things I wasn’t particularly good at, which I criticized myself for, were aspects of my personality type, not that I was lacking in some way. I have also realized since then that we are given the exact skills and abilities to enable us to fulfill our purpose and that our weaknesses are simply things that are less important for our particular life mission.
Instead of trying to hide my weaknesses and feel that I had to be good at everything I was able to acknowledge them and even ask for help if I needed it. Being able to do that frees you to be yourself and love the person that you are with all your unique talents and abilities.
So when someone praises you for your achievements, accept their compliments with gratitude and turn off that inner voice that denies that you deserve them.
3. Celebrate Your Achievements
How often do you focus on what you did wrong, or when you failed to achieve the outcome that you wanted and worry about what other people think of you?
We are here to learn and we learn best by facing challenges. Instead of focusing on what didn’t turn out perfectly, focus on what you did achieve, and what you have learned in the process.
Acknowledge even the smallest achievement and celebrate your wins. Accept that you may have to develop more skills and experience in that particular situation rather than beat yourself up about what happened.
As Don Miguel Ruiz said in his book The Four Agreements, “always do your best” and recognize the growth that you are achieving every step of the way.
Remember, there’s no such thing as an overnight success and every highly successful person has failed many times along the way. The key to their success is that they never gave up and they learned from every failure. They didn’t worry about what other people thought of them but stayed committed to their goal and determined to succeed.
By celebrating your successes, however small, you will build your self-esteem and realize that you are NOT an imposter but deserve your success and the praise that you get from people who appreciate you and all your gifts.
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